I love the idea of bike camping, cyclocamping, velocamping, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve even bought special gear to go out and ride as far as I want to and settle down for the night. The only problem is that I’ve only gone out a few times.
It not because I am not experienced at camping, nor is it that there is a lack of places I could set up camp at… it’s just camping isn’t fun all by yourself. And really… who the hell wants to just go ride somewhere with twenty or thirty pounds of supplies so you can sleep on the ground and cook hot dogs.
Surprisingly enough there are a lot of sites with sections dedicated to bike camping. These dudes are pretty extreme. I chatted it up with a few of them a few years ago. They have logged many hours and miles doing things like this. Like I said, I’m savvy and interested… but still wet behind the ears. Some people live out on their bikes with camping supplies enough to be misjudged as homeless folk. Seriously, and they love it. I don’t think I want to be one of these guys either. I just want to be able to bring an overnight backpack and be able to drink and chill with some friends.
Take a look at how many places there are around here:
Not all of these locations are 1oo% legit, but they are places I have stayed with friends or family. I think the one in the top, right corner; Audra State Park is only 15 miles away from home, and the Stonecoal Wildlife Reserve is roughly seven or eight miles? Regardless of the distance, Grant Peterson’s S240 philosophy is perfect:
On an S24O, going home is the plan from the get-go, so it’s not wimping out. You can have a miserable night like we did, your gear can get battered and soaked and packed away wet, and it just doesn’t matter. Plus you’ll have good stories to tell afterward. Like mine, they are not the most hilarious stories and maybe they won’t be death-defying, but they’re just the kind of experiences you need now and then to appreciate your day-to-day comfort — and they’re best done on S24Os.
Like I said, bike camping sounds fun and people should do it more often instead of reading my blog or watching American Idol or whatever is cool these days.
What I bring on my bike camping rides:
- 70oz camelbak (reservoir only)
- Piepan and or bit of foil
- Stainless Steel Cup
- Floor Mat/Pad
- 6′ x 8′ Tarp
- Lightest, Most Comfortable Tent I could buy
- Sleeping Bag, or Sleeping Bag Liner depending on temperature and desired weight/space
- Foods (no more than 3lbs)
- Tea bags/Sweetener/?cervezas?
- Inflatable Pillow
- Frame Backpack to carry it all in.
For my bike, I typically put the rear rack on so I can mount my tent, sleeping bag and floor mat to it and it makes riding so much easier! I also suggest not bringing your brand new $4000 bike with you. Bring your commuter/rain bike. it will do well enough.
Back on the topic of S240s – these are great ideas. I love the thought of them with friends. Just riding out somewhere until a consensus is made and camp out. I really want to do one of these as soon as the weather clears up from the snow.
Here are a bunch of interesting links: (some are a bit over the top though)
http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2007/07/very-vague-s240.html – I love his blog, and you need to check this out!