One thing that really takes me out of my nature groove is when I’m crushin’ on a trail, taking in the sights and sounds of nature’s glory, when BAM, some trash comes into view. Be it food wrappers, old tires or, in a recent case, some lawn chairs probably older than me, seeing garbage where it doesn’t belong is enough to bum out any rider and nature lover.
This is where the cargo bike saves the day.
A few months ago, I was exploring the previously un-known to me trails at A.J. Henry Park in Tallahassee, Florida and they were so gorgeous. Babbling creeks, steep ravines (the closest things us Floridians have to hills and mountains), gigantic southern magnolia trees, moss covered live oaks, the whole “forests of the south” shebang. The park is pretty close to a highway and neighborhoods but the actual trail is rather remote so you can imagine my surprise when I whipped around a corner and slightly off the trail I spotted some old school lawn chairs and a crumbling suit case, all covered in a heap of vines. GAH! Being that this trail was steep and far from a trail head, I can imagine these would be hard to hike out with so I made a mental note of where they were and committed to heading back out with my Bosch powered EdgeRunner to get that trash gone. (More deets on my trash haulin’ bike set up can be found here).
On my trip back out, I made some time for exploring off the bike since I had only ridden on the trail. I made my way down to one of the many ravines and it was like I had entered another world. Ebony winged damsel flies were fluttering all over, hopping from leaf to leaf, making the creek seem like a fairy wonderland. I also spotted my first wild crayfish swimming in the creek pools carved into the red clay and limestone!
The ride to and from the park took me through some urban streets, but even those were filled with delights. There’s nothing quite like oak trees covered in Spanish moss on a not-to-hot summer day.
In all, this haul weighed about 32 lbs. and it felt so good knowing next time I ride that trail, I may find a million mosquitoes around every corner but I sure as heck won’t find a lawn chair or two.
What good are you doing out there with your bike? We’d love to hear all about it!