Date: August 7, 2014
Distance: 3.92 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 43 feet
Our Bicycling Time: 1 hour round trip
Right before we left Massachusetts, our friend Ivan dropped off a trailer bike for Addison. At the same time, Thule sent us a bike trailer to test out and review. Knowing we were hitting the road, I had it shipped to South Carolina. Today we finally got to test drive both on one of our favorite rail trails – the 18.7 mile Swamp Rabbit Trail, which runs through Greenville.
We parked our cars at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, where we met up with Kendra’s childhood friend, Amber. She brought along her two little girls – Liza and Violet. We were quite the caravan – I had the twins with me, Kendra had Addie, Amber pulled her girls, and my father-in-law Boris rode alongside us all.
We did not cover a lot of ground today, but we sure had fun. Addie rocked the trailer bike! Kendra taught her how to pedal, coast, and even stand up on her pedals. She was so excited to be on a “big kid” bike.
The twins passed out during the ride, and slept through our water break at an old train car. Addie and Liza had a fun time exploring the freshly painted railroad car. I was bummed because you used to be able to go inside and see the rusted out guts of the car, but when it was restored, the doors were sealed shut.
Even though everyone was in good spirits, we turned around at the train and headed back to the café. The return trip was even quicker, as we had all adjusted to our new rides. It was not nearly as difficult as I expected to pull the twins behind me… I wasn’t sure what to expect with an extra 65 pounds attached to my bike, so I was pleasantly surprised to find I wasn’t much slower. Kendra said pulling Addie along on the trailer bike was a breeze. Though the ride was short, it was a great first test-run for all of our new gear!
The Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery
When we returned to the café, we packed up our bikes and Boris headed home while the rest of us went inside for snacks and drinks. I had an iced-latte and gluten-free vegan donut, Kendra had a ginger ale, Addie had a Honey Stinger and milk, and the twins munched on a fresh local peach. It was a great way to end our ride – I love independent stores that sell local produce and goods. Especially ones that have lattes and bakeries!
The Epic Fail
Only we could get through an hour bike ride with five kids 4 and under, followed by snack time at the local café, all with no hiccups, and then manage an epic fail. After the ride, Kendra unlocked the mini-van for me and took the kids inside the café while I put our gear away. When I was done, I locked the car. An hour later, we left the café and realized that neither of us had the keys. When she’d unlocked the car, Kendra had tossed them into one of the car seats.
Amber’s husband Victor swung by and tried to help me break into the car, but no luck. We thought we had roadside assistance with our USAA account, but it took this mishap to find out we didn’t. After about 30 minutes, a kind soul saw us struggling and not only called AAA for us, but stayed with us until they came. Hot, sweaty, and a bit cranky, we finally got into our car almost two hours later.
I can’t thank that kind southern Samaritan enough – and luckily we’d kept the Thule Coaster out and had extra diapers and wipes for the twins. We went back into the Swamp Rabbit Cafe for squeeze packs for all the kids to eat, and water to drink, and somehow all three kids stayed miraculously happy through the entire ordeal.
Needless to say, I am grateful for chill kids, and we are getting a AAA account ASAP.