Seniors Bike Riding
Things to do for Seniors in Merritt
“Bike, helmet, lock and picnic lunch all organized, off we went.”
Come have some bike riding fun in Merritt. Remember when we were kids? We biked everywhere because we had to. It was our only means of transportation if we didn’t want to walk. Today we planned to take an easy ride around the flat part of Merritt, since I haven’t been on a bike for over 35 years. As a senior I decided a gentle restart to bike riding was in order. We could stop for a picnic lunch in a quiet, grassy place, near the river or in one of the parks along the route.
Senior Bike Choices
Since I don’t own my own bike, I decided to get the best bike and biking information directly from Travis at “Breathe Bikes”. The word is out. He not only sells a wide range of bikes and all the gear to go with them, he also rents them. And at very reasonable rates too! Some really pretty ones include a new favorite of mine – the tricycle.
Tricycles For Seniors
At first, I felt unsure about riding a tricycle. I thought, “How can I say I got my bruises
from falling off a tricycle? This thing will be heavy, clumsy and hard to steer.” That is sooo not true! Travis had me test-drive an evo bike. Once around the block and I was hooked! That’s all it took for me to get the feel of “triking”.
I loved my evo tricycle with its upright handlebars. I could actually sit on its comfortable, bum-shaped seat! It is light, steers well, and has a large basket fitted on the back. A good load of groceries or a big picnic for two (with wine) will easily fit. It even folds for easier storage! Bike, helmet, lock and picnic lunch all organized, off we went.
Seniors Biking Routes
The route you take will depend on your fitness level. You can wimp out (as I did) and go for super easy or challenge yourself with a tough, uphill grind. Our choice was the Coldwater River/Voght Street route, an easy 3.4 km, most of it away from traffic.
We started outside “Breathe Bikes” on Quilchena Avenue, turned right onto Voght Street and were on our way.
We passed several interesting shops in the first few blocks so I mentally marked them for further exploration another day. Our goal was the entrance to the trail that runs alongside the Coldwater River. It’s an easy find because the parking lot gives it away.
The Coldwater River Trail
When we reached the Coldwater River Trail, everything was amazing! It was one of those perfect days when Merritt smiles on you. The sky was a beautiful cloudless blue. A warm, light breeze cooled our barely sweating skin and not a single mosquito showed its nasty little head! Not even in the cool, tree-shaded parts of the path.
This is a peaceful, scenic route with lots of little perks. We lucked out that day! The saskatoon berries were ripe when we went by so, of course we stopped to pick some. Good thing we brought a couple of bags with us. Merritt always seems to have tasty, wild things growing along the paths wherever we go.
It’s a good thing we weren’t trying for a hard workout. The river is low at this time of year and such a distraction that we tied up and skidded down the bank for a short wade. Yes, the water is cold! Found some pretty rocks washed down by the spring floods, nothing valuable, just pretty. Afterward, we sat on a gravel bar listening to the birds and enjoying the sweet, warm air.
Bike Riding and Lunch
Our stomachs were starting to let us know that lunch was next, so we scrambled back up to our bikes and pushed on. This last part of the path seemed to be quite busy. More bike riders, people walking dogs, dogs walking people, and several runners- all going faster than we were!
When we were almost at Main Street we found a good place for a picnic. Lots of green grass, a few shade trees, laughter, families having lunch, a dog chasing a ball. A good place to eat. We tied up our bikes (trike), spread out our feast and tucked in. I guess I should admit here that the saskatoons never made it home. They topped off our lunch deliciously!
The last part of our ride was on city streets, but quiet city streets. Main Street and then Quilchena Avenue were very peaceful all the way back to “Breathe Bikes”.
We’d had such a relaxing day! It felt as if I had been gone for a weekend instead of only a few hours. Going bike riding is another great thing for seniors to do in Merritt.
I returned my tricycle reluctantly. In the short time we spent together on the trail, I felt that the trike and I had become good friends. Do you think I should give her a permanent home?
I would call her Millie.
From your senior blogger,