When planning a trip I usually focus on chosing a destination. It seems to be the most important thing, the main source of excitment and motivation. Other components, not any less important, like people I would ride with or equipmnet I would use, they seems always to be pre-set. I planned my first genuine bikepacking trip the other way round.
Frankly speaking, little I know about bikepacking. Just the idea of making it to the woods, mountains, or whatever, by bike and carrying all your stuff. You ride, you camp, and you have fun. Brilliant. No stress and no worries about pace, distance, or a route even. That’s how I see it. That’s how I like it.
So, why not with kids?
Jasiek, the older of my two sons, is 8 years old. He loves all kinds of sports and always did. Biking, skateboarding, crosscountry skiing, and climbing mostly. He definitely is an outdoorsy person. We did some things together but cycling didn’t fall into that category too often. Chosing him to be my first bikepacking partner came natural.
One of the nice things about living in Krakow is it’s proximity to Krakow Valleys Landscape Park and possibility of reaching it with minor roads and trails. Inside the park there are plenty of spectacular limestone rocks and cliffs. And there’s possibility to camp there. So I knew that that’s the place to go with Jasiek.
We set out quite late into morning and we rode without any haste. The route I planned was something like 35 km long one way. We had plenty of breaks to refuel and rest a bit in a shadow, and also to check a blood-glucose levels (yes, he’s a t1d kid). All the way we chatted about everything and nothing. Basically, we took it as easy as possible.
We camped at Brandysówka in Będkowska valley. A basic menu and a shower, it’s there if you need. We used both. Before starting our trip I considered camping at some other less civilized place and preparing meals by ourself, like serious bikepackers do, but I rejected the idea quickly. This wasn’t the point of our trip.
Jasiek had time for playing with other kids at the camping. He also had time to play with Lego blocks that he took with him. Just before the sleep we read a book, as usual. We shared one-person tent and an unzipped sleeping bag.
The second day, we woke up late. During the breakfast we talked about our route. I was suggesting using a train from nearby station, suspecting that he might be tired, but he opted for riding our bikes. The day didn’t differ a lot from the first one really. The route was different, the schedule was different, even the weather was a bit different but the pleasure we had was the same.
We were enjoying our company and that’s what it was all about. Try this out.