Thursday, February 11, 2016

#YVRFamilyBiking Family Day Ride Recap

Decorated to show Velolove!
Our first group ride of 2016 had perfect weather & lots of families, many of whom were joining Vancouver Family Biking for the first time. I counted 43 people (plus one dog) on 26 bikes when we left Science World, not including all the trailers & trailabikes. I even ran out of the big shiny cardboard hearts I'd picked up at the dollar store for decorating bikes. The almost two dozen kids ranged in age from five months to ten years, quite a few of them riding their own bikes.

Our destination was the Family Day Festival at Trout Lake Community Centre in John Hendry Park. There are lots of options for getting to Trout Lake from Science World, but all of them involve getting up a good hill.

We decided to take the Central Valley Greenway where it's a fully separated AAA route, which gave the three-year-old in our group a chance to ride her little bike for some of the time. Her father towed it as she rode on the back of their Xtracycle lontail the rest of the way.

When the CVG met Clark, because our group was so large & the next part of it was only a narrow painted lane, we zigzagged through some quiet side streets to Woodland, went east on 10th Avenue to Victoria & then back onto the very traffic calmed block of the CVG to Lakewood then through to Trout Lake Park.

The Vancouver Family Biking Family Day Ride group before we set off on the ride

Heading to our first intersection at 1st Ave & Ontario
It was only about 4km but the hill from the False Creek Flats up to Clark is a steep one. I asked one person to be mid-ride leader & Oliver rode sweep, but we had to split into more than two groups to get through some intersections.

As soon as we arrived at Trout Lake's new playground, the kids all bolted off the bikes, out of the trailers & off their trailabikes, to climb trees & playground equipment, dig in the sand, & play with the last member to join our group, Stanley the spaniel.

Bikes, bikes everywhere at the playground in John Hendry Park
I didn't actually go inside to see the Family Day events at Trout Lake Community Centre, I was enjoying hanging out with the other parents in the sunshine so much. It was a great day to chat with other biking families about how they got started riding & what they think of the gear they have.

The families left the park one by one as their kids got close to naptime or had extracurriculars to get to. We were the last ones to leave, heading back home with Christopher & Stanley. It was a funny ride, as Stanley had become quite attached to Brontë , & he would whine & cry if she got too far away. If we rode side by side he was happy.

The last two to join our ride, Christopher & Stanley the spaniel
Our next Vancouver Family Biking ride is set for Sunday, March 27, 10am. That's Easter weekend, so of course it's going to be an Easter Bonnet Ride. Pull out the glue gun & raid your craft supplies to put together a "bonnet" on your helmet. There will be prizes for the best one as well as treats at the end of the ride. RSVP on the Easter Bonnet Ride Facebook Event page so we know how many treats to bring & so you can get updates or suggest ideas for the ride.

Please share with your friends too--anyone who likes a relaxed ride with families is welcome, children are not required. :)

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