Entries Tagged as Family
My youngest two boys Ben (4) and Brandon (3) seemed to be in no hurry to make the transition from diapers to underwear; that is, until the promise of a special adventure just with Dad became the perfect motivation! Last year's maiden voyage with Ben was a huge success, so I could hardly wait for the moment when Brandon was ready. Finally, last weekend I completed my second Bike Overnight, a 7-mile climb from our house to the nearest regional park campground, with Brandon in tow, his 12-inch-wheeled bike strapped on top of the trailer packed with most of our gear.
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.
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.
Shortly after turning onto Township Road 362, we zoomed downhill past a horse-drawn buggy driven by two teenage boys. And, boys being boys, they gave chase. (Or at least we think they did.) We rolled by tranquil green countryside occupied by well-kept farms, and the sound of the horses' hooves pounding the pavement stayed behind us. "I think they are gaining on us!" I shouted to Nance.
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.