The Waddling Dog? - Grampies and the Waddling Dog - CycleBlaze

The Waddling Dog?

Fans of the "Grampies" blogs are wondering by now whether we rode off the end of the earth or were abducted by aliens. After all, nothing has been heard from us since Grampies' Hawaiian Escape ended in February - almost 6 months ago.

And yes, other cycling friends are well into their summer travel projects. For example the Alstons, after kicking around Paris for a bit, are on the Moselle. And Michel Fleurance, with his friend Jean Claude, is well over half way from St Luce on the Loire to Herzogenaurach, in Bavaria. And perennial favourites, Tricia and Ken Graham are just a few days from Zurich to Madrid.

Well what happened was that we traded our own planned 4000 km Amsterdam to Lisbon sortie for the fun of a building project here on the farm. Well what happened was that we traded our own planned 4000 km Amsterdam to Lisbon sortie for the fun of a building project here on the farm. The project involved gutting our chicken processing shop and turning it into a multi-purpose space. It has been very hard work, dusty, a little dangerous, and still only half done. But fun!

Dodie has traded her gentle Bike Friday for a pneumatic gun!
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Actually our tent was way more water proof than this!
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Amsterdam is still on the list, but it will have to wait until next season. But wait, what about those now traditional short Grampies bike trips with grandchildren? What about Idaho? What about the Eastern Townships of Quebec? It doesn't have to be all Amsterdam and long distances, right?

Well, errrmm. Sort of. Avi and Violet were our first two grandkid cycling companions. We had a super swell time with them on WeeHoos, such as when Grampies went Panhandling. And in that blog we quite admirably (I must say) described the WeeHoos and how we were able to accomplish the feat of travelling by bike with little kids.

Our plan was for the kids to graduate to independently cycle bike trails, and then to join us in our favourite haunts, along the rivers of Europe. But this year they are kind of in between - too big for the WeeHoos and too little for long distances under their own power. We looked at solutions like the Trail A Bike (rejected because we figured the child could fall asleep back there and fall off) and the Follow Me - rejected for incompatibility with our 20" wheels.

The Follow Me tandem is good, but heavy and does not work with a Bike Friday
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In the end we kind of punted the question into next year, and headed off with the kids to San Diego, by plane. It was still fun, and you can read about it in our blog Teddy Returns to the Zoo..

We are kind of kicking ourselves, though, because while strolling on the Trans Canada Trail, not far from here, we ran into a family from Vancouver cycling on our Island with an infant in a trailer and a 4 1/2 year old (yes, just 4 1/2) with his own bike, supported by a device called the Trail Gator. That would have been our solution! How did we not know about it?? Ok, ok, watch for a Grampies Trail a Gator odyssey, next year!

The Trail Gator arm is extensible, and attaches to a bracket on the trailing bike. Some reviews say the arrangement is unstable, but the people we met on the Trans Canada seemed very happy with it.
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So then, what does all that have to do with a Waddling Dog, except for the allusion to the speed with which Grampies seem to be doing anything?

Waddling Dog is a motel north of Victoria. It is 7 km south of the town of Sidney, and 16 km north of Auntie Karyn's house in Victoria. This territory of Sidney to Victoria is well known for Amelia, oldest of the Montreal grand kids, who WeeHoo'd it with us last year. But WeeHoo is all new for next oldest, Evelyn. Evelyn did bravely do a trailer ride with us in Quebec, and it was brutal at times:

Evelyn would not agree, but this is our favourite kid cycling photo.
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But WeeHoo will be her challenge this time. We have reserved a spot at the Waddling Dog, so there is a safe haven at the end of the trek. Not only that, but breakfast is supplied (we think) and there is a McDonald's across the street. Is this us making it easier for the kids, or are the Grampies too totally soft?

The Waddling Dog is not actually a dog (we hope).
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Evelyn and Amelia (and oh yes, their Dad, and little Joseph) are flying in tomorrow. The next day will be for packing, and farm chores like collecting eggs. Then we head for the Waddling Dog, on the WeeHoos. Exciting? Dangerous? Maybe not to some readers. But put yourself in the position of the kids. This is Big, Big! (and did you know there is an ice cream shop along the way?)

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