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Posts Tagged ‘bike riding’

A last minute cancellation of some work plans today allowed me to take advantage of the perfect pre-Fall weather and get the whole family out for a bike ride. I’d been wanting to show my wife the Maine Mountain Bike Trail after riding it this past May with Alex so we headed over to Fryeburg, ME. After running into our good friend Marty Basch in the parking lot at the visitor center we hit the trail with Alex in tow behind my bike. A short stop at a small pond alongside the trail allowed us to spot a couple Sun Turtles basking in the September sun.  A casual 35 minutes from leaving the car we had reached the end of the 4 mile trail. Alex stretched his legs, investigated a Wooly Caterpillar (no touching, they can sting), and had a quick diaper change and snack. During this time I switched over the trailer to Michelle’s bike for her inaugural run. I had posted a review of this Burley Bee Bike Trailer back in June and had mentioned I wanted to order an extra hitch. Since it took less than 5 minutes to move the hitch over to her bike I’m not so concerned about getting an extra hitch down now!

Previously I had made a loop ride by heading out on Route 113 and going through Fryeburg Village. Today we opted to return via the quiet bike path as Michelle got used to towing the trailer.

"Paved Paradise" - Marty Basch

“Paved Paradise” – Marty Basch

Crusin'

Crusin’

We got back to the car in one hour and 17 minutes. After stopping into the quaint visitor center (free local farm apples inside!) we headed over to one of our favorite watering holes, the 302 West Smokehouse and Tavern. This place has some of the nicest outdoor seating in the greater Mount Washington Valley, and since we know our outdoor dining days are quickly coming to an end we took advantage of the sunny, breezy, 65 degree day to sit outside and snack on some nachos and sliders while Alex got his exercise dancing up a storm on the empty deck while listening to the cheers of a packed pub watching the Patriots game inside. Perfect day!

7.9mi, 1:18hr, Avg 6.1mph, Max 20mph

7.9mi, 1:18hr, Avg 6.1mph, Max 20mph

Our sites are set on the Franconia Notch Bike Path in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that adventure!

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Alex’s First Bike Ride

This past May Michelle and I bought a couple Marin Seadrift hybrid bikes and while I got to put some miles on mine during the Five Borough Bike Tour Michelle had yet to get on her’s… until today! Despite only having a month or two of decent biking weather left we decided it was time to pony up and invest in a bike trailer so we could get out as a family and spin some wheels. After considerable research we decided on the affordable Burley Bee Bike Trailer, and after grabbing the last one at a busy EMS North Conway we hurried home to grab our bikes and get some miles in while the weather was nice.

Are you sure about this Dad?

Since this was a floor model it was all assembled, but looking over the directions it didn’t appear to be that hard to put together. It only took about 5 minutes to attach the hitch to the bike and then to the trailer. I thought it was pretty clever how it attached right to the rear wheel axle of my bike and the pivoting mechanism allowed the bike to be laid down while keeping the trailer upright. This is not only a convenience feature, but a safety one because the trailer would be less likely to tip if I were to take a small spill. The harness system was straight forward enough, but it definitely lacked the padding and comfort features of the more expensive models. We placed our diaper bag/backpack in the space in front of his feet so he could push down and keep himself in a more upright position. Without it Alex was a bit slouched. Once he grows a half foot taller he’ll probably be more comfortable in the cabin. The back has a spacious “trunk”, which we’ll be using for grocery store trips in the near future.

We decided on a mellow loop out to Route 16, through Conway Village, and back home.

Our first family bike tour 🙂

The first thing I noticed was how not noticeable the trailer was. Going down hill, or on flat ground, I simply could not tell I was pulling a 23 pound kid in a 20 pound trailer. It makes sense, since the thing is on wheels… but I was surprised none-the-less. Our dirt road is a little bumpy, and while Alex was jostled around a little bit we took it slow until we got out to the paved Route 16. Here the traffic was crawling along at a snails pace with a combination of leaf peepers, Freyburg Fair go’ers, weekend vacationers, and a few frustrated locals. We pulled off onto the historic West Main St and enjoyed the quieter back-way into the Village. After following a dirt foot path along the water for a short bit Alex let us know he wanted to get out for a minute so we took a short break behind the Conway Fire Station.

Mommy & Alex taking a breather…

Revitalized we continued and crossed the Pequawket Pond outlet on a small foot bridge…

Footbridge

As we neared our neighborhood we decided to add a short loop over Jack Frost Lane and we stopped by a farm stand on Tasker Hill Rd to see their selection. It wasn’t until we were climbing back up our road that I started to notice the extra weight I was pulling, but it was a short climb and minutes later I was glad for it as I enjoy a quick pump at the end of a work-out.

Our 5.26mi loop took just under an hour. The bike trailer performed better than expected and we’re already thinking of where we should ride tomorrow!

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