How I Learned to Bike and Hike

Let’s take a break from all this focus on infrastructure and let me share the story of how I came to enjoy biking and walking.

I learned to bike as a small child in a small town in the midwest in the 1960s, which was surrounded by open space. As kids, we biked and walked to school, raced our bikes around the basketball hoops on the playground, and rode the trails through the woods, all on a banana-seat bike with knobby tires.

Later, we rode motorcycles and snowmobiles on those same trails, as well as walked and cross-country skied them. I bought a 10-speed from Sears with my paper route money while in junior high school. With friends from scouts and school, we’d backpack overnight or all week, sometimes in winter with cross-country skis, and once we loaded the camping gear onto the bikes and did a weekend out and back via bike.

After learning to drive, we moved on to longer backpacking trips, including a 6-week trip to Wyoming with a school friend, and learned to rock and later ice climb. Any excuse to travel was good enough – my college roommate and I took a 6-month European rock and ice climbing trip, with an interlude traveling via rail pass.

I moved to the east coast after college and bought a touring bike with high hopes, not realizing how little time there is for fun once you start working full time. My wife and I canoed and camped together, and cruised our sailboat after the children arrived. I did my best to introduce all the outdoor activities I love to my son’s scout troop and later to my daughter’s Venture Crew (a co-ed scout group).

My long term backpacking project is to hike the entire Appalachian trail in sections – so far, I’ve done almost 1300 miles out of about 2200.

Biking for me is mainly recreational – I bought a road bike after failing to keep up with my neighbor on a ride in the early 1990s, and still ride it today. Besides errands and recreational riding with the Princeton Free Wheelers, I’ve done several week-long charity rides for Anchor House, plus a self-supported camping tour from Oakland to Los Angeles.

Hope you enjoyed my story – do you have a story you’d like to share? Please send us an email at wwbikeped@gmail.com, and we’ll be happy to post it here.

Tags:

Comments are closed.

Archives

Categories

Tag Cloud

bicycle bicycle commuting bicycle safety Bicycle Tourism bicycling Bike/Ped Path bike commuter journal Bike Commuting bike lanes bike path bike racks bike ride bike safety biking Community Bike Ride Complete Streets crosswalk D&R Canal Downtown Princeton Junction East Coast Greenway Historic Bike Trail League of American Bicyclists Learn to BIke Livable Communities Main Street Mercer County mercer county bike commuting Mercer County Park multi-use trails National Bike Month NJDOT pedestrian pedestrian safety Plainsboro Princeton Princeton Junction train station Ride of Silence Route 571 safety sidewalks Smart Transportation speed limits traffic walking West Windsor