Looking for a relaxing, eco-friendly family vacation? Here’s how we went cycle touring from Quebec City to Montreal with a 14-month-old baby.
When Max was 14 months old we decided to take him cycle touring from Quebec City to Montreal. The trip came about as a merging of several vacations.
My parents wanted to spend some time in Quebec City before driving to visit my grandparents in New York. We wanted to meet up with some University friends who had moved away from BC, and flights to Quebec City were affordable for all of us.
Cycle Touring with a baby?
We’ve done a lot of traveling and cycle touring with our kids in tow. Traveling and cycle touring was something that Brad and I always enjoyed, so we just continued to do it after we had kids. We have one really relaxed and easy-going kid and one kid who is a bit more particular. Regardless, they both have proven to be great travellers.
Here are a few articles I’ve written that might help if you are thinking about cycle touring with your kids:
- The Joy and Insanity of Backpacking With Young Kids
- How to Survive Six Months Touring on a Tandem Bicycle
- Cycle Camping with Kids
- The Best Options for Hauling Kids and Cargo by Bike
If you’re still not sure that cycle touring is right for you and your family, I recommend trying a few, smaller 2-night trips before taking the plunge on a longer tour.
Why Cycle Tour in Quebec?
Quebec was an ideal location for cycle touring with a baby.
- It is relatively flat (compared to the West Coast). So hauling a baby and all the extra gear wasn’t as much of a challenge.
- There are lots of marked cycleways so we wouldn’t have to do too much road riding. We bought a really good guidebook, with a clear route between Quebec City and Montreal. So planning the trip was very easy.
- That area of Quebec is quite densely populated, so we weren’t required to travel far between places to stay and other amenities.
- Quebec is beautiful. Quebec City has a fortified old town that feels very European. Montreal is lively and urban. And the route in between was filled with sunshine, fresh air, vineyards, and lakes.
We cycled from Quebec City to Montreal on La Route Verte, taking the route through Sherbrooke. It was advertised as a week-long trek and 90% of the cycling network was completely separated from roadways.
Most of our cycling was timed to coincide with Max’s nap schedule. At that point he was on a two-naps-a-day schedule, so we set out early for his first nap. Then took an extended lunch break (often at a playground), before heading out for the second round of cycling.
A few notes on the ride:
- We kept all of our cycle days under 70 km so that it wasn’t too long for Max. We were experienced cyclists so it was only about 3 to 4 hours a day of cycling. However, a bit of pre-trip training always helps!
- A lot of Le Route Verte was on reclaimed rail routes with some back road riding. The route was a mix of compacted gravel and paved section. And for the most part, it was beautiful and quiet.
- We really enjoyed our night in Magog. It was quite a tourist town, and a swim in the lake was a perfect break from cycling.
- Really little kids don’t need much to be happy. Beyond some clothes, diapers, and a few toys, the only baby-specific thing we brought with us was a travel cot.
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