It's a beautiful sunny day in late February. A nice big snow storm has given us fresh snow mountains for the kids to play on. And all this sunshine makes me think of the summer and summer travel plans.
Most of the time in our family we vacation together. This winter in a beautiful cabin in Lake Placid and on the near by cross country ski trails, I discovered that it's super fun (really!) to vacation with your in-laws.
But once in a while I like to take a trip without kids and move at an adult pace. My favourite trips involve bikes. And the adult pace means faster biking and slower meals.
When you are visiting a new region or a new city, travelling by bike allows you to take in more. By bike you can find lovely out of the way bakeries or windmills or beaches or museums. When you're travelling without kids, you can use bike shares like Bixi in Montreal or Velib in Paris or I Heart Bikes in Halifax. (Actually you can rent bike trailers from I Heart Bikes if you're travelling with your kids, but date biking is also encouraged.)
By bike, places that might not otherwise seem like huge tourist destinations, like Woolfe Island, become really interesting. Derek and I travelled to Woolfe Island late last summer. We were meeting his Dad in Kingston so that the kids could travel back to Cambridge for their first ever five day visit with the grandparents. That visit, of course, was incredible, and the kids, as it turned out, biked quite a bit with their grandparents, but this story is about grown-up bike dates so we'll leave the kids and their grandparents to that other adventure.
Derek and I had work stuff to do while the kids were away, but we wanted a special overnight, so we took the twenty minute ferry from downtown Kingston to Woolfe Island with our bikes. Dinner was at a cozy water front restaurant. We could walk to the comfortable B&B we stayed at. And the next day we explored the island -- sandy beaches, windmills, farms, cottages and shore line -- by bike. It was a perfect bikey date.
I'm looking forward to more bike adventures this summer. We'll be planning trips with the whole family and at least one trip with just the grown-ups. I've got my fingers crossed that the stars and the schedules will align and there'll be room for another trip with just the biking moms. After all, Toronto has Bixi bikes now. Prince Edward County is becoming a lovely spot for winery tours by bike. And, closer to home, a picnic dinner on a warm summer evening once you've ridden to the top of Champlain Lookout in the Gatineau Hills is always a party.
I hope your summer vacation plans include a few bike dates!
Got family biking stories to share? firstname.lastname@example.org