Friday, January 28, 2011

Family Adventure Tour

Laughter. Smiles. Sunshine and warmth. And safe. What more could you ask for on an August weekend except for lots of happy families riding bicycles.

We pedaled on a linear route called the Island Line, a former railway that runs from Burlington through Colchester and connects with South Hero by way of a marble-lined causeway. Some groups started from home, others parked a car at an access point, and even one family rode with all their belongings in panniers.

With numerous parks that sport playgrounds, snack bars, restrooms, water fountains, and ball fields; with bridges, a gravel-lined causeway (former railway) that juts out across Lake Champlain—complete with a bike/pedestrian-only ferry—the route is a bicyclist's dream.

The Family Adventure Tour (FAT) was organized by Local Motion and consisted of a two day ride for families complete with sag wagon, tenting, swimming, campfire with S'mores, volleyball, and dinner/
breakfast. The cyclists returned the next day by the same route.

A year before I had suggested a family ride to Local Motion, pledging to help with the route and planning. Adele Dienno at LM immediately liked the idea, realizing the value it would bring to the community and further support Local Motion's efforts toward getting families outdoors. It is a natural progression from their Safe Routes to School program.

The future of bike riding is with our children. If we expose them to cycle touring: tenting, cooking over a stove, building fires, and riding safely, they will appreciate the fun and possibilities of further travel whether it be a long weekend or a multiweek adventure. Dream...

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