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Walking your way to fitness & good health

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POSTED January 30, 2013 3:43 p.m.

About seven years ago, Georgie Reed received an invite from a friend to attend a function of the Delta Tule Trekkers Volkssport.

She had no idea back then that this encounter would change her life.

Reed, who lives in Stockton, found the noncompetitive hikes and walks sponsored by the American Volkssport Association – a grassroots network made up of about 300 active clubs involved in more than 3,000 volkssporting events each year – much to her liking.

She soon joined the many people who adopted volkssporting as part of her lifestyle.

Volkssporting was founded in Germany in 1976 and is defined as “a personal fitness sports and recreation program offering noncompetitive walks, hikes, bike rides, swims, and, in some regions, cross-country skiing.”

AVA is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting fun, fitness and friendship.

The Delta Tule Trekkers, meanwhile, will host 10 year-round events, with many of the routes allowing for access of wheelchairs, strollers and pets.

Included are the following:

• Manteca (10 kilometer, 5 kilometer) through business and residential areas including the murals and Tidewater Bike Path. Starting point is McDonald’s on West Yosemite Avenue and Union Road.

• Merced (10k, 5k) through Bear Creek, Applegate Park and Zoo, and the grand Merced Courthouse build in 1875 and modeled after the State Capitol. Starting point is the California Welcome Center.

• Oakdale (10k, 5k) also known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” The route covers parks and some of the residential areas along the Stanislaus River. The group meets at 825 E. F St.

• Modesto (10k, 5k) along the mostly paved route through park trails and residential areas. Points of interest include the McHenry Mansion and Museum and downtown.

• Ione (10k, 5k) nestled in the foothills of Gold Country. This walk meanders through town and the residential areas along the golf course. Meeting place is 313 Preston Ave. along Highway 104 and Highway 124.

• Mariposa (10k, 5k) with the walk consisting of some dirt trails and uphill climbs, thus, making it tough on those with strollers and wheelchairs. The route includes the Mariposa County Courthouse, the History Center and Museum, and many historic buildings and churches. Meeting place is 4999 Highway 140.

• Lodi (10k, 5k) along the refurbished downtown, Lodi Lake and its nature trail. Meeting place is 200 W. Lodi Ave.

Reed, who is secretary of the Delta Tule Trekkers, noted that the Stockton-based group consisting of about 70 members often takes part in AVA-sponsored weekend walks throughout California hosted by other clubs.

While she’d like to see younger participants, Reed said her group consists mostly of elderly or seniors.

“We’ll separate into our little groups, walk at our pace, and talk,” Reed said.

On walks that take place in remote areas, she indicated that Delta Tule Trekker members will bring their own food and even throw something on the barbecue grill to share.

Reed enjoys the social part of the experience perhaps equally as much as the outdoor activity. “Everybody here is very friendly,” she added.

Reed and her husband, Dave, also enjoy hiking.

Over the years, they’ve made numerous treks including southern Utah.

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