Vacationing with two teenagers and four ebikes

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Hi all,

We just spent 5 days vacationing with our ebikes and teenagers. It was a lovely and relaxing vacation for all of us.

We went to Anacortes, Washington where we rented a home with a lovely view that served as our launching site for three days of cycling day-trips. This is not my photo, but shows the beauty of the views we experienced throughout our trip.
Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.56.47 PM.png
I'm more about "experiencing" than "documenting," so don't have great photos. And, sadly, even the most gorgeous scenes just aren't gorgeous when I photograph them. Sigh!


On our way to Anacortes, we ate at a drive-in burger place, with our four bikes hanging from our Upright Designs rack! What a great way to have a meal when carrying bikes on a rack--no worries about theft! The waiter brought the food right to our car!
Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.43.24 PM.png

We spent the first full day cycling around Anacortes--checking out the location of the ferry, the shopping district, and taking in all of the gorgeous vistas and beautiful Washington Park, and eating out along the way. Day 2 was Lopez Island day--we got to skip the ferry lines that cars have to deal with, and head onto the ferry with our bikes. Lopez Island was so beautiful. My photos just didn't do it justice, remotely ... but here is a sunset from our ride home:
Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.46.50 PM.png
Day 3 was San Juan Island day--we took the ferry to Friday Harbor. Enjoyed the little town, and more scenic rides around the area.
Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.48.41 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.49.38 PM.png
Today, we headed home.

Some things we learned ...

Ebikes are wonderful for a vacation--it makes for a more active trip than sight-seeing by car, and what a way to enjoy views, wildlife, and one another. RANGE is an issue with very hilly terrain. We found that we have different riding styles and thus different battery capacities. We were pretty conservative because we didn't want to find ourselves far from home without any charge left, so we limited our range to about 25 miles for each day. I think we could have upped that by about 10 miles, but better safe than sorry, we decided. We kept our speeds pretty slow to better enjoy the beauty of where we were riding. Both teenagers and both of us had such a great time and look forward to doing a similar vacation next summer, maybe going back to Anacortes or maybe staying on one of the San Juan Islands ... hmmmm ....

All in all, a beautiful way to end the summer!
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I've been doing bike touring in the San Juans since I was a teenager.

There are lots of great places to stay. Or camp. For myself, I vary between sleeping in the dirt and luxury hotels.

I'd also suggest exploring Salt Spring and Pender Islands in BC. Both are very bike-friendly and again there are great places to stay or camp.

If you visit Orcas, take your climbing legs (for that matter, take them to Salt Spring too). Another Orcas hint: when you get off the ferry, the main road to Eastsound goes left. Go right and follow Killebrew Lake Road and Dolphin Bay Road. It is a little further and much hillier but there is very little traffic and the route is very scenic. Well worth the extra time and distance. Also recommended: going past Westsound, Deer Harbor, and Turtleback Mountain.

Mandatory references:

Cycling the Islands: A guide to scenic routes on the San Juan and Gulf Islands, John Crouch

Cycling Sojourner: Washington by Ellee Thalheimer
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome resources! Thank you!

Bike touring challenges with ebike is RANGE, for sure! What works great for a couple of hours of commuting doesn't work so great if one wants to ride for many more hours in the day!!!
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Awesome resources! Thank you!

Bike touring challenges with ebike is RANGE, for sure! What works great for a couple of hours of commuting doesn't work so great if one wants to ride for many more hours in the day!!!
Yes, e-bike touring is a thing. Even on a Pedego:

IMG_8650.JPG

One key thing to keep in mind is that non e-bike tourers usually average about 40 miles per day, which is easily within the range of a lot of e-bikes. If you had two 500wh batteries for your Interceptor you could easily cover 50 miles in a day without stopping to recharge, unless you were riding in an extremely hilly place or into terrible headwinds.

Then again, if you have to, there are lots of good places to stop and charge your batteries. Picnic shelters at state and county parks in Oregon and Washington almost always have outlets, and they are usually pleasant places to stop for lunch anyway. On a multi-day tour you will also often have to stop off and do laundry, and a two-hour laundry (and hopefully lunch) stop is a convenient place to recharge as well.
 

Kurt in CT

Active Member
Hi all,

We just spent 5 days vacationing with our ebikes and teenagers. It was a lovely and relaxing vacation for all of us.

We went to Anacortes, Washington where we rented a home with a lovely view that served as our launching site for three days of cycling day-trips. This is not my photo, but shows the beauty of the views we experienced throughout our trip.
View attachment 25317
I'm more about "experiencing" than "documenting," so don't have great photos. And, sadly, even the most gorgeous scenes just aren't gorgeous when I photograph them. Sigh!


On our way to Anacortes, we ate at a drive-in burger place, with our four bikes hanging from our Upright Designs rack! What a great way to have a meal when carrying bikes on a rack--no worries about theft! The waiter brought the food right to our car!
View attachment 25313

We spent the first full day cycling around Anacortes--checking out the location of the ferry, the shopping district, and taking in all of the gorgeous vistas and beautiful Washington Park, and eating out along the way. Day 2 was Lopez Island day--we got to skip the ferry lines that cars have to deal with, and head onto the ferry with our bikes. Lopez Island was so beautiful. My photos just didn't do it justice, remotely ... but here is a sunset from our ride home:
View attachment 25314
Day 3 was San Juan Island day--we took the ferry to Friday Harbor. Enjoyed the little town, and more scenic rides around the area.
View attachment 25315 View attachment 25316
Today, we headed home.

Some things we learned ...

Ebikes are wonderful for a vacation--it makes for a more active trip than sight-seeing by car, and what a way to enjoy views, wildlife, and one another. RANGE is an issue with very hilly terrain. We found that we have different riding styles and thus different battery capacities. We were pretty conservative because we didn't want to find ourselves far from home without any charge left, so we limited our range to about 25 miles for each day. I think we could have upped that by about 10 miles, but better safe than sorry, we decided. We kept our speeds pretty slow to better enjoy the beauty of where we were riding. Both teenagers and both of us had such a great time and look forward to doing a similar vacation next summer, maybe going back to Anacortes or maybe staying on one of the San Juan Islands ... hmmmm ....

All in all, a beautiful way to end the summer!
Thank you. Great write-up and pics!
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
Anacortes is beautiful!
That's one heck of a bike rack! Must be almost 250lbs on it.
Glad you had a good trip!
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
@DaveMatthews , the rack worked great--I don't think we had 250lbs on it. We removed the batteries, baskets, and panniers from the bikes, and each of the 26" bikes is 51 pounds without battery and the 24" interceptor weighs 48 pounds. So, that's 202 pounds of bikes, plus a smidge more for my Wald side baskets. Maybe 210 pounds total, at the most? The rack is rated for 200 pounds. I did call the rack manufacturer about putting 4 Pedegos on the rack, and he said "no problem." Of course, that's not a legal representation, but he said he'd feel comfortable because to test the rack they loaded it up with way more than 200 pounds and rode it around on lots of bumpy roads. That was good enough for me.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
One key thing to keep in mind is that non e-bike tourers usually average about 40 miles per day,
Interesting! I can do 40 miles on my bike with one battery, methinks. My son has less range because he cycles differently--I keep mine on a PAS that allows me to constantly pedal. He tends to use a higher PAS and pedal/coast, pedal/coast. Great idea to plug in on rest stops. I never thought to look at picnic shelters. It's something I should keep my eyes open for, because we definitely plan to do a trip like this again and we would have liked to cycle a bit more than we did. I also plan to work with my son on his PAS use strategy to help him get more range. I think he has the stamina to pedal constantly, if I could encourage him to develop that strategy.
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
@DaveMatthews , the rack worked great--I don't think we had 250lbs on it. We removed the batteries, baskets, and panniers from the bikes, and each of the 26" bikes is 51 pounds without battery and the 24" interceptor weighs 48 pounds. So, that's 202 pounds of bikes, plus a smidge more for my Wald side baskets. Maybe 210 pounds total, at the most? The rack is rated for 200 pounds. I did call the rack manufacturer about putting 4 Pedegos on the rack, and he said "no problem." Of course, that's not a legal representation, but he said he'd feel comfortable because to test the rack they loaded it up with way more than 200 pounds and rode it around on lots of bumpy roads. That was good enough for me.
Thanks for the info!
My old trunk mount has a tough time with the ebike and another bike. I'm doubtful that it could handle two ebikes at all, so I've been considering a hitch.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
2" Class 3 hitch required for this rack. It takes two of us to load it, though if you are tall you might be able to do it alone. Watch Court's video review of the rack--I think that the guy whose rack Court reviewed was able to load the rack by himself.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I'd say that the San Juan and Gulf Islands is probably one of the better places to e-bike in North America. The islands are all easy and pleasant to explore by bicycle and in some cases (like Orcas Island) you can often arrange for someone to pick you up at the ferry landing at take you to your lodging, or at least take your stuff so you don't have to carry it.

On Salt Spring Island at each of the ferry landings (all three of them!) there are excellent signs and maps showing bicycle-friendly routes for getting around the island and recommended tours.

Any of San Juan, Orcas, or Salt Spring Islands could be a plausible five or six day bike vacation. There is that much to do and see.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Our vacation was five days, three days including biking, and we left wanting MORE! We're definitely doing a repeat next year. Another bonus was getting to enjoy biking with all four of us together--at home it's two of us here, two of us there, and lots of solo biking. After getting home, we've also gone out all four of us. The teenagers enjoyed the whole-family-biking-thing too! As a mom, I have to say it is a great feeling to see all of my ducks lined up behind me in my rear-view mirror, or lined up in front of me when I'm in the rear position! ❤
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
So, yesterday, cycling around our community running errands with teen daughter, she said, "I really liked our ebiking vacation last year." I said, "wanna do it again?" So, I booked the same house for five days, end of August. The 17 and 14 year olds are super happy about it. Son is asking which islands we missed last year and if we can cycle on them this year. Daughter asked if we can have the same sleeping arrangements as last year. Hey, a good thing bears repeating!

Summer ebike vacation plans, anyone?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I would have tried to stay on Orcatraz or San Juan or Salt Spring Island. You could easily spend a whole five days decently exploring each of them. It would honestly be very challenging to even scratch the surface of what you'd want to explore on any of those islands on a day ride and get back to the ferry dock in time.

Not so much summer plans (summer is for backpacking), but I've got spring and fall plans...
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Heh, I just watched "Dirtbag: the legend of Fred Beckey" and have this uncontrollable urge to go sleep in the dirt...
 

sl_duck

Member
Just to chime in on an old thread, not sure how old your teens are but if you venture up to BC the minimum age for riding an assisted bike is 16. I would be extremely surprised if anyone called you on it though, unless they drew attention by not wearing a helmet. Hopefully the laws will someday catch up with the reality.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks! It used to be here where I live, too. I hope they change the law. By the time we get up there someday, my littler teen will probably be 16!!!
 

Highway550

Member
What a great write-up ! It makes me want to head to the North West ! Thanks for sharing.
Touring - Vacationing on E-Bikes is indeed possible.
 

Ebike4life

New Member
Hi all,

We just spent 5 days vacationing with our ebikes and teenagers. It was a lovely and relaxing vacation for all of us.

We went to Anacortes, Washington where we rented a home with a lovely view that served as our launching site for three days of cycling day-trips. This is not my photo, but shows the beauty of the views we experienced throughout our trip.
View attachment 25317
I'm more about "experiencing" than "documenting," so don't have great photos. And, sadly, even the most gorgeous scenes just aren't gorgeous when I photograph them. Sigh!


On our way to Anacortes, we ate at a drive-in burger place, with our four bikes hanging from our Upright Designs rack! What a great way to have a meal when carrying bikes on a rack--no worries about theft! The waiter brought the food right to our car!
View attachment 25313

We spent the first full day cycling around Anacortes--checking out the location of the ferry, the shopping district, and taking in all of the gorgeous vistas and beautiful Washington Park, and eating out along the way. Day 2 was Lopez Island day--we got to skip the ferry lines that cars have to deal with, and head onto the ferry with our bikes. Lopez Island was so beautiful. My photos just didn't do it justice, remotely ... but here is a sunset from our ride home:
View attachment 25314
Day 3 was San Juan Island day--we took the ferry to Friday Harbor. Enjoyed the little town, and more scenic rides around the area.
View attachment 25315 View attachment 25316
Today, we headed home.

Some things we learned ...

Ebikes are wonderful for a vacation--it makes for a more active trip than sight-seeing by car, and what a way to enjoy views, wildlife, and one another. RANGE is an issue with very hilly terrain. We found that we have different riding styles and thus different battery capacities. We were pretty conservative because we didn't want to find ourselves far from home without any charge left, so we limited our range to about 25 miles for each day. I think we could have upped that by about 10 miles, but better safe than sorry, we decided. We kept our speeds pretty slow to better enjoy the beauty of where we were riding. Both teenagers and both of us had such a great time and look forward to doing a similar vacation next summer, maybe going back to Anacortes or maybe staying on one of the San Juan Islands ... hmmmm ....

All in all, a beautiful way to end the summer!
I am looking forward to adventures like these!!