I learned to ride a bike when I was 7 years old. My sister, for some reason, felt like a wonderful Mother’s Day gift would be for Mom to wake up and see her son proudly pedaling around the sidewalks.
In retrospect, I probably should have disagreed.
We woke early in the morning, lugged the bike to the top of the block and I was off. She pushed, I fell, and I’m sure I screamed. I remember blood and torn jeans. But I was 7, so it was probably time to figure all this out.
My sister took the “ripping the Band-Aid off approach,” and, well, I learned to remain upright – at least long enough to bike past the house as Mom stood watching. My guess is that I crashed at the bottom of the hill, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who remembers that part.
Both of my kids learned to ride bikes at a much earlier age, and I assume that is the norm these days. Asher was on the trails – Phil’s World, Alien Run, Test Tracks – by the age of 4 or 5. Given, his scrawny little legs couldn’t even come close to climbing a hill – a steel bike and one gear notwithstanding. But he would make it, and just like me, he would end the day with blood caked on some part of his body.
And every August, Elena and Asher ride in the Tour de Farms. Not because they are excited to see fruits and vegetables, nor overly giddy to get ideas for their future gardens. While they do love the ride (and the occasional chickens), their dad makes them go.
This year will be no different. Come Aug. 23 the kids will wake up and pedal.
The eighth annual Tour de Farms will once again visit in-town and out-of-town gardens alike, as we have two tours to choose from:
A 16-mile route will visit Passion Flower Bouquet Farm north of Durango, then head up Junction Creek to the Falls Creek area. Along the way, riders will see a personal garden, a grow dome and the farms of Turtle Lake Refuge and Fields to Plate.
The in-town tour will focus on the western part of town as we visit two private spaces as well as the impressive Needham Elementary School and Manna Soup Kitchen gardens.
Both tours will culminate at the Powerhouse Science Center, which has re-established its garden space.
After the tour comes the best part: beer, Zia Taqueria burritos and bluegrass music, all at Ska Brewing Co. I mean, really, after a grueling 4-mile ride through the winding streets of Durango, who doesn’t need to recharge and rest those wobbly legs?
The tour, which truly exemplifies all that is unique and fun about living here, will feature presentations from farmers and garden directors, share ways you can support area efforts to strengthen our local food system and provide inspiration for starting your own edible paradise.
And there is nothing like seeing 40 people – from little tykes, like Asher and Elena once were, to grandpas and grandmas, who can really tell us what a garden looked like, piled into a backyard munching on peas, plums and Sungold tomatoes. That was my yard last year, and it was very cool to see.
Join us. Spandex is optional.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.