Cycle Field Trip
After receiving information about traveling and touring with a bike and a self-planned one day bike trip a 3-days bike trip to the southernmost point of Norway – Lindesnes was awaiting us. Unfortunately I could not join because I was stuck in the hospital …
Nevertheless I love biking and would love to have another Cycling Trip at some point – here a little plan for a similar trip:
How would you prepare a similar trip for a group of 8 youths (14 yr old)?
First of all I would set up a meeting with the whole group. First, I would meet with the group in advance.
1. Meeting: Ice breaker, bike check & 1-day trip planning
At the first meeting, I would share my cycling experiences and play name and game games. This way the group gets to know each other and I get to know the young people better.For this Meeting it would be helpful for everyone to bring their own bike or if it is possible to rent bikes from school/uni/Friluftsliv organisation to find a fitting bike for everyone. We can then check on saddle height, brakes and pump tires up.
For me to get and overview about everyone’s condition, strengths and level a one day trip would be the right trip to start with. I would not split up the group and go with them all together and maybe take another responsible person, f.ex. a parent or another outdoor student with me.
For this trip I would ask the group whether they have any preferences or ideas where to go. Give them some examples and let them as a group decide where they want to go.
Everyone should bring a day pack with enough water, lunch and snacks in between, sunscreen, a first aid kit and bike fixing tools.
1-day bike trip
Let them experience how it is to ride a bike the whole day for approx. 50-60km. This trip is also important for me as a veileader to see how everybody in the group takes this exhasuting ride.
A few days rest in between …
2. Meeting: Reflection and 3-days-bike trip planning
This meeting is for sharing the individual experiences on the 1-day trip with the group:
How was the bike? How did it feel?
How was the chosen route? Hard, managable, easy?
Where there any complications with your body? Knee pain, arms, hands, etc. ?
How was the pace and breaks in between?
Have you experiences any group dynamics and how did the group work together?
After this reflection it is time to start planning for a 3-day trip and take in all the facts from the reflection.
Preparation for 3-days bike trip:
Search for a suitable goal, which you want to reach during the 3 days. It would be nice to have a proper goal, f.ex. a light house (like our group which cycled to the southernmost point) so its something you are working for to achieve or reach. Furthermore you can than decide on doing a loop or cycle to a certain pint in the middle of the trip and return the same way….
Print out maps and draw together the route onto the map, mark certain points for stops, shops, toilets and the two overnights. Check on possible shops to buy food in between. Also check for height meters and weather.
Divide the group into 2 or 3 groups for cooking and tenting. Let the small groups meet and plan what equipment they need to bring, depending on sleeping in a tent or trap and what they want to cook. I would let them try out to plan on their own first but stay close and help them and give tips.
All together write a packing list to make sure everyone knows what to bring.
- bike bags
- sleeping bag
- sleeping mat
- first aid kit
- tool kit for repairing bikes
- fire starting kit
- cooking stove/Trangia + gas
- dishes (plate, cutlery, cup)
- water bottle
- personal clothing for the day and night
- if available bike shorts with pad
- cap and sunglasses
- toothbrush and paste
- food (2x dinner, 3x lunch, 2x breakfast) and spices
At the end of this meeting make sure that everyone is clear and feels safe and answer open questions.