To our first Quick Cycle News. Newsletters. Sheesh. They can take some time to write. And they can get long. There’s always so much good news and hype to share. But in the effort to keep y’all more consistently informed and engaged with some of the most excellent stuff we got going, we’ll supplement our current bi-monthly newsletter with a bi-monthly brief update.
These will be quick, non-comprehensive peaks at some cool things we’ve been doing, are doing, will be doing with some dashes of fun and education mixed in. These Quick Cycle News will be framed inside of our core values: Welcome. Adventure. Volunteer. Educate. Just a little bi-monthly w.a.v.e. to y’all.
The Youth Program reignited after Covid hiatus with a stellar week-long bike adventure camp all last week, Monday-Friday, followed by a bike camping trip to Camp Dan Beard. This was done in partnership with Emily Oaks Nature Center and thanks to a grant from the Skokie Community Foundation. The camp included 10 youth, 3 of which had adaptive needs that OOFD's volunteers stepped in with the training, gear and good vibes to make the week truly special and radically inclusive.
If you yourself want to get a good adult bike camping adventure in you should consider the profound, moving, maybe even life changing 4 day bike trip looping the top of the Door County Peninsula (9/16-9/19). The trip includes 2 nights even sleeping in a tent on an island! In Lake Michigan! Truly not an adventure to miss. Deets on this Ride to Valhalla here. For you newsletter folks, y'all get $50 off by using the discount code AugustCycleNews when buying your ticket (though August 31).
And if you are looking for something more chill and chilly and chili, sign up for this end of the year party ride to Illinois Beach State Park on October 22-23. Bring your friends! Because adventure, especially this one, is usually better when shared with others.
Per usush, we could gush for days on our stellar line-up of volunteers. We’ve had over 45 volunteer slots filled so far this year and that’s just for our overnight rides!
But in this quick update, we gotta shout out the Where the Wild Things Grow Program. We’ve had two lovely day trips to do habitat restoration and trail maintenance and each time with some outstanding partners including Friends of the Major Taylor Trail for an Earth Day event, servicing the trail just north of 95th Street, and one in partnership with Patagonia as well as the stellar site stewards at the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary over near Addison and the lake. We’ll have a couple more of these coming in September and October, so keep an eye out and join in on one.
"To promote perception is the only truly creative part of recreational engineering."
Aldo Leopold, a brilliant, thought provoking hero of our region, wrote this in his stunning book A Sand County Almanac.
Check out a short blog we wrote ("Leopold, Perception, and Celebration") reflecting a bit on him, and gain a little more insight on why we think bike camping and deepening our reverence for our home, and the entirety of our local habitats, are so important, and why doing it with the celebratory OOFD spirit just fits and feels so good.
Finally, check us out (and a bunch of other rad, inclusive, Chicago-based, outdoor orgs) in this very written article in Block Club Chicago by Erica Zazo.
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"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"