Pack it up, grab some friends and roll out! There’s something magical about a sub 24 (under 24 hours) bike camping trip. It takes just as long to make a list, check it a thousand times and talk to everybody about the stuff they’re taking, need, don’t need, wish they had, wish you had etc. etc., packing up the bike, making sure it’s secure and stable and checking your list again than it does to actually ride, camp and ride back! So what’s the point? Why put so much energy into such a short ride? Because it’s. A. Blast. It feels like a mini family vacation; you let loose and get weird like nobody’s watching. And for those that take longer bike trips it’s a way to test out new gear, packing philosophies and general bike set-up in a safe environment. In case something fails, you’re not miles from nowhere trying to figure it out. It happens in a flash so enjoy every blurry second of it. At one point we were sitting in the middle of a country road staring up at the starlit sky chatting about whatever was on our minds. It was pretty and perfect.
So, what did we ride and pack?
The beauty of the these short rides is the freedom to pack as little or as much as you want. Riding with at least one other person is a good idea in case you forget something important because It’s likely your riding partner will have it.
Tanner was pulling a trailer behind his fixed gear Miyata! One tough cookie. He simply packed his tent, sleeping bag, pad and a comic book – he also hauled beer for us – Easy, fast, no frills. It’s a perfect example of making due with what you got! Dylan and Alex packed just as light too. They both had their gear packed on the handlebars (Dylan rode his SS Krampus and Alex his Twin Six) keeping the weight up front and stable. They packed their sleeping bag, pads, pillows, extra clothes and tools. Alex had coffee, cup and some hidden bottle rockets too. Matt (bike not pictured) rode his Ogre packed with his tent, sleeping bag and ukulele. Matt is sort of uncanny, he can sleep in temps that a wookie would cower at. I’m surprised he actually brought a tent. I packed the Ice Cream Truck for the apocalypse: tent, pad, pillow, tools, bug spray, clothes, Toms, saw, stove, coffee, coffee cup, hard-boiled eggs and of course, fireworks. All necessities, right? Especially the fireworks.
It's all about fun!
We stopped three times on a 20 mile ride. Three times! We stopped once on the bike path, once at a bar where we saw another rowdy group of Madisonians on a ride. And once in the middle of a country road. We drank, laughed, stumbled and shot off fireworks. It was 14 hours of shenanigans and I can’t wait until we do it again. Pack it up, grab some friends and roll out!