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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Lost – is this really a bad thing?

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

Outer Banks by Bike – A Family Bike Tour – The FINAL chapter

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Let’s watch the video FIRST this time…

With only another small mile ride ahead of us to Kitty Hawk we decided to jump on our bikes for the 12 mile ride. Before we left Nags Head we backtracked a mile to Sam & Omies for breakfast! Our first real breakfast fuel on the trip!

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Sleeping Beauty

We figured out a great way to get the little one in her Yepp Seat as easy as possible.  She loves the seat but she loves to play more! So when its time to load her up we tell her we are going to look for School Buses. She eagerly runs to her seat and says “Hurry Daddy Hurry!”  … works every time!

 

Once she is in her seat she asks each of us if we are “ready”.

“Are you READY daddy?” — “Are you READY mama?” — “READY! Lets go!

 

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Are you Ready!?

 

Our ride to Kitty Hawk was slow. We had a western wind so it slowed us up a little. We were on sleepy old Hwy 12 with limited traffic but a lot of vacation rentals. We were planning on stopping at a brewery in Kitty Hawk near mile marker 8 (everyone uses mile markers there). But somehow we over shot it and missed it all together.

 

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Jones Loop Bars

 

We stopped into a bike shop and then spent a little more time at the beach. We saw the National Park for the Wright Brothers and road in! We have a National Parks pass and were able to get in for free. We only stopped for the restrooms and didn’t do much sight seeing. The monument sits on top of a tall grassy noel with a hike to the top. Working on a few pair of tired legs we chose not to make the hike.

 

After the exploration of the museum, we headed back down Hwy 12 in search of a cute place to stay for our last night. We found one that said vacant and rode in. But no one was there. I called the number left on the door and no one answered. So we rode on. We got to the end of the road where hwy 12 meets hwy 158. We found a very nice and very expensive Hilton Garden Hotel. They had a room for us with 1 king size bed. up until this point we had been able to put the little angel in her own room or bed or crib of some sort. So a 1 room arrangement wasn’t really up our alley. At the same time the motel we stopped at earlier returned my call! They had a few rooms we could choose from. So we made the 2 mile ride back into the wind.

 

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Family Pic

 

The Beach Haven Motel is a very cute and quiet place! Completely remodeled, they accommodations were excellent! It was close to nap time for the toddler so we tried to put her down in the second room for a short nap. FAIL. She was too excited to play on the beach!

 

So we walked on the beach! We took her sand tools and walked about a mile up and turned around. We ran across a star fish, lots of shells, and she spend a lot of time watching a group of kids boogey boarding.

 

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Playing with her boat
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Daddy what are you doing ?

 

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Silly Daddy
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Watching the waves

We opted for dinner at a sports bar and grille across hwy 158. A simple dinner of seafood and steak rounded the day out nicely!

 

Our last day of our Outer Banks by Bike tour was here. A 53 mile ride from Kitty Hawk to Elizabeth city on the following day and we had finished the trip. We started around 8am and were ready to hit the road. We stopped at Duck Donuts which was across from the Hilton Garden Hotel we stopped at the day before. This was the neatest donut place we had ever seen. They literally make the donuts in front of you and then you pick how you wanted it frosted! We got half a dozen, a coffee and a small milk for the little lady. We downed ALL OF THEM with no help from the 2 year old.

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kisses

 

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Gear

 

Once back on our bikes about 5 miles into the ride we encountered some road construction which resulted in 1 of the 2 bridges being closed. We were expecting to have a large shoulder on a 2 lane, one direction bridge. We road as far down the closed bridge as we could until we met up with some construction workers who told us that they were paving large sections of the bridge and we couldn’t cross.

 

Then we road the .5 mile back to the entrance and proceeded to jump into traffic on the slim shoulder, 2 lane bridge. I had Donald ride in front and I took up the rear. That way the little angel was between us incase something happened. We waited for a nice break in traffic to start the 2 mile ride across the bridge, although the break didn’t last long. Most of the drivers were courteous and waited to pass us until the oncoming traffic was minimal.  But we had a few who were in a hurry and didn’t care about our 3′ biker bubble. Needless to say we took a break on the other side and let our white knuckles return to their normal color before we proceeded.

 

Farmland again. We stopped at a farmers market and purchased a cantaloupe, a banana and some Gatorade. We let the little one run in the freshly mowed grass and she played with her dinosaur in the rock beds.

 

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Snacks!
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Farmers Market

For lunch we stopped at Weeping Radish Butcher and Brewery. A very German feel to the place complete with goats in the front of the building! We got a flight of beers and some schnitzel for lunch.

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Weeping Radish

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Goats!
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Beer Flight

Back on the road to Elizabeth City, we passed the site of the Grave Diggers “birth place” (for lack of better words). For approximately a 1/2 mile we passed museums, an off road track, a mini golf course, and a campsite.

 

With 15 miles left of our trip we stopped a park for the little one. It was brand new and she loved every bit of it!

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Once we were back on the road we spotted a crop duster. It swooped back and forth across the road ahead of us. The little one LOVED it and would call for the “airplane” every time is crossed the road!

 

The last stretch of the ride was tiring. We were sore and ready to be done. We had some headwind. A few hills and a little rain. We were ready for it to end.

 

Looking back we had an amazing time. Every bit was great and our little girl had a wonderful time!

 

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Outer Banks by Bike – A Family Bike Tour Chapter 5

We woke up slowly to a distant sound of the waves crashing on the shore. We had a short 20 mile ride rom Salvo to Nagshead, NC. We had gotten in a great routine of letting our bags explode at night when we arrive in our room, and slowly organizing and repacking before bed. This helps with dirty clothes and misplaced pacifiers. After a few bites of cold pizza and packed bikes, we were off. The 4th day of our Outer Banks by Bike trip has begun!

 

 

We had an AMAZING tailwind which made our 20 mile ride take just about an hour! But we still took our time on the ride. We stopped at the visitor center and explored the beach! The little princess loved it! She assigned us each a shovel from her new tools. And the colors stuck with each of us the rest of the trip!

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Building a sand castle

We crossed paths with a lot of road construction, one long bridge and a cyclist who is traveling from Key West, FL to Oregon SOLO! He is taking 4 months to ride two sides of the country … and to top it off this IS NOT his first time doing this!

Like the previous days we had not had the chance to eat breakfast. So once we strolled into Nagshead we found a cute little coffee shop called Waverider’s Coffee and Deli. We spread out, got breakfast bagels, and coffee’s. We got a recommendation from a local for a place to stay and Donald took the Big Dummy and headed over to make reservations.

 

We scored another quaint little ocean front cottage! 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, a kitchen and a nice living room / dining room area. After unloading the bikes we all changed into flip-flops and grabbed the sand castle building supplies.

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digging with daddy

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searching for shells

It was one of the first times our toddler had a chance to explore the beach on unlimited time! She LOVED IT! She was excited to see the water and hung onto daddy while they ran into the waves. She laughed and laughed!

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After a good hour of beach time we went back for naps! Well needed naps and relaxation were in store for all of us!

The weather was still playing games with us all afternoon. After naps we headed out for dinner. We thought walking was the best answer since the restaurant was only .5 miles away. We chose Owens’ Outer Banks Restaurant. The place was quiet and charming. It reminded us of an antique store with all the oceanic old fixtures. The food was amazing the service was pefect.

 

Halfway through dinner the storm clouds opened up and the rain began. We waited as long as we thought was possible before we headed out for our 1/2 mile run to the cabin. It poured and poured on us! We ran through deep puddles and were thankful for the few cars that passed who slowed down so they wouldn’t soak us more. Our toddler is waterproof! She actually loved it!

When we returned we let the toddler choose the route the next day!

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ACA map Planning

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Outer Banks by Bike – A Family Bike Tour Chapter 4

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With a great night of sleep under our belts we were ready to hit the road by 9am for day 3 of our Outer Banks by Bike tour!  We asked around for the best local breakfast spot on Ocracoke and we headed that way.  As we readied our bikes in the  bike parking corral, a waiter came out to tell us that the power was out and they were legally not allowed to serve us food. Actually the power was out on the whole south island. Yet again we were faced with minimal breakfast at the start of our day.

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lonely quiet road…perfect!

The ride down Hwy 12 was quiet. A two lane road with the ocean on the right and the sound on the left. Sand dunes shielded us form the high winds. We followed a bike bath for the first few miles out of town. It ended just about where the North Carolina Wild Horses were.  According to the website, the wild horses are “descended from Spanish mustangs brought by the earliest European explorers to the Carolina coast, they have tenaciously survived this harsh and unforgiving environment.” 

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Boardwalk next to the wild horses
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cheese!!

After we visited the wild horses we walked across the street to see the ocean. We followed a long boardwalk to the sand. Our daughter found a shell and we sat on the step enjoying the sound of the waves.

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Lets go to the beach!

The ferry ride to Hatteras Island departs every hour on the half hour. We arrived at 1125! Just in time to watch the cars start to drive on, followed by a handful of cyclist. The ferry ride from Ocracoke to Hatteras is free to cyclists. The ride was less then an hour which made it easy to keep the toddler under control.

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Ferry Ride from Ocracoke to Hatteras

Once we arrived on Hatteras Island it was time for lunch and Sonny’s Restaurant was our stop! We each ordered the lunch special with 3 types of fried fish, hushpuppies, and french fries along with a sweet tea! We took a nice break for about 45 minutes and were eager to get back on the bikes. We had about 15 miles left until we reached Buxton, NC our originally planned stop for the night.   The weather report said there were storms coming in around 4pm and there was a tornado watch in effect. So when we reached Buxton we stopped for a coffee to evaluate our hotel options. It was only about 3pm and the weather was great. We had been sprinkled on a little right before we arrived in Buxton, but we weighed our options: A) Stay in Buxton, which meant a 40 mile ride the next day under questionable weather conditions or B) Ride half way to Salvo and cut the miles in half for the next day. We chose option B. We added 20 more miles onto our ride and road to Salvo.

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Fuel stop

We stopped in Avon at the grocery store for water and some baby food. I purchased 2 waters and the little lady decided she HAD TO HAVE ONE. We poured most of the water into our water bottles and gave her what reamained. She carried it for approximately 1 mile then hucked it into traffic. Needless to say I stopped  on the busy part of hwy 12 to fetch it. Some nice samaritan got to it before me and saved me from playing frogger to get it.

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Her OWN water bottle

We pedaled into Salvo around 5pm and stumbled upon the Salvo Inn Motel. A cute little motel with great hosts. The room had two full size beds, and a kitchenette! It was perfect!

 

I sent Donald out to the local convenience store (.5 miles away) for a small container of milk for the little one. He returned with a large jug of milk, ice cream and sandcastle building toys!

 

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What you can carry on a Surly Big Dummy
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What to carry on a Surly Big Dummy

 

Make sure to watch the video!

 

 

Check out the days leading up to chapter 4!

Day 3 — Day 2 —  Day 1

Outer Banks by Bike – A Family Bike Tour Chapter 3

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Waking up on day 3 of our trip, day 2 of our Outer Banks by bike tour … and our  legs were trashed from everything I had done in the past 2 days … 203 squats and 53 miles of biking…OUCH! It hurt to walk to the bikes!

 

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Good Morning! Lets ROLL!

 

A quick round up of our gear and we were off by 9 in the morning. We capitalized on the continental breakfast and woofed down some coffee and sticky buns!

 

The mileage for the day was a causal 48 miles from Plymouth to Ocracoke, NC. The only way to get to Ocracoke is by Ferry, with only 2 departure times a day we were on the road early enough to give ourselves a lot slack time. The clouds came in the night before and they threatened rain most of the ride.

 

After leaving Plymouth, we again discovered we were in farm country. This time we encountered a lot of cross and head winds. Making what should have been a 4 hour bike ride, almost 7 hours (understand that we move slow, take lots of breaks for a 2 year old and just generally enjoy our travel).

 

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All Smiles!

 

About an hour into our ride, our little girl decided she would start singing! We love listening to her belt out words of nothingness combined with a few words from the movie Frozen. When she does this she also uses
hand gestures, clearly she is going to be a star! The problem is she would drop her pacifier without realizing it. Once she did she would say, “Oh No Daddy, dropped nana” at which time we would stop and turn around to go get it. This happened about 3 times. On the 4th time we had some cars pass us before we could turn around to retrieve it. I rode back 1/4 of a mile to look for it and it was gone. I searched for another in ALL the bags we had
and couldn’t find the 3rd one (remember we lost #1 the day before). I brought 3 with us, PLUS a leash to tether it to her so this wouldn’t happen, however she is a ninja and managed to circumvent the leash.

 

The lost pacifier turned the happy toddler into a not so happy little baby. She cried and cried. When we stopped for a quick break to get a snack she said, “Mama, dropped nana!!” and pointed in the direction of the lost pacifier…nearly 8 miles behind us, she hand’t forgotten!

 

At this point Donald distracted her with other activities and food while I tore through every bag we had looking for another one. Only to come up empty handed.

 

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Salsa Vaya

 

After everything was put back in order we headed out again only to be stopped a mile or 2 up the road because it started to rain. When we pulled over my clipped in pedal on my right side stuck and I couldn’t unlock my foot fast enough… First bike crash of the trip! Following over on a bike is never good, but following over on a loaded touring bike is MUCH worse.

 

Around 25 miles into the day was saw a convenience store out in the middle of nowhere. They served lunch, soda and popsicles. We loaded up on everything! It was time for a mood changer! They did not however have
pacifiers. Our little princess spent the time playing with her dinosaur in the rocks and she found statue of a bear that she hugged and hugged! The Adventure Cycling Group caught up to us at this stop and enjoyed a little lunch to. We had a chance to talk with them more and met the guides.

 

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Lunch time bear hugs

 

We were 17 miles from the ferry and a promising town of Swan Quarter, NC population 348. We arrived 2 hours before the ferry and asked a few locals where the nearest grocery story was (still on the hunt for a pacifier). He pointed us in the direction and said, “Its 1/8th of a mile down this road, then turn right and you will see it!” Sounded easy enough. But we have learned early in our cycling lives NOT to trust a person who drives in a car for accurate directions or distances. This proved to be true again. The grocery store was 2 miles down the road. But it was all worth it when we found a single dusty pacifier hidden on a back shelf! With a package of cookies and a new nana in hand we headed back to the ferry!

 

During our grocery store trek, the ACA group passed us and arrived at the Ferry. We got our tickets and sprayed down with bug spray and our little one ran in the flowers! At one point her and I were coming out of the little rest area and she was running down the handicap ramp and lost her footing. She tumbled head first into the pavement. She knocked her head pretty good and broke the skin only slightly. No missing teeth or broken bones. Not even black eye…but a lot of tears!

 

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OUCH!
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Playing before the ferry arrives

 

The Ferry ride was 2.5 hours! Too long for an antsy toddler. We did laps on the deck, and she splashed in the water, but she was bored with that after a while.

 

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All the bikes lined up on the ferry!
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Watching a show on the ferry
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busy baby
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Watching the water on the ferry
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Waiting to dock the boat!
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Looking through the telescope. She calls them her “eyes”
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Dino on the ferry

 

We met up with another cycling tour group called North Carolina Tailwinds. They are a fully supported  group with a sag wagon.

 

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Map of the Outer Banks

 

We arrived in Ocracoke at 7pm and hungry. We got our room at then Anchorage Inn which was right off the ferry. We unloaded, parked our bikes and headed out for food. The town was quaint and cute and CLOSED! It was still the off season and the manager at the hotel had told us of a great seafood place down the road which he swore was open. Not so much. We settled for an outdoor patio at Dajios . We were the ONLY people on the patio so our excited toddler played in the rocks, found bugs and talked to a local duck. We had a few beers and discussed the day.

 

We made it back to the hotel where the ACA group was also staying. We had a few beers and chatted with a few of the guides. What a great trip it had been so far! These trips help us realize how to relax and not stress about the little things.

 

 

To read about day 2 click here.

Outer Banks by Bike – A Family Bike Tour Chapter 1

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION

Our Outer Banks by bike tour around the North Carolina’s Outer Banks was phenomenal! We followed Adventure Cycling Associations maps for the Atlantic Coast and biked the 255 mile loop starting and ending in Elizabeth City, NC.

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Start of the Outer Bank Bicycle tour. Elizabeth City, NC

 

The ACA offers a great guided tour of the exact route we took, and they just so happened to start the SAME day we did! Since we had a toddler with us, we chose early on in our trip planning not to use a guided service incase we had an unruly toddler with us (which can happen at any given time) and we didn’t want to hold any one up OR ruin anyones experience by dealing with a child’s sudden outburst. (Just to make it clean, Abigail was a DREAM on this trip…but you know Murphy’s law and I am SURE if we had booked the trip with the ACA she would have acted up. Its what toddlers do.)

 

Lets back up a day or two… We started our vacation with a workout at our Crossfit Box called The Manion. It is a Hero WOD (Workout of the Day) honoring First Lieutenant Travis Manion. The workout consisted of 7 rounds of a 400 meter run, and 29 back squats. The workout took nearly 40 minutes to complete and 203 squats and a 1.75 mile run. Needless to say our legs were toast for our 255 mile bike trip.

 

We drove 4 hours to the rest area in Dismal Swamp State Park. We crashed out in the Adventure Van for the night. At this point we were 20 miles from Elizabeth City.

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Good Morning Dismal Swamp State Park!

 

The next morning started pretty early and full of excitement. We packed up the van and headed south to town. We were expecting to find a local diner of sorts for a big hardy breakfast, but we only found a ghost town with a small coffee shop. After asking a few locals where to get some good food, we were told that nothing, except fast food, was open in town on a Sunday before noon. So we settled for a few coffees and some coffee cake from Muddy Waters Coffeehouse . Not quite the hardy breakfast one needs before a 53 mile ride. Little did we know this would become a common issue for us all week.

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Parking and unloading the van.

 

While sipping hot coffee we unloaded the bikes and clipped on our panniers. The maps we bought from ACA didn’t have the exact route from Elizabeth City to Plymouth. So I got out my iPhone and told siri to get me to Plymouth via the walking route. Sure enough it was as easy as pie!

 

Check out our video of Day 1. Make sure to sot back and read ALL the chapters in our incredible trip!

 

 

 

 

Wanna see some Historic DOORS ?!

Yesterday we spent a few hours walking Historic Downtown Fredericksburg, VA. We decided we needed a photo challenge to kick start some creative juices. I had seen a book a few years ago that featured photos of historic doors (not the rock band, actual doors on homes). So we decided to spend the few hours poking around the downtown area and taking photos of old doors, a bike without a seat and one old car.

 

One thing you will notice in these photos is that they are crooked. It is not the camera or the photographer; these doors are so old that they are crooked on the door frame. I even cropped [most of] them so the bottom of the door is level. Interesting that they are still crooked like that and how they were never fixed over the years.

 

Have you participated in a Photo Challenge before? If so, share the link with us! We would love to see your work!

 

 

Old Car - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Car – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Capital Ale House Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Capital Ale House Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA
Bike without a seat - Fredericksburg, VA
Bike without a seat – Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door - Fredericksburg, VA
Old Door – Fredericksburg, VA

GAP trail

Great Allegheny Passage

Recently we’ve been doing a bunch of Rails to Trails type cycling.  With the birth of our first child, our cycling changed from primarily single-track mountain biking to more “touring” centric in order to facilitate the use of a bike trailer.  We utilize the Chariot CX.  (More to follow on the trailer in a gear specific review of it)  Needless to say, we take it everywhere. 

Our family has really been spending some time on these Rails to Trails for the specific reason of use of the Chariot, ability to get out in the woods and the lack of vehicle traffic versus road rides.  This trip takes us to the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail in Pennsylvania.  The GAP trail specifically starts in Cumberland Maryland and ends at Pittsburg Pennsylvania.  When connected with the C&O trail, you could ride from downtown DC to Pittsburg PA (300 + miles) on two track dirt roads.  This 300 mile trip is on our mind for a potential family adventure in the Spring. 
The GAP trail offers very few reasonably priced shuttle services, forcing us to do multiple out and back trips over the weekend.  On this trip, we utilized our Salsa Vaya and Surly Cross Check, easily covering the trail at an average of about 14 MPH. 
The first day we started in Myersdale and biked to Rockwood and back.  We went out approximately 12 miles and ended up biking back as it started to get dark (luckily we had brought some nice bike lights with us). 
We then moved on to Rockwood town and crashed in the Urban Adveture Van (UAV) at the trailhead. The town offered a hostel and a campground on the trail named Husky Haven Campground.  We woke in the morning to some mild cloud cover and reasonable temperatures.  Rolling out around 9 AM we covered approximately 29 miles to the town of Ohiopyle where we hit the local bike store and ordered a pizza at Fox’s Pizza Den.  The pizza was awesome (most of the restaurants and ice cream joints are closed during the winter months) and was exactly what we needed for the return ride.  During the return we were subject to a few sprinkles turning into a serious down pour while we loaded up making us very thankful for the awning on the UAV. 
One of the only limiting factors we face camping out of the van is the lack of shower on board.  So after a solid day of riding we decided to look for a place to get cleaned up.  Luckily we called Husky Haven Campground who had showers for rent.  The facility catered to Appalachian Trail hikers and GAP riders/hikers.  They have very nice shower facilities, a bike cleaning/maintenance area and an Internet café. 
This trail has many more miles for us to explore with the real possibility of linking it with the C&O trail for an epic gravel grinder trip.