Mark June 18, 2011 on your calendar because that’s the day Reuben, Heidi, Eden and Harper, better known as the Pedal Powered Family, will cycle out of their driveway in Hamilton, Ontario to begin their 20,000 kilometer bike adventure. This isn’t a year-long vacation, but an exercise in living simply, traveling slowly and strengthening relationships.
The site is beautifully designed and promises good things to come. There are already several travel tales from previous bike trips up and these are worth a browse. Here’s a story I like entitled A Night to Remember:
6:15am and we were both awoken by the fly ripping off the tent entirely and the centre pole collapsing. We were swallowed up as the mesh interior fell upon us. I righted the pole as best I could and Reuben scurried out of the tent to retrieve the lost fly and attempt to secure it again against the wind. Harper started wailing as the mesh was blowing all about him and Eden lay awake with her eyes wide open and mouth ajar. Reuben retrieved the fly, yelling instructions to me while I nursed Harper while trying to hold the pole as steady as possible. By now Eden had cozied up beside me and was talking quietly. Harper soon began to play with the pole and Eden joked around and pretended to act like Harper. I asked to hold Eden’s hand and say a prayer. We prayed for the rains to hold off, for Daddy to be OK, for the tent to be re-secured.
All the while Reuben hastily worked outside. With his headlamp waving back and forth, we saw shadows of picnic tables being dragged from neighbouring campsites and placed in front of the tent, propped against trees as a windbreak. Just as the tent was secured and the windbreak erected, Reuben burst inside the tent and the rains started to come down again. Despite the ordeal and rush of adrenline, we were all safe, warm and dry.
With such a restless night sleep, we just wanted to crawl back into our sleeping bags and rest, as the light of dawn had yet to rise. However, two children were too excited to go back to dreamland so our day began early.
It was the scariest night either of us have had while camping, mostly because we were responsible for two little ones who didn’t seem to even sense that anything was amiss. They didn’t have the faintest clue that their parents were so worried about their warmth, comfort and safety. They are in a little cocoon, having an unfailing trust of the situations we place them in. With this thought, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a high level of responsibility for our children and yet it never ceases to amaze me that they can find fun in whatever situation is in front of them.
The Pedal Powered Family has decided to do what so many others only dream of: taking time out as a family to find meaning and purpose. They’ve decided that the idea of living to work is just too widely accepted and are taking a year off to live life at a slower pace.
It’s a worthy and inspiring project and I’m looking forward to following along to see how things turn out.