One of the attractive aspects of Bridgewater will be being able to use my bike as a means of transportation. Where we live now, we have great fun riding on logging roads. There is very little traffic and we do see the occasional bear, coyote, beaver, fox, or skunk. But we have to decide to “go for a ride.” We are not just using our bikes as a means of transportation. Living 45 km outside of town makes that difficult. I am looking forward to getting on my bike to do the weekly grocery run once we are living in Treehouse Village.
Bicycling has always been a part of my life. I remember when I graduated from a three-wheeler to a two-wheeler. I remember when I “moved up” from my fat tire Schwinn to a prized three speed Rudge, an English Racer! Soon after my thirteenth birthday, when we had moved to Puerto Rico, I and a couple of my new friends took a three-day ferry ride (due to stops at several other small islands on the way) to St. Croix and then spent a week circumnavigating the island on our bikes. We camped on the beaches and slept in our jungle hammocks.
My next bike was a cheat, it was a Whizzer – this was a kit to attach a small gasoline engine to power your bike. You pedalled to get the engine started and then just relaxed while it carried you along. It seemed almost like the motorcycle I lusted after. I loved it, rode it the few kilometers to school and home most days – except those when it wouldn’t start and I was back to pedaling home. But now I was pedaling a bike that was much heavier than my English racer and had no gears. Yes, I loved it, but my mother didn’t. She told me, many years later, that she was terrified of what could have happened to me on the road with the Puerto Rican drivers.
Now, many years later, we (no longer just “I”) cycle when we have the opportunity. Of course, there was that time in Culebra (Puerto Rico) when I had the bright idea of buying Walmart bikes once we were there. The bikes were cheap, in every sense of the word. They were so bad that one of us had to walk their bike up the hill because it was too steep (and the gears not low enough) and then walk it down because the brakes were so ineffective as to be unsafe. Sort of defeated the point of bicycling. 😢
Our most recent bike travels were on Cayman Brac where we actually got to use our bikes as transportation. We could bike to each of the three grocery markets. Heck, we could go anywhere on the island by bike (it was only about 21 km long). With the advent of the GPS we could even record our trips and share them with family. Here is my last ride on Brac (only 19 km).
There was only one hill so that wasn’t a problem but the wind – ah the wind – always there and always a headwind, either going or coming.
And where am I going with these rambles about rambling? It is to explain one of the several reasons we are attracted to Treehouse Village: Because Treehouse Village is a community of people interested in alternative means of transportation.
Many, if not all of our community members are dedicated cyclists. This ranges from two members who have traveled the globe on their recumbent bicycles to several who have done multi-day bicycling trips, e.g., the Confederation Trail on Prince Edward island, to those who only use their bikes to get around town. There is an amazing variety of bikes owned by community members. We have families with balance bikes, tricycles, push bikes, tandems, cargo bikes, a unicycle, and recumbents. So far, no e-bikes but I expect that will change after we all move in.
Once we move in we plan to have long-term bike parking and a bike repair station in our workshop. Given the age range of the children in our community there will likely be good opportunities to continue sharing “down” as the rider grows up to the next seat height.
One of the reasons why Bridgewater is a good location.
When completed, Treehouse Village will be within easy cycling distance of the stores in Bridgewater which is a bike friendly town. There are bike trails in town which link many important residential, recreational, and business areas in town and provide cycling routes to other communities. One of the town’s pages is dedicated to sharing the road. There is also a bike shop in Bridgewater Spin Your Wheels Bike Shop.
One side of the Treehouse Village property borders the Centennial Trail, which is a great route for cyclists that connects to the series of bike trails on the Southern shore. The Centennial Trail itself is an 8 km multi-use trail ideal for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. It meanders through forested areas, meadows and parks along the river and offers an opportunity to run errands as it loops around the town centre. It connects with the Adventure Trail in the East, and the Bull Run Trail to the West. The Adventure Trail links to the Rum Runners trail which runs about 115 km from Lunenburg to Halifax.
At some point after move-in, it might be fun to have an un-car challenge. See which family with access to a car can go for the longest time without using their car.