Bike Virginia East Bound Review

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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
DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
“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.

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Eating an Apple

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION

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
DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
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.

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
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!

 

Fuso 4×4 Custom Camper

Fuso 4x4 Custom Camper

Where do I begin… ugh…we have been MIA for a LONG time due to the fact that we got a NEW toy. We have been doing nothing but exploring the western side of the United States. Without further ado we are proud to introduce to you…(wait for it)…..Sally Ross! She is a Fuso 4×4 Custom Camper.

Check out this video of the first few adventures we had with her.

She is a fully self contained, solar powered, 4×4 epic adventure mobile! Best of all has a full kitchen and bathroom, 2 beds and ample amounts of storage.
 Fuso 4x4 Custom Camper
Naturally we let our 4 year old name her and Sally Ross was the winner!
 http://phoenixpopup.com
We have spent more time in Sally Ross then we had in the Urban Assault Van. Traveling from Colorado to Texas to Idaho and all the states in between!
 Estes Park 170
We picked this beauty up at Phoenix Pop-Up Custom Campers here in Colorado.
As a result of this amazing new toy in our life, we have made a few moves in downsizing our life. We have moved into a smaller home, downsized a few bikes, and purged many unused/unneeded items. Furthermore giving us the ability to spend our weekends with Sally Ross and our week days at home.
 Fuso 4x4 Custom Camper
Make sure to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter for the latest and greatest pictures of our recent Fuso 4×4 Custom Camper adventures.

Ringing the Bell – Salvation Army style!

 

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How to teach empathy and compassion to a toddler

 

Raising a kid is hard. I’m sure it has always been difficult, but with iPhones, electronic babysitters and more TV shows than one kid can handle, its hard to find balance.  How do you teach a toddler empathy or compassion … by ringing the bell – Salvation Army style!

AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Ringing the Bell

 

As parents we have been wanting to introduce our little one to community service. I saw a local volunteer opportunity and immediately signed us up.  One hour in a heated ‘foyer’ of a big box store handing out candy and ringing a bell…PERFECT!

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Ringing the Bell

 

We each dawned our red aprons, filled our pockets with candies and started our shift. Our little 2 year old extrovert stole the show!   She rang her bell and handed out candy to everyone.

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Ringing the Bell

 

After about 20 minutes she was exhausted. She sat on her little wooden stool and sang Christmas carols to people who donated.

 

At 2 years old she didn’t understand why we were there, the significance of what we were doing or who the donations will benefit, but she does learn from example. She smiled, sang songs and rang the bell that we have all come to recognize during the holiday season. Even at 2 years old she knows what its like to spread joy and love to others. That is what we wanted to teach our daughter.

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
How to teach empathy and compassion to a toddler

 

Go Ape Adventure Giveaway

We recently discovered an awesome family adventure course called Go Ape. We have 2 gift certificates to giveaway for 2 lucky winners! With the holidays just around the corner, this would be a great git for an adventurous family!

Gift Certificate Image

Go Ape gift certificates are the perfect gift for an outdoor lover! Our forest adventures are the perfect gift experience for any special day, whether it be a loved one on Valentines or a treat for a hairy primate on their birthday. They also make a great stocking stuffer!

 

A Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course is an outdoor experience that provides participants 2-3 hours of outdoor fun and exercise.  The result is spectacular. The course allows participants to explore the park from an otherwise unobtainable vantage point while navigating through the treetops using zip lines, obstacles and tarzan swings.

 

We start by equipping participants with harnesses, pulleys and carabiners, give them a 30 minute safety briefing and training and let them loose into the forest canopy, free to fly on zip lines, swing through the trees, and observe the surroundings. Of course, instructors are always on hand, regularly patrolling the forests.  The Go Ape Treetop Adventure course gets the adrenalin pumping, gets people out of their comfort zones and above all, it’s a great outdoor activity for families, friends, and corporate groups.

 

We currently have seven locations: Rockville, MD, Bear, DE, Williamsburg, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, St. Louis, MO, Indianapolis, IN, and North Myrtle Beach, SC with more locations opening up in 2015! To find out more information about Go Ape! visit us online at https://goape.com/gift-certificates .

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Awesome Non-Traditinals Traditions

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We are a family of awesome non-traditional traditions. We love traditions but not in the sense that most people think of tradition.

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Florida

 

For example, we had two weddings. The first one was just the two of us, our two dogs and an officiant at a cabin on the hillside at sunrise.  Our little ones first birthday was a big “todo”, but instead of pony rides and marry-go-rounds, we opted for an open tab at our favorite local brewery and celebrated with all our closest friends.

 

This Thanksgiving we decided since we are currently living in the south and only a few hours from the coast, we would ride our bikes along the Gulf of Mexico over the holiday.

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida
www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida

 

Nearly every Thanksgiving, that we have been in the states, has been celebrated with family and friends. Lots of food, overstuffed bellies, naps and games. This year the Adventure Van was calling our name! We spent 2 nights and 3 days on the road in Florida.

 

Our first stop was Pensacola, FL. With no agenda but to ride our bikes and enjoy the weather, we didn’t make any reservations. Upon arriving at camp after dark, we set up shop and had the van ready for sleeping in no time.

 

The morning came a little early. We woke to the sound of waves and a bright sun shining on the van. While the hubby took the little one to the beach, I organized the van and had a glorious morning coffee out of my favorite silipint. (NOTE: we love these glasses. Its great for cold beer and does NOT get hot with hot coffee! Stay tuned for Adventure Family In Motion Sili-Pints coming soon!)

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Sili-Pint Florida
www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida

 

We strolled the beach and collected seashells, enjoyed the morning breeze and then set out for a quick ride around camp. Come to find out that Thanksgiving is a big camping holiday in the south.  We thought a round of disc golf was in order but we don’t own discs so we were going to rent them…but the place was closed.  The next option, pack up and head east!

 

We explored historic Pensacola on bike! Neat area with a quaint main street that offered a overabundance of restaurants, bars, and shops. The street ends at the water where many marinas house huge yachts. We let the toddler do her thing while we enjoyed the beautiful day. The pigeons were out in masses and would crowd around all the kids looking for a handout.

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida
www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida

 

We had lunch at an awesome build-your-own burger joint that features spiked milkshakes and craft beer called the Tin Cow! (Just what the mommy needed!)

 

After lunch it was time to head to Pensacola Beach (over a mile long bridge). It was time for some beach roaming. The little princess LOVES the beach and would spend all day there if she could. The weather was in the low 60s with a brisk wind, but that didn’t stop her! She was elbows deep in the Gulf of Mexico! We spent an hour running in the water, collecting seashells and burying her feet in the sand. When she finally walked back to the van she was a little sugar cookie.

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida
www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida

 

On the west end of the island is Fort Pickens Gulf Island National Seashore. Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay, Florida. Ten concrete gun batteries were built between 1890 and 1940s, each in a response to a particular threat. Now open to the public, visitors can explore the fort at their leisure. Most areas in the fort are open to wander.

 

We drove around the camp ground at Fort Pickens and found a great spot near the restrooms & bike path with plenty of shade! It was also essential not to have a clear view of the beach, since I am certain we would have lost the little one to her own beach roaming.

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida

 

With the evenings coming quicker and quicker lately, we had a campfire up and going in no time. Hotdogs and smores’ while curled up next to a fire pit is ideal camping and a perfect Thanksgiving eve!

 

The next morning was good ol’ Thanksgiving Day! The weather was great and we all slept till 8! First thing was first…a bike ride! We took the bike path to the Fort and explored the old bunkers.

 

By the time we retired to camp it was time to clean up and move out. A few laps around running camp with the toddler is always essential; one parent preps the van for departure the other runs laps around the camp ground wearing out the toddler.

 

www.AdventureFamilyInMotion.com
Florida

 

Our Thanksgiving feast was a beautiful brunch at Jimmy Buffets hotel Margaritaville. A beautiful buffet spread of two types of cooked turkey, lamb and roast beef along with 2 types of dressing and a plethora of desserts!

 

With full bellies and grateful hearts we loaded up in the Adventure Van and headed home.

My Ultimate Gear Wish List

Ultimate Gear Wish List

With the holiday season upon us, lets take a moment to day dream. If I were to (HYPOTHETICALLY) give you $1,000 to spend on gear for ONLY YOU what would you spend it on? Here is my ultimate gear wish list!

 

So….. my list went a little LOT over my $1,000 hypothetical budget, but oh well. One can dream right!!

What would YOU get for $1,000? Peruse Amazon and let us know what you would put on YOUR wish list!

 

NOTE: I am NOT giving you $1,000 to spend on gear! This is just a nice way to day dream about what you would LOVE to have in your gear arsenal. Enjoy! Spend some time on you today, dreaming of YOUR ultimate gear wish list!

(I have not used all these specific items. I am NOT endorsing them. I have NO OPINION on how they work, how they fit or how they perform. I am merely DREAMING!)

 

Must have gear
Must have gear

Horse Pens 40 Bouldering

Horse Pens 40

Alabama has a renowned bouldering park called Horse Pens 40. North of Birmingham 30 minutes in Steele, AL rests an amazing bouldering park. Complete with RV and primitive camping, hot showers, water and electric hook-ups, a country restaurant and country store.

 

Horse Pens 40
Horse Pens 40

 

Historic Horse Pens 40 (HP40) is run by the “Shultz family and is located atop a mountain surrounded by serenity and clean air. Everyone is encouraged to explore the beautiful trails among the unique and amazing rock formations that give Horse Pens 40 their worldwide fame.” (HP40)

 

HP40 hosts 3 bouldering competitions a year: Chandler Mountain Challenge, HP40 Rocks, Triple Crown Bouldering series. The rock is sand rock and is some of the best “slopers” in bouldering. There are 272 bouldering routes in the park!

 

Climbing
Climbing

 

The weekend we arrived at HP40 they were hosting the CukoRakko Music and Arts Festival! We thought we would just boulder and camp. We almost turned back, but we are SO glad we didn’t!

 

An amazing weekend was had by all! 2 nights of camping, 3 days of exploring and bouldering, great live music and tons of local beer!

reading the maps
Reading the maps

 

We rented a crash pad and a guidebook from the country store. We packed the little ones “rescue pack” and grabbed our climbing shoes. We headed to the rocks after breakfast. It took a minute to navigate the huge park, but once we had our baring, we hit the wall.

 

The little one watched, tried and pretended to have her toys climb as well. She enjoyed her snacks and dug in the dirt; picked flowers and grabbed sticks.

Rescue Pack
Rescue Pack

 

The weather was perfect, even a little chilly but nothing we weren’t prepared for. The concerts at night sang us to sleep, and the morning sun warmed the people doing yoga in the open field.

 

A few food trucks were on site, along with a beer truck complete with multiple taps on the outside of the truck. Hot coffee was served from another vendor, along with roasted corn!

BWclimbing

Our campsite didn’t have access to a fire pit, so there were no smores for us, but we did enjoy the smell of campfires from the other sites near us. We hung our ENO hammock and at night before bed the little one would swing in it with her daddy and look at the stars while rocking to the music.

 

It was a perfect weekend. We are very glad we attended and will definitely be back throughout the year!

 

Stage
Stage

Loose Nuts Cycles

DSC_3464 copy

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!