Back to the future? When a bike was a ticket to freedom!
It all started by volunteering to assist with my daughter’s elementary school class with a bike riding excursion. I have to commend the teacher for her bravery to accept the daunting task & responsibility to organize such a bold undertaking of 30 kids attacking the roads & trails. She systematically evaluated the skill level, the bike’s safety & making sure every helmet & bike was up to the task weeks before the actual riding event occurred. She made sure every leader had a first aid kit, cell phone, emergency numbers, snack, roster of kids......god help us if we were going for the whole day instead of 60 minutes! I started thinking as a baby boomer 40 years ago, a great bike was a source of bragging rights & it was a skill that everyone mastered at a very young age .... but really it was a ticket to “freedom”. I am sure we all remember our parents watching us roll away in the morning & their one commandment wasn’t, be careful, watch the road or even wear your helmet... it was be home at 5pm for dinner!
My experience was a real eye opener, not that I didn’t have my suspicions but I accepted the volunteer role with no preconceived expectations. How did riding a bicycle change from daily transportation to a planned event? There were a few students that said ”I would rather be in the class room that here in trail”..... since when did kids feel a bike ride was more torturous than being in school? I guess that’s where the term “in my day” came from?
It was nice to see there’s still some really dedicated teachers out there that are going the extra mile. Kids are still are riding albeit less & a sigh of relief, not a single scratched knee on my watch. OK, there were jammed chains, tired little legs & some disgruntled children on hill climbs. Most kids that have lived minutes away from UBC their whole lives, have never experienced riding Salish trail.
We stopped along the trail for a quick skill development session, how to roll over a root, stick, log.....
What other city can you ride in the forest & end up on the beach & be minutes from down town?
Trail: “Salish”, starts on the corner of 41st Ave & Camosan St..
Distance: Approx 7 km to Spanish Banks / Kits Beach [ one way ] Approx 45-60 minutes
Skill: Beginner, hard pack dirt, rolling & winding trail terrain, forest canopy.
Watch for: dog walkers, joggers & the occasional horse rider from Southlands