Entries Tagged as Family
Over the past several years our family has become a biking family. This started with my wife Martha and me mountain and road biking in our younger years. Then I started bike commuting, which somehow lead to cyclo-cross racing. My daughter Hayden, now 13, then joined me in that, which led to her joining a junior cycling team. All along my son Connor, 11, has liked mountain biking and occasionally does some races. This biking culture of ours continued to build momentum to the point where I thought everyone was ready for a self-supported tour.
What did I want for Father's day? Only two things (clearly, this dad is a selfish and demanding and specific kind of guy): Ride my bike, always a given; and go camping. The ten- and eight-year-old sons had been hearing since March that camping at least one night per month April through October was a goal for the year. Between spring 2013’s refusal to let go of less desirable elements and the boys’ participation in the Great American Pastime, we hadn’t so much as driven a single tent stake. This weekend, however, would not get away.
I had an idea for our anniversary. Usually we get away for a four-day pedal sometime in September, but with my other plans eating up time we weren't sure it would happen this year. I'd miss that time alone as a couple, so I suggested a simple bike overnight. This means more to us than any restaurant celebration.
Bike overnights are usually a way to escape the routine of home and work for a couple of days, squeezing a fun mini-vacation into an otherwise normal week. While my family has taken many such mini-vacations, we’ve found yet another good time for bike overnights -- when we’re already on vacation. You, too, can make that weeklong vacation more interesting, by throwing in a bike overnight.
When I think back to the things I did with my grandmother, my memories are of baking cookies, playing cards, or listening to her read the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales. My grandchildren, I think, will have much different recollections of their time spent with me.
As a family, we had participated in a few organized day-ride events for charity. The kind where there are cookie and fruit breaks every 10 miles or so. Could our family of three transition from a SAG-supported, group atmosphere to a multi-day, self-supported bike overnight? Our son Clayton was a month shy of four years old. He loves his Weehoo bike trailer and the adventure of riding and seeing new things. From the beginning, we suspected he was up for the challenge; however, were we as his parents ready?
On this, our first ever Weekend of Wonderfulness, we rode up to Beal's Point on Folsom Lake, about 30 miles from Sacramento. It was the first time bike camping with our little ones. Amazing! It's great to know that there are adventures so close to home. Really, picture a nearby campground. You probably wouldn't ever think to camp there as, let's face it, your own bed is much more comfortable. However, getting there by bike with all your gear strapped to the back -- that's wonderfully worthwhile.