Grand Rapids Bike Park

Happy Thursday everyone!! This morning I woke up extra early to get my writing in before the pitter patter of little feet could be heard. Well, Declan sounds more like an angry elephant but he makes up for that with lots of snuggles and slobbery kisses! Does anyone have plans for this coming weekend? Last year we went camping but I work this weekend so we decided to stick closer to home. Jenison is having their parade on Monday so we are excited to be able to be a part of that and the opportunity to take a moment to thank all the men and women who have sacrificed for us.

About a month or so ago, I had mentioned that we were going to check out Grand Rapids Bike Park. Well we have made it and absolutely love going!!! Such a hidden gem that I never knew existed. It is located just east of US131 between 28th street and Burton street at 580 Kirtland St SW, Grand Rapids, MI, MI 49507. Now getting back there is a little sketchy and it even seems like you are driving into a business but the road to get back there runs between the train tracks and the fence separating the business. Now if you are looking for something fancy, this just isn’t your spot but if you enjoy being outside and learning new things, you will love it.

In the main area, there are three tracks and a cement bowl area. But to the side of the park, in the woods are multiple trails that contain multiple jumps and moguls. For those of us that aren’t quite at the skill level of jumping our mountain bikes, the path continues around those areas as well. Now the paths are not paved, but are dirt paths so sand patches can get you on the corners. Declan and I have had our fair share of wipe outs but at least it’s a semi- soft landing! Oh and Ethan definitely took a dive off of one of the jumps, which he rolled out of with nothing worse than being covered in prickers. Please don’t let that scare you off because there are definitely areas for every skill level. Declan rides a balance bike, which means he has no petals, and has done all of the tracks with us no problem. He is so funny, he will start down a hill and call himself the beast!

There are no public bathrooms, graffiti is abundant and we did see some glass shattered in the parking lot but the actual trails themselves are well taken care of. So if you are looking for a new place to try out, it is definitely worth it. Our first time out, just the boys brought their bikes but since then, Ethan and I have been enjoying it too. It has been a learning experience for me but I am embracing that I cannot let my boys have all the fun.

As I have gotten older, I have seen myself shift farther away from doing the adventurous things. Sure, I bring my kids to all of the places, but then have been content to watch them explore and my body shows that. It is hard to keep being active because some times those aches and pains seem overwhelming the next day but it is a process. A process to keep trying and realizing that my body will adjust as well as keep getting stronger if I push it a little bit everyday! This past year has been hard on my mental game. I have struggled with my attitude and my image of myself. I am heavier than I have ever been and that is discouraging. But I am trying to not let my negative attitude about myself keep me from making memories with my babies.

So this summer our goal is try try new places, making sure that all of us are participating. Stay active everyday by going on walks or bike rides. Personally, I will strive to love myself for where I am at but also set goals to a healthier version of me. I will wear the swimsuit and the shorts without self shaming because we are all beautiful at every stage.

I hope you have a wonderful two weeks. Enjoy some family time and hopefully some of you make it out to the bike park!

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