Entries Tagged as Routes & Rides
Eight hours into our trip we were there, huddled under the picnic table's awning, watching flames gobble up the raindrops as they fell to Earth. Our fire cast its glow upon our two campsites which, by this time, had turned from a nice place to rest for the weekend into a quagmire whose mud pit was ready to suck the shoes off any unsuspecting camper. Fortunately for us, we were all barefoot.
I felt proud to let my nine-year-old daughter Jessica bike ahead of us as she pedaled onto Rue McGill towards the Westin Hotel in downtown Montreal. My pride is also a complement to the City of Montreal, which was a great bicycle destination for our family vacation. Sandi planned our family trip to Quebec. It had to be suitable for Jessica to bike and for Kate, who is seven, to ride on a trailer bike. For five days we were in Montreal. After that, we biked along Le Petit Trail du Nord rail trail in the Laurentian Mountains.
"What was I thinking? I must be insane! Why did I think I could do this? You don't do these kind of things! Other people do this, you freaking idiot!" These were just a few of the choice thoughts running through my head on June 29, 2013, as I left familiar cycling territory while embarking on my first attempted overnight bike trip. The plan was to ride from my home in Overland Park, Kansas, to Clinton State Park, which is just west of Lawrence, Kansas. I had estimated that the trip, which would take me through the communities of DeSoto and Eudora, would require approximately 50 miles, each way, of output from my untried (over this distance, anyway) human power plant. How, at the age of 46, had I arrived at this point in my life?
Grand Island sits just north of the small town of Munising, on the waters of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.) Munising is home to the only ferry service to Grand Island. It is also located within a short drive to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Grand Island is considered a National Recreation Area, part of the Hiawatha National Forest. Most people spend just the day on the island; with a little planning, however, I thought it would make for a great family bike overnight.
When my husband Dick and I bought our touring bikes last year, we didn't really have a plan. I suspected we'd set out for credit-card type tours, and we still may. But so far, our overnight bike trips don't fit any of the models listed above. I call them "bicycle getaways," two- to four-day trips, more urban than many touring trips. We utilize transit to increase our travel ranges, and overnight in luxury accommodations. Ideally, a hotel with fuzzy robes in the rooms and great restaurants nearby.
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"The Rectangle Ride" is a 110-mile route that starts in Arlington, Washington, heads east to Darrington, north to Rockport, west to Sedro-Woolley, and then loops back south to Arlington. It was a perfect, autumnal weekend for a rectangular ride with spectacular company.