Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Field Trip- Veloventure II

Every year my husband and I try to bike sections of the bike trail system of Canada.
5,000 km of safe passage for bikes on gravel or paved roadways known in Quebec as La Route Verte.
This year my 9 year old daughter wanted to ride this with friends. So we called it bike camp and invited 4 others to join us. In return, the other parents took our daughter on week long adventures. It was a great swap and it gave us an adventure as well. This is our 2nd year taking kids so we thought we would ramp up the mileage.  With another parent, a mini van and our Subaru, we had the opportunity to piece together the best and easiest sections of trail separate from regular traffic. It was a success! 4 days, 2 nights camping and one hotel, we looped from Waterloo to Noyan and crossed the Border in Alburg, Vermont.
You can see that they finished happy. Their big request was to plant one foot in Canada and one foot in the US. And this granite post on the US side of the Border allows for this.

La Route Verte parallels the Chambly Canal. We rode point to point from Chambly to Richelieu.
9 year olds love distraction and they need plenty of space to wobble or sway on their bikes without worrying their parents about oncoming vehicles. I love that the only traffic was other bikers and large boats. Riding side by side also gave the parents a chance to help stragglers. Using the invented, "Tour de France" move, my husband could put his hand on their camel back and ride along side a kid, gently pushing them along at a faster pace. With a bravo! and final push, he could send them speeding past other bikers.  We gave many "Tour de France" on this day. This was our 18km ride, finishing at the Auberge Harris which also had a pool.
Our first day was also a point to point which means, we all rode together and then 2 adults ride back to get the vehicles and drive to the finish.  We chose to start in Waterloo and head toward Granby & Yamaska National  Parc. This was approximately a 30 kilometer day. We had great weather, our campsite reserved so we sped along the old railtrail.  Kids who attended the veloventure last year were ecstatic to find that they were much faster. They kept looking and reminiscing about pit stops made that they no longer needed.  This was my favorite day because I was so happy to listen to bikers chat about the change in their ability and their progress.

When we camped at Yamaska, the kids had the freedom to bike to the playground, to the campstore or to swim in the reservoir. They loved setting up tents and using wheel barrows to retrieve stuff from the car.  We spent one day biking into Granby and out to the zoo. The weather held so we swam in the water parc at the zoo. Some rode home and some jumped in the sag wagon.
All in all 65-75 miles completed by our kids.
And lots of clambering for a new adventure in the years to come.

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