Biking in France With Kids
We half-read, half-daydreamed through this article
Last weekend’s Globe and Mail featured an essay from Karan Smith, datelined Loire Valley, France. Sigh.
Smith and her daughter Pepina were off on a mother-daughter cycling trip that found them biking by Sleeping Beauty’s castle, Cinderella-esque pumpkin patches and actual chickens crossing the road.
They cycled with a guided group of like-minded parents and kids, so unlike the Family on a Bike, it wasn’t all cycling, all the time. Pepina took some breaks from peddling to let her mother tow her and sometimes just hung out in the kids’ van. They took part in other activities like paddling and fencing and obviously took in the fantastic history that the Loire Valley provides. And most importantly, Pepina enjoyed her first crème brûlée.
Just read this and tell us you’re not immediately thinking of booking one of these tours:
Soon, after 26 kilometres of humming and pedalling, the Château du Rivau appears. Pepina and I have time to wander the whimsically renovated 15th-century castle before joining the other cyclists for an outdoor lunch. After a glass of wine, the parents set off for the next hotel and I join the kids to paddle the Vienne River, its placid nature interrupted only by our gang’s water fights. We eventually pull up on the banks of the medieval town of Chinon. That evening at the Château de Marçay, Pepina and I sample our first Michelin-starred cuisine and my daughter identifies the flavours of her first crème brûlée as “eggy, marshmallow-y and syrup.” She makes me proud.
Sure Smith admits that it wasn’t all smooth sailing and that her daughter could sometimes be a little grumpy on this trip, it still sounds pretty fantastic.
For any parents inspired by Smith’s trip, take a look at our family cycling tips from Family on a Bike.
All we’re wondering now is if the crème brûlée tastes any better after you’ve cycled 20-40 km for it.
Photo by celso flores via Flickr