Bike Virginia East Bound Review

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION

So following a few days in the Outerbanks with friends, we cruised back through the Bike Virginia tour for a long weekend of cycling.  This year’s event was titled East Bound and focused on cycling in the Chesterfield and Williamsburg areas of VA with the first few nights of camping starting at the Pocahontas State Park.  We registered for the weekend event starting on Friday and ending Sunday, however there was a full week option with a second camping area available for those individuals looking for some additional miles.

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Sprinter Van – Camping

We rolled into camp around 2pm on Friday, just late enough to not get a group ride in, but with plenty of time to get signed in and find our campsite.  With the Sprinter, life is good… We popped out the awning, opened up our REI camp chairs, and unloaded our bikes so we could go checkout the festivities.

 

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Big Dummy

HQ, as the Bike Virginia hosts call the main meeting site, was a virtual tent city packed full of cyclist claiming real-estate and finding a parking spot for their bikes.  There were a few venders on site, a beer truck and a swag tent selling all kinds of Bike Virginia jerseys at a great deal.  We snagged up a couple of silicone pint glasses for use in the Sprinter.  The dinner served on site was a catered in Lasagna meal and boy did it hit the spot.

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Tent City
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“Puppy”

 

After dinner we biked back to the Sprinter and focused on chasing fireflies with our 2 year old.  I really enjoy how having a toddler in your life puts the excitement back into things we’ve long forgotten were fun.


Once we got our little one down for the night, Sarah and I focused on drinking some red wine, watching the fire and talking about life.  The next day we would have 65 miles of pure cycling bliss in front of us, so we hit the sack early.

 

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Wine & Big Dummy

An early morning start was in order for Saturday based on the 65 miles of cycling ahead of us.  We don’t exactly set any land speed records on our Salsa Vaya and Surly Big Dummy (with toddler attachment), although we do average about 12-13 mph over the day.

 

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GO-GO-GO

The morning went well with cyclists everywhere!  People were excited to be starting the day and everybody was enamored with our little 2 year old who was ringing her bell over and over.  The route was an awesome rolling country atmosphere with no significant hills for the first part of the morning.

 

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Eating an Apple

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The first aid station came up around the 13 mile mark at a local horse stable.  There were plenty of snacks and liquids available for a quick replenishment.  Our little girl ran around and said hello to EVERYONE to include the horses.  This was just the beginning of her making friends on the trip.

 

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First Stop

By the second aid station, people would cycle past us and know our daughters name!  She was constantly receiving compliments and greetings from fellow cyclists.

 

The day was filled with nice rolling hills all day through the Virginia countryside with minimal traffic.  At about the 50-mile point a couple of things happened…. We started getting tired and the hills started getting steeper.  None of the hills were very long, but some of them got pretty serious for short durations.

 

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Sleeping on the Big Dummy
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Second Stop on Day 1

At about mile 62 we were on the home stretch, when we noticed an ice cream shop!  As a habit, we try not to pass up on a tasty treat during a hot humid ride and today was no different.  We stopped for an ice cream and lemonade, making the last few miles to camp very easy.

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Ice Cream Stop

Once we had taken advantage of the showers at our awesome campground, we decided an evening on the town in our favorite neighborhood, Carytown Virginia would make for a perfect ending to an awesome day of biking.

 

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How NOT to lock up your bike – Carytown, RVA

Carytown has a bunch of cool restaurants and shops on the main street for hours of walking around, but because we are routinely in the area, we went direct to one of our favorites called the Burger Bach.

 

The Burger Bach is a “New Zealand inspired gastro pub” and serves some AWESOME burgers only to be rivaled by the beer selection.  Sarah and I both decided to do the noble thing and each had a burger and a beer to cap off the day.

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Burger Bach

A short 25 mile day was on the agenda for Sunday.  There were longer options, but after our 65 miles the day before and a need to get home, we decided a short day was the best option.

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Beautiful Country

Many of our acquaintances from the day before cycled by and said hello to us and mentioned how awesome if was we were introducing our daughter to cycling so early.  The ride was pretty easy compared to Saturday ending with just a few sprinkles of rain as we entered the campground.

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Sunday’s Rest Stop #1

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The Bike Virginia event was a fun tour, with tons of awesome people.  There were bikes of all types, from crazy fast folks on tri-bikes to recumbents, tandems and even a family on a Surly Big Dummy with a toddler seat (Adventure Family in Motion).  We had the opportunity to speak with a TON of people about our family cycling history and how we came to utilize the Big Dummy with a Yepp seat installed.  I hope we inspired at least one other cyclist to consider bringing their family on the next ride vs leaving them at home!

Did you get to enjoy Bike Virginia this year? Share your stories or a link to your writ sup with us! We would love to hear about it!

 

Don’t forget to check out our MUST HAVE kids cycling gear!

 

Fat Tire Bike

Salsa Fat Bike

I purchased a Salsa Mukluk this summer after a ton of deliberation on what fat tire bike I wanted and what I wanted to accomplish on it. Denver has received a ton of snow this winter, providing an awesome opportunity to finally get the bike in the snow.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a fat bike in the snow and have picked up a few tips that might be useful to a few of you out there who are new to the game.

Fat Bike selfie

Some things to ponder as a new guy to riding in the snow:

1. It’s hard, but incredibly fun:  I made the unrealistic assumption that because my bike tires were now 3.7 inches wide, that I would just float over all the snow, no matter how deep or fluffy it was.  This assumption is INCORRECT.  While the tires do perform better than normal mountain bikes tires, it’s still very difficult to ride in deep ungroomed snow.  The speed at which you travel tends to be slower, making balancing more difficult and the inevitable fall all the more frustrating.

Fat Tire Bike Salsa Fat Tire Bike

2. Warm, waterproof boots are essential:  I’m currently using flat pedals on my fatbike during the winter vs clipless pedals.  I do this for multiple reasons, two of them being the ability to keep my feet warmer in real boots instead of bike shoes with booties over them and the speed I can get off the bike when the slow fall happens because of deep snow.  The extra time it would take to unclip while riding in the snow is not worth the risk of ending up face down in the snow.

Flat Pedals

Flat Pedals

3. Fenders on the bike will drastically reduce the amount of cold water, mud and snow that get sprayed up your backside:  I’m normally not a fender kind of guy on my bikes, but with a fatbike and winter riding this is a mandatory upgrade!  A fender on the back, and preferably on the downtube or front tire will mitigate SOME of the mud, grime and water that ends up in your teeth because you are smiling so much.  There is no reason to stop smiling, just add fenders.

Fat Bike Fender

 

Salsa Fat Tire Bike

4.  Bar Mitts are wonderful:  I purchased a pair of Bar Mitts and can’t imagine living without them!  The warmth they provide is very welcome on days that are super cold.  I wear a light pair of gloves in them and can stay warm on the coldest of rides.  The Bar Mitts keep the wind and cold out and the heat in, perfect for a nice ride in the snow.

MukLuk Fat tire bike

I’m REALLY enjoying my fatbike this winter.  It’s provided me a new avenue to cycle in the cold and a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the beautiful mountains.  Fatbikes are no longer just for the summer!

Do you have a fat bike yet? Which one are you considering? Let us know if you have questions on which one would be best for you!

Look Mom No Training Wheels – Isla Bikes

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We are a cycling family!

When my wife and I first found out we were having a baby, my mind immediately starting running through ideas of how we were going to keep riding our bikes. Three years later and my little girl is now riding her own bike! That’s right, at three years old; she is riding a pedal bike without training wheels.

Kids Bikes

Isla Bikes

Kids Bikes

So to say that we take our cycling gear seriously is a drastic understatement. Our bikes are prize possessions that take us on all kinds of varying adventures. When our daughter was just able to walk, we presented her with a push/balance bike. Our little dare devil spent about two years off and on with the push bike, and within the last six months REALLY started enjoying it. She started rolling around on local pump tracks with it and taking it to the park on every trip that she could. To us, it was obvious that her balance was more than sufficient to step up to a pedal bike, but what brand?

girls Bikes

girls bikes

As I stated earlier, we are SERIOUS about our bikes. So when I started shopping for my daughter’s first bike, I spent a ton of hours both at local bike stores and online reviewing what makes a good kids bike.

What I found out after hours of reading was that the fit of the bike is just as important to our little riders as it is to us.

So getting a bike that has the proper balanced geometry is critical. What this means is that the bike isn’t just shrunk, it’s appropriately sized to allow our kids the ability to balance and properly pedal. I had all but made my final decision to purchase an Isla CNOC 14 when a buddy of mine who works at a bike store called me randomly and started raving about how well built these Isla bikes were. That was all it took for us. We contacted Isla and ordered up a bike for Christmas delivery.

toddler bikes

The ordering process was very simple. We went over a few questions regarding our daughter’s height and inseam to make sure the sizing would work and we were off and running. We added the fenders to the order because #1 they look awesome and #2 they are nice for keeping the water down during snow melt here in the Denver area.

toddler bikes

The fenders lead me into my first compliment for this bike. How many kids bikes do you know that are well designed enough to actually have quality fenders as an option? These fenders are both functional and stylish. They immediately make you realize how well thought out this bike is. The fenders are firmly attached and hug the tires just enough to stay out of the way during the inevitable crash.

kids bikes

Another feature that we’ve been impressed with is the braking system. The Isla CNOC 14 has both a rear coaster brake and a hand front brake. Initially I thought it would be a while before our daughter figured out how to use the handbrake, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within a couple of rides around a parking lot she had figured out how useful the front brake was for slowing down and getting her feet on the ground before stopping. The brakes are smooth and function very well. I anticipate that maintaining them will be a breeze.

Toddler bikes
Happy Dance!

The folks at Isla have been making bikes long enough now to have come up with some really creative safety features for first time riders. One of these features we liked was the enclosed chain guard.   The free-floating chain guard keeps our little girl from finding a way to get her clothes, hands, hair, socks or any other items that don’t belong wedged into the chain. For a parent, this is incredibly comforting and helps you focus on teaching your child to ride the bike vs not damaging themselves.

girls bikes

Finally I would say that the adjustability of the bike is very well thought out.

The seat can be lowered significantly and the handlebars can be moved around to accommodate all different sizes of munchkins. It’s nice to know that this bike will be able to grow with her for a little while.

toddler bikes

Our experience with Isla bikes has been superior to all expectations. They are producing well-built kids bikes that have quality components and are built with tough falls and learning in mind. Our little girl is riding a pedal bike at three years old! She is totally enjoying the experience and we are excited to have found her a bike of this caliber to learn on. Thanks Isla bikes for making an amazing bike for our little cyclist.

girls bikes

 

Mountain Biking in Fruita, CO for Thanksgiving

 

If you’ve followed us for any significant amount of time, you’ll notice that we don’t let stereotypical holidays drive what we do with our down time. We’ve spent Christmas in Nicaragua and last year we spent Thanksgiving in Florida on the beach. While we like to eat ourselves into a sleeping coma as much as the next person, we’ve adopted the habit of NOT spending all the time and effort to cook up a Thanksgiving feast and have instead chosen to eat out for the holiday.

 

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So this year, when selecting a cool place to spend our Thanksgiving vacation, we made sure there was a solid all you can eat buffet nearby! After considering a multitude of locations to spend our time, the desert, single track and hometown environment of Fruita, CO shot to the top of the list.   So we loaded up in the Dodge Sprinter with four bikes, three people, and lots of beer for a road trip out west.

 

If you’ve never been to Fruita, you need to stop what you are doing right now and load up your mountain bikes for some epic single track. Upon arrival to the area, we ripped through town and headed straight to a section called the “Book Cliff Area” out on Road 18. We crashed out at the camping area and started early the next morning. My wife and I both took our fatbikes for this adventure and a Surly Big Dummy with a Yepp seat for some additional gravel grinding and super chill single track with the toddler on the back. After a morning cup of coffee and a stunning view of the sunrise, I took off to ride Prime Cut and Joe’s Ridge.

 

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We spent the entire day alternating chasing our little girl on her Strider and individually knocking down all the trails in the Book Cliff area, to include Kessel Run, PBR, Chuttes & Ladders, Vegetarian and Down Uppity. The views from these trails are spectacular and the super narrow and swoopy single track is what this area is renowned for.

 

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Although the mountain biking played a major part of this weekend, you can’t spend a good Thanksgiving without friends and family. So we packed up and headed to a house we rented with a group of our friends in downtown Fruita. The house we rented off VRBO was the perfect size and location. Our friends arrived in town excited to rent bikes (they had never mountain biked before) and see what all the hype was about. The folks at Over The Edge Sports in Fruita hooked them up with a few super nice full suspension Trek bikes that spoiled our new riding companions.

 

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Riding the excited wave of renting these new bikes, we went out to test the new riders’ skills on Rustler’s Loop at the Kokopelli trail area. We plopped our daughter on the back of the Surly Big Dummy in her Yepp seat and took off for an easy introductory ride. The views encountered on this trail cannot be properly described or captured by a camera. The trail is perfect for beginners or folks looking for a nice easy 3.6-mile ride. We had a blast, finishing just before sunset.

 

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True to our style, we started Thanksgiving morning with some miles on the mountain bikes back out at the Book Cliff area. The wife and I took turns ripping down trails with our friends and hanging out with our 3 year old. To my surprise, our daughter was really tearing up the trails on her Strider.   She constantly yells out “who doesn’t love single track!” I think Santa is going to bring her an Isla bike this year for Christmas.

 

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So it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without TONS of food and afternoon naps, so don’t worry, we didn’t completely forget about that obligation. After getting our fill of miles on the bikes, we loaded up and headed to “The Feedlot” in Fruita for some fantastic grub. After much deserved afternoon naps, we spent the evening playing games, having a few beers and exaggerating our epic cycling prowess.

 

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The next day we woke up to SNOW in Fruita! It’s ok, we had knocked down some serious miles already and needed to drive over the Colorado Monument into Grand Junction anyways. After a relaxing day we rolled by the Copper Club brewery in Fruita on the Surly Big Dummy and snagged up a few growlers of beer for the evening. What a cool brewery! They have some great beers and a very down-home atmosphere. Riding the Big Dummy with beer in the bags always brings a smile to my face, even in cold sleet.

 

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What a great few days with friends in a really cool area. Fruita Colorado should be on your shortlist of adventure towns to hit. Drop in on The Edge Sports for info/guidebooks on the area, tear up some single track and then head back over to the Copper Club for a beer to chat about your endeavors!

 

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Strider Bike – Strider Life

strider bikeWhen our little girl was 20 months old Santa brought her a Strider bike. You know the little tiny bike that doesn’t have any pedals. Where the kid just sits on the seat and “strides” along pushing their little feet while the bikes coast down the sidewalk. All the while they are learning how to balance. Amazing right!?

strider bike

Well she didn’t quiet take to it like we had hoped she would. She would walk over it and not sit on the seat. She would look at it and tip it over. Needless to say we were pretty discouraged by her lack of interest in this bike.

Especially since we bike as a family ALL THE TIME!

strider bike

xmas strider

So this past October we loaded her Strider Bike up in the Sprinter and headed to Vail, CO. (I received a Pugsly Fat Tire Bike for my birthday and we were on our way to pick it up!!) With 2 fat tire bikes and a push bike in the adventure van we headed to Frisco Bike Park. The Perfect Pump Track for our little girl to get some practice on!

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We took turns spending time with her while the other got to ride their respective fat bike. She did alright since she had hardly been on the push bike in nearly 2 years. We posted this video of her on Instagram. We got a comment that her seat was too high. So we took the friendly advice and lowered it….low and behold it made a WORLD of difference.

strider bike

Now our little dare devil is concurring all types of trails, skate parks and pump tracks. She LOVES single track and yells out “WHO DOESN’T LOVE SINGLE TRACK?!” while she is bombing down the trail!

strider bike

Its hard to keep her off the bike now.

We ride it nearly every day including trips to the mailbox and around the block in the snow.

This year if she is good Santa may bring her a pedal bike… we will see.

strider bike

strider bike

 

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Rails to Trails with your Family

Rail to Trails

Have you ever been interested in a rails to trails with your family? This summer we completed the midsection of the Katy Trail in Missouri.

 

We only had 3 days of vacation time so we chose the most scenic section and dominated it!

 

We started with an incomplete train ride (a train derailment up the line led to a 5 hour late bus ride). The delay caused us to arrive into our starting point at midnight. MUCH later then we had anticipated. Plus with a toddler who was anxious to ride a train (let down #1) and 5 hours past her bedtime (let down #2) we were doomed for disaster.

Waiting for the bus
Waiting for the bus

When we arrived in Sedalia at midnight, we unloaded the bikes, dawned our helmets and were about to set out on the 1/2 mile ride to our hotel when we noticed the toddler had one shoe on. She has fallen asleep on the bus ride and when I picked her up to disembark I must have knocked it off. This wouldn’t have been a huge deal if we had another pair of shoes for her.

One Shoe

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Day 1 started with a quick stop at the local Piggly Wiggly and then off to the trail head! Before we even stout on the trail we encountered snake #1 (of 10 on the whole trip).

Notice the socks....
Notice the socks….

We were under the impression that our first day on the trail would be long but steady. Not too grueling but mostly open and sunny. Half of this was true. It was HOT and SUNNY. Only a little shade cover but actually 200 foot decent, although it felt like we were headed uphill the whole way.

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After 50+ miles we stopped at the Katy Trail Bed and Breakfast in Rochefort, Missouri. The sleepy little town was very quiet at 430pm. After showers and some relaxing time in the AC, we headed out into “town” and found an AMAZING foode. Abigail’s Restaurant was perfect! locally grown organic food was perfectly made. They have different meals each day and the menu is on a whiteboard they bring to your table. It was a divine meal! Perfect ending to the first day!

Katy Trail Bed and Breakfast
Katy Trail Bed and Breakfast
Abigails
Abigails
Abigails
Abigails

Loose Nuts Cycles

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I’ve been sitting here pondering (over a nice cold beer) what exact thing that made me REALLY dig Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta GA.  This weekend we had the opportunity to visit the guys at the shop and finally get to see what it was all about.

The Adventure Starts Here
The Adventure Starts Here
Bike Shop
Bike Shop
Bottle Openers
Bottle Openers

Both Chris and Tyler were extremely down to earth and welcoming upon our arrival.  We travel with a two year old, so our focus and conversations can kind of bounce around based on what she has decided to climb on, hide under or get into.

Loose Nuts Cycles
Loose Nuts Cycles
Chris - Loose Nuts Cycles
Chris – Loose Nuts Cycles
#LNCBTEAM
#LNCBTEAM
We work well together!
We work well together!

We toured the super cool shop, housed in an old movie theater and drooled on all the various Salsa and Surly bikes they had in stock.  I find choosing one model from either of these brands crazy difficult based on all of the possibilities and enjoyed talking about the characteristics of each with Tyler, who encouraged us to come out for the demo day in November.

Brooks Saddle, Belgian Beer corks, and MORE COWBELL!
Brooks Saddle, Belgian Beer corks, and MORE COWBELL!
Forks, Forks and MORE Forks
Forks, Forks and MORE Forks
More Bikes!
More Bikes!

The shop has a personality that makes you just want to hang out and plan your next crazy cycling expedition.  Loose Nuts Cycles is more than just a place to get your bike worked on or snag the latest Surly or Salsa creation.  Loose Nuts Cycles is about having a beer, finding a bike that makes you smile and challenging yourself to RIDE that bike.

Rhys May Jewelry
Rhys May Jewelry
Salsa - Adventure Bike Bike
Salsa – Adventure Bike Bike

We look forward to dropping back by the shop and sharing our adventures in the future and hearing about all of yours!  Hope to see you there.

11

On the Road in an Hour!

The other weekend we had NO PLANS for the two precious days we get a week to spend as a family doing what WE want.

So over our first morning cup of coffee we started throwing out a few ideas. We settled on heading for the ocean. The critical piece to being able to pull off this trip on such short notice was our ability to quickly get on the road in an hour.

Adventure Family in Motion
On the road in 1 hour, Can you do it?

 

In an effort to see you get out more often on family adventures we’ve compiled a quick list of tips that have allowed us the luxury of just picking up and hitting the road at a moments notice!

 

1. You don’t need all of the things you think you do

If it’s a weekend trip, take it easy on the clothing, food, books, beer, computers, and games. Try to stick with just what you need, this will save time packing (and unpacking), not to mention space in your car.

                       a. Ladies: Think light… Do you really need your hair dryer, straightener, full-size shampoo and conditioner, nail polish, and cosmetic bag the size of a suitcase? Have a small (size of a “clutch”) travel toiletries bag always packed.

2. Have you gear organized.

We keep all our camera gear ready to go and have the van stocked with regularly needed items (baby wipes, trash bags, water bottles, phone chargers and camp chairs).

a. If camping, have your stuff all prepped in a large Tupperware, insuring you don’t forget things.

b. For cycling, keep all your helmets, shoes and bike accessories in the same place. Have your bikes already prepped with tire repair kits and water bottles.

 

3. Plan while on the road.

We rarely have the full trip planned before we depart. The majority of lodging, restaurant, or local attractions can all be researched WHILE you are driving (by the passenger of course) via a smart phone and adds an element of excitement to your voyage. Don’t be paralyzed at home planning the trip.

We hope these few simple tips lead to more adventures on the road for you and your family.

Please share with us your tips and recent adventures!

 

 

 

Lost – is this really a bad thing?

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com

 

WWW.ADVENTUREFAMILYINMOTION.COM
LOST – IS THIS REALLY A BAD THING?

I spend a great deal of my time lost… I’m directionally challenged, as my wife likes to call it.  But like many successful relationships having complementary skills makes a better team.  Sarah is blessed with the sense of direction in our relationship.

 

Once, and only once… Sarah made the mistake of allowing me to navigate during one of our adventure races. Needless to say, we got lost.

 

I make up for my lack of navigational skills by having a motor that doesn’t stop and a seriously warped sense of what I call “fun”.  A few weeks ago I was out on a very rare solo bike trip on my Surly Big Dummy.  I had used the fancy “map my ride” app to draw up a nice 30-mile loop starting from my doorstep and heading out through the country (we just moved to a new state the week before so I was completely unfamiliar with the area).

 

About 5 miles into the ride I started really enjoying the scenery and was taking in all of the new sites, distracting me from the only item keeping me from cycling in the totally wrong direction and ending up in Mexico (my iPhone).  Before I knew it, I had missed my turn and was down the road.  This is not new for me!  My wife would laugh and smile if you told her I got lost going anywhere.

When faced with the question of turning around or taking a new path, I had to take some time and remember what the goal for the day was.  I simply wanted to get out and ride my bike.  I had no time constraints or further obligations.  It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I wasn’t lost; I was doing exactly what I set out to do… Explore the area on my bike.  I had self-imposed a route on myself that was randomly selected.

 

Once I was freed from the bonds of a set distance, route and time I really started enjoying the new surroundings.  While on this free for all journey I came across Pike Road (a town also a road) and remembered someone had told me a CrossFit gym was in this area and had a really impressive facility/coaches.  Without any assistance from my mobile navigation aid I stumbled upon the Pike Road Crossfit and have since locked in a membership and started training at the gym.

 

At one point in my cycling journey I was a go-getter triathlete, where every workout was important to me and distances/speed were recorded for evaluation.  I don’t race like that anymore and sometimes need a reminder that I’m on my bike for more than just a workout.  I’m out to take in the world around me from my bike.  I realized on this day that my “curse” of being perpetually lost is my blessing.  It helps me slow down and refocus on what is important.

 

I challenge you to take some time and just enjoy the ride.  Any examples of when your wrong turn ended up being a new adventure?

Last minute Camping!

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Our weekend started early on Saturday morning! We packed the Sprinter with a weekend full of gear and headed out to the Blue Ridge Mountains for some last minute camping. First stop, Crossfit Charlottesville to watch a few fellow athletes and coaches compete in the Super Fit Games Charlottesville


We arrived at the crossfit box at noon and under a hot direct sun! Our team had an easy-up which provided ample shade. The Husband and I rotated between taking photos of the our teammates in the competition and watching the little one. She did a good job of sitting in her stroller for all of about 30 minutes.

 

Daddy and his little girl on the YBike

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Ardent Crossfit at Superfit Charlottesville

 

By this time, the three of us were ready to move. Donald let he ride her the YBIKE  around the area and play ball with the other kids. They even ‘raced’ each other up and down the drive-way!

 

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Racing

After about 2 hours of this we called it quits. We said our good-byes and headed to South Street Brewery in downtown Charlottesville for a flight of beer and lunch!

 

When we had our fill of food, we pointed the Sprinter to the west and headed out! Skyline Drive, in the Shenandoah Mountains was our destination.  We jumped on at the southern entrance. There are only 4 places of entry on the 105 mile road.

 

Loft Mountain campgrounds was our point of interest. Located at mile marker 74.5 on Skyline Drive we were approximately 30 miles away. A nice campground with plenty of space between each site.

 

Loft Mountain camp ground
Loft Mountain camp ground

 

We decided to take a nice “easy” 20 mile bike ride at the request of daddy.  We didn’t exactly pay attention to the HUGE 2 mile accent we took to the TOP of Loft Mountain to the camp ground. But quickly realized it when we sped to the bottom.

 

OUCH.

 

We rode up skyline drive and stopped at a few beautiful overlooks.

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Overlook on Skyline Drive

 

When we decided to head back to the campground we took a deep breath and went for it. We both dropped down to our triples and peddled hard. What took us 5 minutes to descend, it took us 25 minutes to ascend.

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
20 mile ride

 

When we got back to camp it took a while to catch our breath and we realized we didn’t stop for fire wood on the way back up. The camp store was 3/4 a mile down the hill…OOPS. Time to climb again. We rode the big dummy down to the camp store and arrived at exactly 8:02. The camp store closed at 8pm. While we wallowed in irritation, we chatted with another camper. He had a dog with him and was waiting for his wife. As we talked, the camp store manager showed up and said he could give us a bundle of wood. But we needed cash. Of course we didn’t bring cash (another oops).

 

To our surprise the nice man we chatted with offered to buy the bundle of wood for us! We couldn’t allow him to do that of course, and the camp store manager said we could come back in the morning and pay for it. This encounter reminded us you should always be nice to people. You never know who you will run into!

 

We hauled the bundle of wood up the hill … slowly.

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Bundle of Wood in Big Dummy

 

We made some dinner and helped the little one catch “tinker bells” (fireflies). I then opened a few glow sticks for her and she LOVED IT! She ran around the camp circle until well past her bed time.

 

To our surprise we all slept until well past 8am! We never sleep that late in the Sprinter! We cleaned up and headed to the bottom of the hill to the camp store! A nice breakfast of eggs and toast with some BAD coffee. I love my coffee and this place had HORRIBLE coffee. Cream and sugar couldn’t even make it better.

 

We headed North on Skyline Drive to the next entrance/exit point at Swift Run Gap. We took the ‘back way’ home avoiding ALL 95 traffic. This is the way we normally go. Virginia is great except for the horrid humidity and the ridiculous traffic!

 

Do you want to spend some time on Skyline Drive? Just follow these few simple steps!

1. Download the map of Skyline Drive  HERE.

2. The camp ground will reserve a camp sites if you call ahead, but they leave a handful for walk-ins.

3. Make sure to bring some cold beer, smores and good camp stories!

And don’t forget to share your trip with us! We would love to hear all about it!