Story and photos by Charles Scott (aka Family Adventure Guy)
My favorite part of our family bike trips is meeting cool people, and we’ve encountered quite a few on our ride from New York City to Niagara Falls this summer.
Recently we met Cord Schoemann, from Bremen, Germany, who is riding solo from New York City to Chicago. From there, he plans to drive west with a friend to cycle in Wyoming and beyond. What a great way to see the United States.
Since a news segment about our adventure aired on CNY Central, many strangers have approached us, usually saying something like, "Hey, you're that family we saw on TV!"
Several people told me they wished they could spend more time with their kids, but struggle balancing this with the need to make money. It's an age-old problem, and there's no easy answer, although I've heard one suggested solution from a farmer:
"It's simple. Just have 'em work with you on the farm."
Here’s the TV segment, which also features ASC’s roadkill project:
I always expect a few naysayers to question my judgment on our big rides, but to my relief, everyone we've spoken with thus far has praised our trip and the roadkill project.
Already, we've documented dozens of dead animals. Saya felt sorry for a rabbit we came across recently that was killed by a car, so she laid flowers around it and gave it an impromptu eulogy.
I know some find it strange that we're documenting roadkill, but I think it's a worthwhile project – one I hope will lead to a reduction in the number of animals killed, not to mention car accidents. All it will take is a few simple road re-designs. Plus, it's valuable for my kids to pay attention to and care about the animals that die as we humans rush around.
For me, this project has served as a reminder to slow down and appreciate the beauty around us. We've enjoyed riding along the Erie Canal, and often stop to watch and listen to the birds.
A few nights ago, we camped in the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
"The mosquitoes down there are the size of a small dog," one local said when I told him we were headed to the refuge.
That was an exaggeration, but there were many, they were persistent. We took refuge in our tent.
The next morning it rained, but we took it all in stride.
Charles Scott, aka Family Adventure Guy, is an author, cyclist and United Nations Climate Hero. This summer, he is riding from his home in New York City to Niagara Falls and back with his two kids, Sho (age 13) and Saya (age 7). Along they way, they're recording roadkill observations for ASC.
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