Let's take a walk!
In 2004 when I moved back to northern Ohio, an ad in the local paper caught my eye: “Join us for a Polar Bear Walk through downtown Cleveland.” I wondered what kind of group would be sponsoring a 10K walk along the shores of Lake Erie during the first week of January. I decided to find out and on an unusually warm winter day I began a walking journey that has continued these past 10 years. The monthly walks from May to November have taken me to interesting neighborhoods and beautiful parks throughout northeast Ohio with the added bonus of meeting a wonderful group of new friends.
The group that sponsored the Polar Bear walk was Valley Vagabonds, a member of the Ohio Volkssport Association. I discovered that volkssports are self-paced, non-competitive events providing aerobic exercise in the form of walking, bicycling, swimming and cross-country skiing. Volkssporting in the United States is sponsored by the American Volkssport Association. AVA has a nationwide, grassroots network of approximately 300 active clubs offering more than 3,000 volkssporting events each year. The Ohio Volkssport Association provides information on the 12 volkssporting clubs located in Ohio.
The Cleveland Volkssport Club, Valley Vagabonds, was founded in June 1980. The club sponsors traditional and year-round walking events. Everyone, regardless of age or fitness level, is invited to participate in the events walking at their own pace following a trail map.
Registration for all events is free; however, a New Walker packet is available for those who want to obtain AVA credit for the walks which, after 10 events, individual walkers receive a patch and certificate for their accomplishments.
Twenty-five walkers enjoyed our May 17 walk at the Bradley Woods Reservation in Westlake. A list of upcoming 5K and 10K walks, including the Saturday, June 14, walk at the Vermillion Fish Festival, can be found at valleyvagabonds.wordpress.com. For more information, please contact our president, Deva Simon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.