Entries Tagged as Family
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.
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.