This is an old TR (Sept 2011) that I wrote and never posted.
This TR is to provide guidance to others with kids who want to try this trip, especially gear and bike setup information. You can do it!
Bike: an old Norco Bush Pilot. Child seat on the back, pannier racks on the front.
Trailer: Chariot single bike trailer.
Kids bike: Strider (very light, with solid rubber tires)
Car to get to Penticton: piece of garbage Mazda Protege. Bike in the trunk tied down with bungee cords. Trailer folded up in the front seat.
Midweek in mid-September, Daniel (age almost 3) and I drove to Penticton and stayed at a hotel on the west side of Penticton near Skaha Lake.
Early in the morning after a quick breakfast, we were picked up by the shuttle van from Ambrosia Tours who drove us up the Myra FSR to the Myra Parking Lot (km mark 135.3). The price was not much at all and the guy was great. I think it took 1-1.5hrs.
The first part of the trail has 18 magnificently rebuilt trestles. The little guy was full of energy so he rode his balance bike. The surface was hard packed and smooth with some small stones...excellent for biking! The trestles were very close together, so there was always some excitement to look forward to, to entertain the 2-year-old attention span. There is also a few tunnels on this section which were a huge hit!
We stopped to knock over some little cairns (his idea) at a mini-cairn forest at about Trestle 10. He had a lot of fun with this.
We stopped for a long lunch at Trestle #6.
Daniel rode himself over 15 of the trestles and 2 tunnels, which is HUGE for 2-year-old legs.
After a while he got fairly tired and fell asleep in the bike trailer. The Strider (run-bike) gets strapped to the handlebar of the trailer and the sleeping gear gets strapped to the child seat.
The next part of the ride to Chute Lake Lodge (@km 171.4) seemed long. The trail surface was quite chewed up and sandy which made for slow going. It also started raining and Daniel was getting impatient and cranky. A few of his favourite fruit-snacks held him off until we got to Chute Lake Lodge, which was a welcome sight! By now it was pouring rain and getting cold. We put the bikes and gear under the balcony overhang and registered for a tent site and ordered a burger and fries. The prices were quite high, but the place was almost deserted. We had food but couldn’t pass up the burger! There is a ‘museum’ out back which is a collection of old junk like my grandparents had in their barns. (Farm implements, road signs, tractors, logging equipment, you-name-it) The place is run by a very nice German couple.
It stopped raining so we set up the tent by the lake, made a fire in the fire pit and threw stones in the lake. (These are a few of the kid’s favourite things in life!)
After a good night’s sleep and a big breakfast at the lodge we hit the road. First breakfast at the lodge is not served until quite late (I think 8:30AM?) but we were not in a hurry! Just as we were leaving, a party of about 8 dirt bikes was arriving. Daniel rode his Strider bike for a little while, but it was still quite sandy, so he sat in the bike seat. The advantage of the bike seat is that he is close, and conversation is easy. All the gear (tent & sleeping bags) got stowed in the trailer. We sang “Wheels on the Bus” ad nauseum with everything you can imagine “on the bus”.
We cycled through Rock Ovens regional park (rock ovens were used by the railroad crews to bake bread while building the railway). It was mostly downhill from there. The surface was firm, but became kind of bumpy for a kid in a bike seat. I had the tire pressure on the rear tire and the trailer quite low and went slowly over the bumps. Don’t count on blasting down this portion even though it is downhill (max grade approx 2%).
The next bit of the trail (near Little Tunnel) was beautiful—a grand vista of Naramata’s vineyards & orchards on the lake shore, bright sun, blue skies. Wow.
Eventually we hit the paved road and rode down the steep roads towards the lake. The KVR became a fine urban cycling trail indeed, with a great route through the vineyards & orchards. This is an easy, world class bike trail: great views, good surface, separated, signage, great bridges. We stopped a pick-your-own farm/cafe where Daniel was happy to pick a few carrots, a handful of beans, 2 peaches—a fun learning experience.
Soon we were in Penticton, and racing through town, back to the car, and then driving home. Daniel fell asleep in the car about 1/2 way back to Vancouver. Overall it was a great trip, and do-able with a kid, but not easy. He still talks about the trip (6 months later), which is impressive, because he has been a lot of places.
Back at home, sorting the haul, and explaining to mommy where carrots come from:
The key is OPTIONS for the kid:
Energetic = strider bike
Sleepy = bike trailer
Talkative = bike seat
Bored = stop and play, pick fruit, throw rocks, etc.
Day 1: 36kms
Day 2: 53kms
Don't try it on skinny road tires. Some sections are sandy because they get chewed up by ATVs and dirt bikes. If they want to turn this into a cycle-touring destination, they have to get rid of the ATVs/dirt bikes or keep them on the nearby FSRs or something.
BC Parks Map
Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society Map:
Adra Tunnel is closed (there was a fire in it) and there is a bypass that is signed.
Balance between keeping the tires at low pressure (good traction and softer ride) and keeping the tires at high pressure (less rolling friction and less pedalling effort).
When the kid is on the bike seat, the back bike tire should be soft but not so soft that you will hit the rim if you hit a rock.
When the kid is in the trailer, the bike can be high pressure and the trailer tires soft.
I just said screw it, and kept everything at fairly low pressure.
Remember, the kid is not pedalling, so should be dressed a lot warmer than you.