Spring Break on a Bike

Bettina Freese: Spinning my Wheels blog

Spring Break!

Riding bikes in other geographical areas is what vacation is all about, so I’m folding all sorts of fun into five days of bliss with my little boys. They will still be forced to eat peas and brush their teeth, but maybe they won’t notice because they’ll be having too much fun.

We’ve got our eye on False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach for at least a couple of days playing on the beach and fishing. It’s a mile-long barrier spit that has no vehicular access. Lucky for us, bikes aren’t considered vehicles. Our first bike ride will be the road out to this beautiful island, crossing the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I keep trying to imagine camping there, but I’m afraid the 4-year-old will balk at having to ride with his gear for six miles. Stuffing him into the trailer will only tick him off now that he’s used to riding his own rig, whether it’s a tandem with me or his little 12-inch wheels. The 8-year-old will complain as much as usual, but that seems to be less of an issue when he’s pedaling. Maybe it’s because he’s too far away for me to hear?

There’s lots to explore on this small bit of paradise with an old town developed in the 1800s by the survivors of a shipwreck, constructed from cypress washed ashore. The 4-year-old, who is obsessed with fishing and diving for sharks in all of his bedtime stories, is now terrified that he will see a shark. I assured him that seeing a shark is rare, that I’ve only seen one once in my whole life, and that I am certain the sharks aren’t in the area where we will be. With my luck, that will be the first thing we catch on a line once we’ve gotten there. I’d better plan for swimming before fishing. And more biking.

Then there’s the environmental education center in case we get too hot or can’t find our own beach treasures, like shark teeth and horseshoe crabs.

I guess I should throw a little boardwalk biking in there as well, visiting the popular beaches as long as it involves ice cream breaks for the kiddos and umbrella drinks for mommy. I am currently keeping a list of vacation items to pack. Suddenly I realize that I need a flask, so as not to be tempted to fill my hydration pack with tequila.

Then there’s the military base. Of course this is one of the main reasons we are going to the Norfolk area. The big boy is obsessed with military crafts, especially ships. I know my way around the naval base after having been stationed there and look forward to showing him up close these impressive vessels. I’m hoping this can be done via bicycle as well, entirely avoiding parking problems.

Now if only I could also bring the canoe…

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