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.

 

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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!)

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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?

Portrait of a Cyclist – Adventure Cycling Association

Adventure Cycling Association is hosting their 2nd annual video contest, and we are participating! We created a 4 minute video featuring our Portrait of a Cyclist.

 

 

Please LIKE the video on Vimeo and SHARE, Retweet and repost as much as possible! Every vote counts! Search Vimeo for the hashtags: TravelingCyclistACA2014 

 

 



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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
DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
Daddy what are you doing ?

 

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Silly Daddy
DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
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

 

DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
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!
DO NOT COPY - PROPERTY OF ADVENTURE FAMILY IN MOTION
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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How to bike and wine taste as a family in Middleburg, VA

A few years ago (pre-baby) we discovered an area in Virginia where the wineries were close enough together that we could easily bike from winery to winery. One winery even said there was a “bike and wine taste tour”.  We have been trying to find this area since we moved back and low and behold, this weekend we did!

Wine tasting - Adventure Family in Motion
Wine tasting – Adventure Family in Motion

It was about 50 degrees outside so we loaded the bikes in the UAV and  headed northwest to an area near Middleburg, VA. The hour and a half drive took us on the backroads passing an awesome craft brew shop called Crafted.  It shares a parking lot with the only diesel gas station in a 15 mile stretch so we were in luck by finding both of them. Crafted wasn’t open yet so we made a point to stop on our way home.

Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA

Just outside Middleburg lies the very small town of Aldie, VA.  The Aldie Mill Historic District had a nice quaint feel. Although, if you blinked you would totally miss the town.  While driving along, we noticed the all to familiar smell of  a smoker, bellowing out  the smell of the BBQ Master’s latest offerings at the Aldie Country Store.  Varun Parti is definitely a BBQ Master! We feasted on two massive plates of BBQ smoked ribs and 2 pints of mash potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  With an amazing lunch in our bellies we were sure to get a long ride in.

BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
HUGS - BBQ Master
HUGS – BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master
BBQ Master

We first stopped at Chrysalis Vineyards which sits 1.5 miles off hwy 50 on a rutted single lane dirt road. We pulled into a picturesque setting with a pond, rolling hills and plenty of seating. There is a nice place for families to corral the kids while the parents can sip on a  glass of wine, play bean bag toss or have a picnic.

Chrysalis Wineyard
Chrysalis Vineyard
Chrysalis Wineyard
Chrysalis Vineyards

From Chrysalis Vineyards we drove a few miles down 50 to Greenhill Winery & Vineyard (although you could bike this portion, the road is a little rough at times).  Sitting directly off hwy 50 on a 1/4 mile long driveway, The Greenhill Winery and Vineyard was where we decided to start our cycling trip. While Donald unloaded the bikes I got us a nice glass of Syrah for sampling and pre-ride motivation.

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

This winery loop is a relatively easy 7 mile bike loop, with the primary difficulty being not tasting to many glasses of wine to continue on with the adventure.  You can start this loop by heading out of Greenhill Winery and turning left on US 50 for approximately 1/2 mile until you come to your first dirt road on the left named Parsons Road.  Parsons Road is a quiet dirt road with limited to no traffic, perfect for a mountain bike, hybrid or cyclocross bike.

Greenhilll
Greenhilll Winery

At the “T”in the road turn right on Halfway Road and start up a gradual hill. Before you know it, you will be at Boxwood Estate Winery and it is time to taste some more wine. Boxwood has a very modern layout with a wine cave, a picnic area and a circular tasting room.  Skylights and white paint fill the rooms with immense lighting and the wine cave is gorgeous.  Boxwood has great wine with a pristine layout.

Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery
Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery
Boxwood Winery Estates
Boxwood Estate Winery

After Boxwood, you jump back on US 50  and bike through the town of Middleburg. We had been here before years ago on a motorcycle and remembered the plethora of restaurants and cool shops in the downtown area.  This area is  a go to weekend stop for washingtonians. From antique stores to a conglomerate of restaurants and coffee shops, Middleburg is a great place to poke around on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Yepp Child Seat
Yepp Child Seat

When we got back to Greenhill we pulled the bikes up to a table at the edge of the field and shared a glass of red wine. The little lady of ours scooted around on her Strider in the field and stomped through the very small snow pile that was rapidly melting.  We ran in the field chasing puppies and tried to catch the horseback rider on the horizon.

Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA
Crafted
Crafted — Haymarket, VA

After a day of biking,  we loaded up the UAV and started the drive home making sure to stop at Crafted on the way back. The quaint shop was loaded with tons of craft beers, wines and ciders. The owners and their cheerful dog greeted us with a friendly smile and a nice chat about ciders and the awesome assortment of beers available!  The owners have an extensive knowledge about the 100s of beers stocking the shelfs and are more than willing to explain the differences of them all.   After purchasing a good amount of cider and beer for future samplings, we were on our way home wrapping up another awesome adventure.

Relaxing after a fun day!
Relaxing after a fun day!

Touring Saint Simons Island, GA

 

We spent the say touring St Simons Island, GA. It is a must stop if you are driving 95 through Georgia. It sits 30 miles north of the Florida boarder. Only about 5 miles off the freeway and down a 2-mile causeway, this slow paced historic island is a great stop!

Adventure Family In Motion

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

 

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

The Village is more of the historic downtown area with eclectic shops, great food and a beautiful pier. There are two great parks for the kids and to top it off the dolphins love to play near the pier! The island looks like ancient times with the Spanish moss. Take note, the moss is beautiful in the trees but once it falls on the ground, it becomes infested with chiggers, DO NOT WALK IN IT!

Adventure Family In Motion
Adventure Family In Motion

We spent a full Saturday riding our bikes around St Simmons Island and checking out all the sites. We parked the Adventure Van at the beginning of the causeway and road the bike path to the island. The fog was dense and visibility was only about a mile or less.

Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island
Biking to St Simons Island

Our first stop on the island was SSI SUPS. The owner has extensive knowledge of SUPs, the island and originally comes from California where SUPs are huge. The walls are full of beautiful photography and the counter was packed with local jewelry.

SSI SUP
SSI SUP

Stop number two was at the Monkeywrench Bike Shop. A great shop which mainly featured rental bikes and beach cruisers, but the mechanics were a wealth of knowledge.  This shop has grown extensively in the past few years.  They had a Surly Pugsley on the showroom floor just begging for someone to purchase it and start knocking out some serious miles on the beach.

Moneywrench Bicycles
Monkeywrench Bicycles
Moneywrench Bicycles
Monkeywrench Bicycles
Moneywrench Bicycles
Monkeywrench Bicycles

We took a right out of the parking lot and headed down the bike path alongside the road, passing the golf course, beautiful homes and small shopping centers.  We biked to Fort Frederica, which was 5 miles from SSI SUP. A nice ride although the path was pretty bumpy and at times only wide enough for one bike.

Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA
Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA
Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA
Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA

Fort Frederica, Saint Simons Island, GA

We turned around at Fort Frederica and took the paths back. We stopped at The Growler Factory, because who can pass up the opportunity to sample craft beers. For $5 you can buy a growler and for another $5 you have it filled (depending on size and style of beer). There are over 40 kinds of craft brews to choose from.

Growler Factory, St Simons Island, GA
Growler Factory, St Simons Island, GA

After The Growler Factory we had lunch at Southern Soul BBQ, which sits at the corner of a busy roundabout in an old gas station. Sounds eclectic right, because it is! There is very limited seating inside, but long picnic tables outside that you can share with 10 of your new BFFs. A huge smoker sits on the outskirts smoking the days BBQ.  The menu consists of a variety of options, along with many beers on tap.   There is a reason this place has been featured on the Food Network channel; it’s GOOD!

Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA
Southern Soul BBQ, St Simons Island, GA

 

St Simons Island is a great weekend get-away with lots of things for the family to do.  The views are great, plenty of places to bike.  Maybe rent a SUP from SSI SUPs and spend some time out in the water.  St Simons Island is an awesome place to relax via an active vacation.

 

Have you ever eaten at Southern Soul BBQ? When was your last stop at St. Simons Island?

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family – Guest Post!

Our first guest blog post is from Sami Fournier: WhimsicalCycleTours WhimsicalCycles@gmail.com 

 

Last March we made it our family mission to escape endless winter in our home town of Bend, Oregon and emerge into warmer climates. Of course, our goal was to bike with our tiny toddler, while she’s still willing and has no choice. Bonus to baby Iris for still being in diapers. At not-quite 2, our barely 20 lb. offspring was an intrepid traveler by Chariot trailer, with her custom green-with-pink-grips-and-saddle Strider strapped on the back.

 

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family

 

We had been riding around Bend with her for a good year on short trips when we decided to take our show on the road. Our first overnight bike-with-baby adventure was to be a guided tour by a mom, blogger and twitter socialite named Elle. That’s pretty much all we knew about the trip when we took off for Sacramento from Bend, a good 8 – 10 hours driving. We knew we were going to be loaded with tents, sleeping bags and other camping gear, but we didn’t know how it would shake down, since we had really never done this before. We knew the sun would shine, and it would be warm and we would make new friends. And that’s really all we needed to know.

 

The route was a well-worn one for Elle and her own 2 boys at 2 and 4, and her parents and hubs Jose. Sacramento has a brilliant bike path that connects two towns. The American River Trail is long and flat, and winds along the sub-urban edge of California’s Capital, providing a hum of activity and a route for every flavor of cyclist. We visited Practical Cycles to buy Iris a new helmet for the trip. We spent the night in a hotel in Folsom, had breakfast at Karens Bakery  and drove to our departure point to park our Honda Element at a park marked by urban blight, some unsettling features such as sleeping drunks and graffiti bathrooms all locked up. We worried about whether we’d ride away from our car and never see it again, and we wondered where everyone was.

 

And then we had a yard sale. Everything needed unloading and re-loading to balance, squeeze and rationalize our load to make lunch, diapers and such necessities accessible, and to bury all the unmentionables. I thought we’d never be packed, or each of us would surely have at least one conniption each before it all became mobile. My husband had it more under control than I suspected, though, pulling the baby’s rig behind a well-loaded ExtraCycle, complete with cooler, while I towed only my loaded panniers. When we did start to see people rolling in, they were in a huge flock, kids and bikes and flags and bells. The party had arrived! We said hi, met about 6 families, and Elle got her first look at the crazy family she had invited via Twitter, and did not expect to ever seriously join. Soon we set off in a parade of 20+ souls, winding along the trail and regrouping occasionally. Dads had kids on platforms, moms had Mundos, some kind of dog-trailer contained a pet, and we had Iris, who passed out before mile 2 was underway.

Kidical Camping – Whimsical Warm Weather Adventuring with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping – Whimsical Warm Weather Adventuring with the Hansen Family

 

A playground picnic, a potty break, a group broke up and I broke away, for a solo mom spin at about mile 20. It was shaping up to be a longer ride than expected, since stopping and chatting and running around happened about every 7 miles. 30 miles was easily going to turn into a 3 hour tour. Miles of smiles, though, as weather was breezy and mild, sun was abundant, and all was right with our band of merry pedalers.

 

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family

 

As we broke into small groups at the end, our destination came into in sight at the trail’s end. The river winds to a narrow channel at Negro Bar, and that’s where we crossed over on a bridge at Folsom, and wound down steeply to a sweet little campsite. We were the first group to arrive, and our reserved campsite had been taken over by a large boyscout troop, who had spread a dozen scouts into our space! We had to tussle with them for our rightfully reserved spot, but they eventually retreated and our site became free. It was shady and well-appointed with tables and a firepit, and we cozied in to a nice flat spot to pitch our tent. Everything was right there, dry and handy. No hiking to and from the car, we just unrolled. As we spread a tarp and made our home for the night, Iris made herself popular with Elle’s kids by sharing her new Strider, which she had not started to truly glide on yet. The kids ran and screamed and whooped at the freedom of arriving by bike. The adults unwound and chatted, and we mused about how we vanquished the boyscouts. We have so much in common and many great stories about our travels and challenges as biking families.

 

Then Elle’s friends showed up with a pizza and some PBR, and we readied the firepit for s’mores. An early evening, a great night’s sleep, a walk to the camp facilities and we snuggled together with the baby for a bit of a chilly evening. We love sleeping outdoors, waking to camp-coffee and our oatmeal, rolling out just a bit after sunrise with the ‘early’ crew.

 

Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family
Kidical Camping with the Hansen Family

 

Our roll home was another easy flat 30 miles, and we pushed the pace a bit to be the first ones back again. We like to ‘win’ the bike tour. ☺ Low and behold, the car was safe and sound, right where we’d parked her. We rewarded our accomplishment with a walk around downtown and some gelato, and then we hit the road for home.

 

The first outing was so great, and so successfully executed, that we tried another bike camping trip a few months later in Eugene, OR. Less miles, more people, and a huge potluck feast, with live music and wading in the water as well as a nature scavenger hunt, dozens of kids to meet and play with. Did I mention the really nice welcoming people? Shane MacRhodes does an amazing job organizing ‘Kidical Mass’ group excursions in Eugene. Jon and I even won the grand prize donated by REI for the raffle, and ended up with a pop-up canopy, which will surely be handy for this year’s adventures. We are giving some thought to inviting all our new friends to ride right here from home to a nearby site in Tumalo or Sisters, OR. Now that we know how to do it right, we welcome and invite anyone to come along.

 

Biking to camp with our kid has been the best low-cost vacation option as has these added benefits:

  • We ‘unplug’ for the weekend, letting our kiddo have our full attention
  • Nice fresh air, great exercise and yummy food
  • We see people and things we’ve never seen before, such as families just like us, who practically live on our bikes
  • We show our child a quiet, relaxing mode of transportation that she can actually enjoy, with other kids and families doing the same. We give her that gift of a healthy lifestyle habit.
  •  We see strange birds, animals, people and have remarkable new experiences together, solve problems together, and make decisions together about when to go or stay, when to stop and take a break, to eat and drink and how and where to ride, as a group and a family, teaching coping and social skills that kids need to work together with others all their lives.

If you need tools or ideas on how to organize your first community bike camping trip, get in touch!

Just a little more about Sami: A former League of America Bicyclists Director of Education, and a current League of American Bicyclists Certified Cycling Instructor as well as a former Safe Routes to Schools Coordinator, currently a full-time mom in Bend, OR.

https://twitter.com/Sami_Hansen

 

Which type of cyclist are you?

What type of cyclist are you?

Here are some great facts from the infographic:

– Cycle 20 Miles a day reduces the risk of heart decease by 50%!!

– Portland, OR is the FRIENDLIEST city for cyclist! #2 Minneapolis, #3 Boulder, CO!

– Orange County, CA has the highest sales of fixed gear bikes!

 

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Credit for infographic goes to http://www.verticalmeasures.com/content-marketing-2/bike-culture-its-personalities-infographic/

 

Adventure Family In Motion

10 Best Rails-to-Trails

TravelLeisure.com has come up with a list of the top 10 best rails to trails!

1 – Bizz Johnson Trail

30 Miles from Susanville to Westwood California.

Susanville, CA is 208 miles north of San Francisco.  Start at the 1927 train station and dont stop until you get to the 25-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan at the trail head of Westwood. The trail crisscrosses over the Susan River Canyon 12 times. It weaves back and forth through the forest.

2 – Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway

20 Miles from Mineral Wells to Weatherford, Texas

Starting 40 miles west of Fort Worth the trail winds past horse ranches, longhorn pastures and meadows of wildflowers.

3 – Katy Trail 

225 Miles St. Charles to Clinton, Missouri

Covering nearly the entire state of Missouri, the Katy Trail is the longest rail to trail that runs east-west. This trail covers portions of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

4 – Little Miami Scenic Trail, Ohio

68 Miles Milford to Springfield, Ohio

The trail travels along the Ohio’s Little Miami River. Start at the southern end in Milford and bike down stream for an easy ride.

5 – Pinellas Trail, Florida

35 Miles St. Petersburg to Tarpon, Florida

This is an easy ride along the Gulf of Mexico. Make sure to be in Clearwater at Pier 60 in the evening to enjoy the artist.

6- Virginia Creeper Trail, Virginia 

34 Miles Abingdon to Whitetop, VA

Take a shuttle to the top of the states second highest peak. Cross waterfalls, small towns and ride along the waters edge. This downhill ride is a quick decent to the bottom.

7 – Capital Crescent Trail, Washington DC

12 Miles Georgetown – Silver Spring, MD

This trail is flat asphalt-and-crushed stone that overlooks the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. Beware, this trial is heavily congested with runner, rollerbladers and dog walkers.

8 – Island Line Rail Trail, Vermont 

13 Miles Colchester to Burlington

On the north end,  this trail extend three miles into Lake Champlain on a narrow causeway. The southern section runs along the waterfront in bike-friendly Burlington, VT.

9 – Switchback Railroad Trail, Pennsylvania

18 Miles Jim Thorpe to Summit Hill

In the western Poconos, head to the former mining town of Jim Thorpe. The trail was once the route used to carry coal down to the barges on the Lehigh Canal.

10 – Elroy-Sparta State Trail, Wisconsin

32 Miles Elroy to Sparta

This is the first rails to trails in the Nation! It has three tunnels along the trail so bring a flash light!