Geez. I go camping for the weekend and ya'll act like I rode off to the edge of the world (there is an edge you know). I guess that's what I get for being all mysterious and dramatic. Anyways, I know I was loaded for a month long tour, but I only went out for the weekend to a state park about 35 miles from my home. I fully intend to do week/month/??? long tours, but I am starting with overnighters. You see, I haven't camped since I was a kid, probably 25 years now or longer, and that was all by car. I have a lot to learn about bicycle camping and touring. Since early this winter, I've been slowly piecing my equipment together as funds allowed and finally was able to pack it all on a bike and take off this weekend. Let me tell you, it was great.
I hooked up with this outfit called Cycle Wild. They lead two or three day trips to local wilderness locations. There's no charge for this, as they provide nothing but guidance. You have to provide your own equipment, food and pay your own fees if any. They call what they do "bicycle camping". I am interested in "touring". There's a bit of difference you can imagine, but there is some cross-over, and I figured it would be a good chance to practice with my equipment and work on a typical packing list. And hell, bicycle camping is just fun too. The weather was perfect, mid 80's and sunny the whole time. I lay in bed friday night going over the trip in my head, and it occured to me - I'm going into the wilderness with a group of strangers I read about on the internet. Is this a good idea, I wondered? Well, it was fine, naturally. Except for the two Cycle Wild folks, we were all newbies. They were all cool and interesting though, and we all survived just fine.
Is your name Doug?
I'm assuming that the two kickstands keep the bike upright rather than slightly leaning to one side. What with the weights hanging off the sides, it probably seems like a good idea.
That's right. When it deploys, it's like a center stand on a motorcycle. I've read that one legged kickstands will not support a loaded touring bike and often tip over.
Have a good time! A few years ago I grabbed a crappy old mountain bike and my backpack and I biked across Normandy for 2 weeks. Best f'in time of my life!
Nice. I am wet with anticipation of my first multi week tour. It seems like such an adventure.
The wife, dogs, sick relatives.
Gods, I hear you man. My mother and my grandmother have both been sick this summer, and I've spent most of time running back and forth caring for them. I would be a lot further along with my goals to get out and tour this summer were it not for them. But, it's my mom and grandmother. You gotta take care of 'em (though I keep threatening to put my mom into a home if she doesn't get herself back together
). As for the dog, I just came home with a new bicycle trailer for dogs. I don't know about taking her touring with me, but I reckon she'll enjoy weekend camping trips!
I am 50 and as of yet have never had the opportunity to 'get away'. My life long dream has always been to get on the back of a big comfortable motorcycle and spend a Summer exploring the US. Alas, it will NEVER happen.
Never say never, as they say. I'm 42 and just getting started. Yeah, I wish I had gotten into cycling 20 years ago, but I didn't. I'm doing it now though. I hope you can make it happen for yourself. When I was a young boy, my mother hung around a bunch of motorcyclists. I went on several summer tours with that crowd and it was just awesome. Do it!
Erm, I'm actually interested in doing something like this... but how does one even begin? I'm already getting back into shape and I also feel the call of doing something adventurous like biking all over, taking my sketchbook with me, but the logistics baffle me. Where do you sleep? What do you eat? How much do you plan your route?
All good questions, and ones that I'm still trying to answer for myself. My biggest hurdle so far has been - what to eat? Well, this weekend, even though it was just an overnighter, I treated it more like a tour, with respect to gear and food. For supper, I boiled some pasta and squirted pizza sauce over it. Pasta is easy pack along. I don't know how long the pizza sauce would last without refrigeration, but I reckon it would be good for a couple of days anyways. It wasn't half bad at all! For breakfast, I had oatmeal. I eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday anyways. It's easy to pack along, needs only water (though I brought some brown sugar to put in it). For lunch, I bought some foil packets of tuna and bread. Again, easy to pack, no refigeration. A little plain, and dry, to be sure, but completely edible and satisfying. I also brought peanut butter, but didn't have any. I pretty much live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at home, but I wasn't sure if jelly would survive on a tour. The guys at the camp seemed to think jelly would be fine, so I'll try that next time. So that makes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Variety would be nice, but I haven't got that far along yet.
As for sleeping, that's easy. I got a tent this winter during one of REI's big sales, and a sleeping bag and sleeping pad at a later REI sale this spring/summer. Light weight, intended for backpacking, packs small. That part was easy.
For Trip Planinng, I think you can go either way. Heavy planning or winging it. People do it both ways, I've read, and I think it just kind of depends on what sort of person you are. I am not sure where I fall on this issue yet.
Any how, I'm off to day dream about the next trip. Ciao.