Ten years ago, two of my good friends got married with a campout party at Milo McIver State Park. Itty-bitty James and I (10 years ago??) rode our bikes out there with our fancy clothes and our camping gear and had a rockin’ good time helping our friends get hitched.
Last weekend, the same friends celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary with another campout in the same group site in the same state park. Again, James and I rode our bikes out there with all our camping gear (no fancy clothes this time, just a potluck dish;) and helped our friends celebrate 10 years of relationship-building.
A lot has changed over 10 years, a big one being that many of our friends have had kiddos — and it was super awesome that one of our long-term bike buddies was psyched to bike out there with us with his kiddo in tow.
To be honest, I was a little nervous about it, because there is no real bike-friendly way out to Milo McIver. No matter how you slice it, there are shitty parts to that ride. There are many bike-friendly beginnings to get out there, like the Sunrise bike path pictured above, but you either end up biking on a highway with a fairly good shoulder but really fast and really loud traffic, or you end up on country roads with no shoulder, 55mph speed limits, and just enough traffic to make it kind of nerve-wracking. On my own, it’s not a huge deal (though it’s still not exactly my favorite ride), but thinking about bringing someone else’s kiddo out there definitely made me nervous.
(this kind of thing, for example, makes me CRAZY. The fantastic Sunrise bike path just drops you unceremoniously at a humongous intersection with NO SIGNAL to cross over to the median where you can actually push a button to get a green light, and there are a BAZILLION cars zooming around that right turn without slowing or seeing you trying to cross)
So I was particularly impressed that our friend was willing to give it a go. And you know what? It was totally fine. When we were on roads (as opposed to bike paths), we biked with him in front, so James and I made a two-bike buffer between his little kiddo and any cars. But it turns out that people driving past behave differently where there are three people on loaded bikes than when it’s only me. As a posse, we made a more legit road presence, and most people were courteous and safe when they went around us.
AND when you travel with kiddos, it turns out you make more stops for, say, roadside strawberry stands, or snack breaks, and you pay particular attention to all the horses you pass, and the other fun things on the side of the road, and any construction vehicles or trucks are particularly exciting. It’s pretty sweet to bike around with a kiddo. And it was awesome that our friend was willing to make it happen.
And gosh, we could use some bike-friendlier ways out to Estacada that don’t end up turning what should be a 25ish-mile ride into like a 47-mile one.
And hey, happy anniversary!:)