A Two-Wheeled View
Published: August 22, 2013
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It's not "two tickets to paradise," as the song says; instead, it's two wheels to paradise this weekend in Fleetville.
The Countryside Conservancy, a non-profit land trust housed on the campus of Keystone College in LaPlume, is hosting its fourth annual "Go Green Bike Tour" this Sunday, Aug. 25. Riders of all ages and abilities will get the chance to pedal their way through Lackawanna, Wyoming and Susquehanna counties on trails departing from the Fleetville Volunteer Fire Co., located on Rte. 407, from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Guided and unguided rides as well as road and mountain bike tours are available.
Tour organizer Caroline Seamans explained that part of the reason behind the tour is to give riders a first-hand experience of what the Countryside Conservancy is doing to protect lands in Northeast Pennsylvania.
"We were looking for an event so that people could actually see some of the view sheds that we have created," she said. "We wanted people to be aware that while they are out biking that a lot of what they are biking on or what they are looking at is because of us."
One of the more challenging tours available at the event is a 65-mile ride, giving participants the chance to see Countryside Conservancy lands in all three of the counties it serves. There is also a route specifically designed for children on the fire company's grounds.
"There's a route for everybody who is seeking a different degree of length or challenge," said tour publicity director Diana Dakey. "Here at the Countryside Conservancy, we want people to get out and appreciate what's around them. By doing that, they can appreciate what we do here because are all about preserving land so that everybody can enjoy it, whether by driving, hiking or bike riding."
Tour chairperson Kristin Patchell explained that part of the event's allure is that it helps people reconnect not only to nature but, also, to themselves.
"When you ride, you are inspired by the land itself," she said. "Something happens when you are exercising on your bike and you're just able to experience the peacefulness of it. People are drawn back to that in a way they can experience. For a lot of people, it is the first time they've been out of Scranton in a while, so it is a great day."
Tour registration is $40 and includes lunch. Non-riders may also purchase lunch tickets for $12. Registration is available online at https://www.bikereg.com/Net/countryside-conservancy-go-green-biketour-pennsylvania through Friday, Aug. 23, and will also be available the morning of the event. Riders participating in longer tours are suggested to arrive as early as possible. All riders must wear helmets.
Group rates are available for groups of ten or more people by calling the Countryside Conservancy's offices at 945-8895. Visit www.countrysideconservancy.org/go-green-bike-tour.html for more information.
"The connection between nature and wellness is similar with people," Patchell said. "We find people we connect with and things in nature we feel we can relate to."
"With people, even if they have circumstances in their lives or health barriers to face, when they start taking advantage of what nature has to offer them, even if it is just that peace of mind, things change and you see people transformed when they learn how to connect to nature," she continued. "This bike tour helps them see how all of this connects to this wonderful organization."