Tag Archives: suffering

Family Bike Touring: Character Building on Wheels

Yesterday I began a post about our summer bike tour. As the post progressed, I realized it was becoming bigger than just recounting our trip. It was more about the lessons we all learned. As parents, Tim and I want to teach our kids about character and grit, and bike touring is a great way to accomplish that.

(continued)

…How many of the character traits have I covered so far?

Riding into townWith two kids along for the ride, bike touring is even more challenging. Because bike touring involves some suffering and grit and our modern-day, middle-class kids aren’t accustomed to that.

Karen Fierst, a teacher who oversaw the character program  at Riverdale, reflected in the aforementioned NYT piece:

“Our kids don’t put up with a lot of suffering. They don’t have a threshold for it. They’re protected against it quite a bit. And when they do get uncomfortable, we hear from their parents. We try to talk to parents about having to sort of make it O.K. for there to be challenge, because that’s where learning happens.”

Yes! I completely agree. Suffering is OK, it’s where learning happens. Continue reading