Entries Tagged as Family
Though the boy is pushing his Trail-A-Bike’s pedals for all he’s worth, we still can’t make it up the sharp slope from the parking lot at Channahon State Park onto the Illinois & Michigan Canal Tow Path. He’s only eight years old; his locomotive contribution is marginal at best and negative on ascents. I stand on my pedals, but the rear wheel just spins in the loose gravel and I quickly put a foot down to keep the bicycle upright.
A multi-day bicycle tour has been on my to-do list for years now. Not having the gear or time yet though, we did the next best thing. An overnight bicycle camping trip at one of the local state parks! It turned out to be a lot of fun, and the best family camping trip ever. Here is the story of our trip.
After daydreaming about it for a while, I loaded up the bike & trailer and took off with my 2 year-old for an overnight camping trip. The spot we picked was Colossal Cave Mountain Park, about 20 miles from our house on the east side of Tucson.
We took delivery of our new Surly Big Dummy cargo bike in July, and I was itching to do some loaded touring with it. I decided to take Eden out on a daddy/daughter overnight trip, allowing my wife Heidi to relax while we were away! Well, as long as the baby didn't come while we were gone (the due date was in less than two months).
Safe Routes to School Program Manager, Shane MacRhodes explains: "The ride will be on June 25th and will leave from a park in central Eugene in the late morning. We'll ride the 8 miles through town via quiet neighborhood streets, paths, and bike lanes to Armitage State Park, located just outside the city limits and next to the McKenzie River. We've rented a group camp there (that holds 40) and will plan some fun family activities. We'll be providing support and tips before the ride and may even hold a little 'bike camping 101' class/information/gear sharing before the ride. Registration will be required (free) so we can figure out how many people to expect and may even reserve the second group camp if we need it. If this ride goes well we'll do more. There is another spot we've scoped out that is 16 miles from town and several others that about 20-25 so as people gain experience we might venture further out. We're excited to discover the areas that are bikable to facilitate more family bike camping opportunities."
A couple of years ago, I took my 7 year old daughter for a multi-day bike trip along the Erie Canal in upstate New York. I’ve done some long-distance riding, but this trip turned into a surprising ‘short distance’ tour. It’s a great example of how riding at a child’s pace and having a flexible itinerary can be more fun than a carefully planned itinerary. We planned on riding from Rochester to Lockport over several days, and camping at the locks on the canal. Since this was our first multi-day trip together, I had promised that we’d ride as far as she wanted to go each day, and I’d booked a hotel with a swimming pool as a treat when we reached our destination. We never got to that hotel, but we had a great time travelling less than 20 miles in three days.
One of my favorite trips this past year was our family’s first outing on the Farmington River Valley Trail in Farmington, Connecticut. This trail is perfect for families with small children. You can ride as little or as long as you like, with wonderful amenities spaced out on the trail every few miles. There are also a multitude of diversions and attractions within a few miles of the trail.