I can’t believe I’ve finally finished writing all of the journal posts for our cycling adventure – it only took me 7 months after the trip! But now that I’ve had a chance to look back at this great experience with my little family, I thought it’d be a good time to share the good, the bad, and the ugly about our adventure with young children. Spoiler: there really wasn’t much bad or ugly about it 🙂
Without further ado, here’s the good stuff about our cycle adventure with three kids 6 and under. I think these pros would apply to most adventures with young kids.
So eons ago, I had promised I’d write a post about what we carried with us on our cycle tour. I did talk about our gear, as well as the camping stuff we brought along, but I never did write that post about what exactly was in those saddle bags. Well, better late than never, I say!
I did forget to mention, in the post about what we packed in the chariot trailer, that I brought my laptop with me. Whereas for some, this may seem a bit ridiculous on a cycling trip, I am a writer, and we didn’t own an iPad. So bringing the laptop was sort of a must. When we go on our next cycle tour, I’m hoping to have an iPad, but I’m still going to be getting a keyboard for it. I can’t really type on a screen… maybe I’m a dinosaur, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much extra weight. I brought the laptop in the laptop backpack, and I also had some journals in the pack as well.
After a restful sleep on a real bed in Woodstock, we headed out to our final destination. We hit a bit of rain, but it was light enough not to be bothersome.
We noticed that we passed the part of Woodstock that had some restaurants, but it wasn’t even 11:00 a.m. yet, so we decided to keep pedalling. We were out of food at this point, so that may have been an unwise decision. At the same time, it opened the door for one of the amazing experiences of this trip.
After we had pedalled fora while, G-boy said he had to poo! We were in the middle of nowhere, but there were a few houses here and there, so I stopped at one, where a really friendly lady came out and asked if we needed help. We asked to use the bathroom, and she welcome us in. While we were getting ready to leave, Dan asked if there was any place to eat around there. She said, “Not really… I’ll make you lunch.” So we had this lovely spaghetti lunch with this super generous girl, and we were once again so amazed at how wonderful people are if you put yourself out there in the world.
We enjoyed our ride from Brantford to Woodstock. On the way, we stopped at a farm and asked the young guy that was working on the yard if we could stop and eat lunch on his front lawn. He said yes, and we were able to enjoy a nice meal under a gorgeous weeping willow – that’s my favourite tree, so this was really nice. We were able to use the facilities as well, which was great.
After our lovely time in Hamilton, we headed out to Brantford via the Hamilton-Brantford Rail-Trail. It was a gorgeous trail, and we got to see some horses during a portion of it. The kids also made friends with a little caterpillar that hung out on daddy’s vest for a while, then on K-girl’s arm.
K-girl collected daisies especially for Vo Bia.
In Hamilton, we stayed with a lovely family who has lots of experience cycle touring. They are the Pedal Powered Family, and they’re always ready to receive visitors. It was so wonderful to experience such amazing generosity, and I learned a wonderful lesson during my time with this family.
They have two children, and our kids were ecstatic to have playmates again. They also had a pretty cool tree-house bed that the kids got to sleep in.
After a relaxing time of recovery in Toronto, we headed out to Mississauga. We got to see some nice things in Toronto, including the wavy boardwalk I mentioned in another blog post, as well as this cool bridge. I love bridges, and methinks perhaps one day I’ll do a bridge-themed trip, where I get to go see all the cool bridges all over the world…. Mmm another item for my bucket list.
After a relaxing time at Uncle Neil and Aunt Cindy’s house, we headed out to Toronto. Because we had decided to sleep in downtown Toronto, it wasn’t possible to get a host there – at least not one capable of accommodating a family of 5 cycle tourists carrying a bunch of gear. So I bid on a hotel in downtown Toronto, as I usually do when I need to stay at hotels. I usually use Priceline for this. We got a pretty nice hotel with a pool and a little kitchenette, which was awesome. I unwittingly booked it in pride village, so Katia was pretty happy, since she was really into rainbows this summer.
So I spent some time this past week writing down everything (or most things) I could remember from our cycling trip this spring. Get ready for an onslaught of posts from what seems like an event a lifetime ago (but it’s really been only 7 months. Better late than never with the posts, I guess.)
Thunderstorms and kind souls
So it seems a bit ridiculous that I’m writing blog posts about a trip we took last summer, and it’s the end of January. But I really want to share our awesome experience, and I figure it’s better late than never.
So I’m going to continue writing about our cycling trip before the whole thing escapes my memory, because, in typical Mariana fashion, I lost the journal I had kept during our trip. So I better get it all down now, before I forget it all. Here goes!
After leaving Newcastle, we made our way to Oshawa. Although Dan’s sister lives there, her house is a bit too far up from the route we were taking, so we found a host through Couchsurfing. Our host was a seasoned traveller and you can tell he loves hosting people. He spoiled us rotten with delicious home cooking, and even was kind enough to help us get some more much needed gear – I have him to thank for finally getting proper bike shorts.
Our hosts’ wife was hiking internationally at the time – they take turns doing these types of trips, and I was so glad to finally meet a couple who understands my need and Dan’s need for time off to do our own thing. It’s so off-putting how many people are either surprised or negative about us taking time off… But I digress. Our host had a daughter around K-girl’s age, so they did lots of playing, and G-boy and M-girl were happy as well. They were really enjoying finally having a playmate (all our hosts up to this point either didn’t have children or had much older children), and they were also super happy to have lots of toys to play with. It was a blast.
Before getting to our hosts’ house, we hung out at Oshawa beach. It was really sad how dirty the beach was. It was at that beach, I believe, that we saw a neat cargo/child carry bike combination. I naturally stopped to talk to the guy, and it turns out he had imported it from Denmark at an astronomical price. So we think we’ll stick with our set-up for now. But I do think we’ll get Cirque bikes when the time is right (and the bank account is fuller).
At our hosts’ house in Oshawa, not only were we spoiled with awesome food (not just a cooked dinner, but a hot breakfast, too!), we also got to sleep on actual beds. They actually had two rooms for us, and it was really nice to have all that space.
It was hard to leave such a great spot, and K-girl still asks about her friend from Oshawa. She asks if we can visit her next time we’re down, and I think we’re going to have to start making more of an effort. It was wonderful being around such giving people.