2005-09-10

Bike Camping


Julie and I took a mid-week adventure just to switch things up a bit. I've been talking for a while that it would be fun to go camping, and use our bikes to get there. Given the limited range on our bikes, our choices of places to camp were few. We decided on Pleasant Creek. It's pretty close and we were able to take the Cedar Valley Nature Trail up to Center Point and then ride in to the park from the northeast through the Lewis Bottoms.

The ride turned out to be a little longer than expected (30 miles), but overall not bad. The worst of it is riding on 2 lane county roads which might as well be the autobahn. I swear one car went by at over 80mph.

It's getting dark early this time of year, so we didn't have much daylight to do anything at the park. We attempted to start a fire, but were unable to find any decent brush to burn. Funny thing. You can't really carry firewood on a bike :) I did take some "fire started". I bet you didn't know that MSDN magazine puts up a fight to flame. That stuff just would not burn!

Being the outdoor geek that I am, this wouldn't be complete without talking up the gear that made the trip enjoyable. First off, I'm continually impressed with my Gregory Advent Pro backpack. The backpack is fantastically comfortable and does a great job at controlling loads. I used it before on a weeklong trip, so I already knew it was good, but that didn't stop me from appreciating it on this trip as well. I forgot I was even wearing it at times and it was jammed full with our tent, my sleeping bag, Julie's pillow, some clothes, and my headlamp.

I was also able to finally try out my new bike light. My Light & Motion Vega was great. On the way out, I kept it lit at a low setting, just for visibility to passing cars. At camp, I popped it off the handlebar mount and used it as a flashlight and mini-lantern in the tent. Having a bike light without an added battery bag lets the light serve a lot of purposes, so I was glad I chose that one. The next morning, it lit our way on the 10 mile road ride in the dark in to Center Point. We didn't have any problems with cars being able to see us and the Vega tossed out plenty of light. Even though the sun was up shortly after that, I left it on the rest of the way, just to test the battery life. I was quite impressed. I got a burn life past what they state and this was only the second charge cycle it has been through.

If I had it to do over, I think I would take the following morning off, just to allow for a little extra sleep, but I would definitely do this mini-adventure again. So, who wants to go on the next one? You don't even have to ride. You can meet us at the park with some cold beer... and firewood.

Ride your bike.

6 comments:

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Me said...

nice informative post .... keep it up...
have a great weekend....

-- I said...

I totally need a bike ;-(

-- I said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peace of Mind said...

Jason refuses to sleep in a tent. We did one time in high school, but never again. I would be up for it, but not without my favorite bunk mate. Maybe you can talk him into it. By the way do you have an extra tent? ;)

Samantha said...

Tent camping is the way to go! My parents have been doing the camper thing for a while now, and it's made me dislike camping. I end up sleeping in all morning and miss the sunrises because it's too much like sleeping in a house. It's still cool to hear the rain, but the overhead lights take the fun out of searching for things with a flashlight.