In the lead up to our Big Lap of Australia, we spent months trying to work out what to take, and what to leave behind. We decided long beforehand that taking adult bikes wasn’t going to happen as they’d fall apart, and were too heavy and awkward to bring with us.
The kids bikes though, are a lot smaller, lighter and easier to take, and in this post we look at whether you should take them or not.
Before leaving on our lap of Australia, Oliver had just moved to a 50cm pedal bike, and was getting pretty good at it. Our back yard was too small for him to ride it though, so it only came out when we headed to a park, or away from home, and he wasn’t completely in love with it.
Our youngest son had a balance bike, and asides from using it around the place he wasn’t that good, and wasn’t hugely keen on using it either.
It was a good month into our lap of Australia before I started to push our youngest to give it a go more, with limited interest from our older son to ride his bike.
However, once Cooper started riding his balance bike more (and he picked it up really quickly once he decided he wanted to ride it), Oliver got his bike out, and they started using it more.
Not long after, and we stayed at a Scouts camp that had a bunky old pedal bike that was slightly too big for Cooper, but I wheeled it over anyway and he was keen to give it a crack.
The transition to a pedal bike from a balance one is pretty amazing; a few goes and he was off, comfortably riding around a bumpy area.
He fell off a heap of times, but was able to ride it without much effort, and we got him a new 40cm pedal bike for his birthday. This took a bit of convincing for him to use (despite him knowing it was coming), but he got the hang of it at the Kingston RV Park, and has used it a heap since.
At the same place, we went through the camper and 4WD and did a second cull, to make more room for the bikes to fit without playing rough tetris every time.
Where do we keep the bikes?
We’re fortunate to have a pretty large canopy on the rear of the Dmax, and both bikes fit in without too much of an issue.
I am conscious of the weight, as I know we are close to the limits on this and we are careful that there’s nothing too heavy behind the wheels, but there’s no where else to put them.
I don’t really want them outside in the dust and mud, and I’ve seen plenty of bike racks that would not survive a month of our 4WD tracks, let alone a full lap of Australia.
So, should you take the bikes?
Ultimately, this comes down to what weight and space you have left. I’ve heard some kids don’t ever touch their bikes, and then you have families who can’t get their kids off their bikes.
I was expecting us to not use the bikes much, but I’m pleased the kids have taken a renewed interest in riding them as it gets them out and about, and is easier than walking around with them.
If you find that the bikes aren’t being used you can move them on, but you might be glad of them if they get used often! Ours are getting hammered, and they’ll go in the bin when they are finished with them, but at least its good use.