all summer long i’ve been wanting to do an overnight-er bike trip. it’s been pretty difficult to plan, for one reason or another. sometimes it has been impossible, due to vacations, or family obligations…. and sometimes it just simply slipped my mind. this past thursday i remembered, and i had the time and availability. there was one small problem… my bike was in pieces.
i wasn’t too worried about it because it wasn’t anything i couldn’t handle. so i focused mostly on packing my gear. i have never been on a bikepacking trip before, but i did go on a trip last year so i had a list of learned lessons. for one i didn’t need so many clothes. last time i brought way too many clothes and had to carry them with me the whole time, despite the fact that i used the same clothes everyday. also, i brought way too much food last time. last time i stopped at stores and fast food, so i had little need for camping food. so this time minimal food. i really liked having my stove, there is nothing like hot french-pressed coffee in the morning. other than that lights, water, tent, sleeping bag.
as i was packing that night i started getting a little discouraged when i remembered that it was labor day weekend. this was a problem because all of the camping spots were going to be full… and a quick check on-line proved this to be the case. i didn’t think i needed a camp ground, but i didn’t know enough about roadside camping to give it a try.
i went to bed thinking that i was not going to go after all. a funny thing happened while i was sleeping….i dreamt that i was bikepacking in denver. i asked someone where i can camp, and he told me to camp next to this pond. the pond was full, so my wife [who just appeared out of no where] suggested that i try highlands ranch. highlands ranch is a super suburb of denver and not suitable for camping in any form, but it was just a dream.
i woke up the next morning super motivated. i was going to do it. i was still a little unsure of the camping thing, so i looked it up and found this guy with all this great advice. i read some helpful advice and then realized that i had better start putting my bike together. when i went outside to look at it, i noticed that it was far more dismantled than i had remembered. the chain was disconnected, the derailleur was in multiple pieces, the bottom bracket was removed and the bearings were still soaking and covered in old grease and sand. there was a good 2 hours of bike work to do.
i worked as hard as i could cleaning and reassembling everything, and when i finished it was about 8:30am. i still had to clean some tools and test ride my mods. plus, i smelled like a lemon grease pit.
well, it takes me about an hour to ride to work, so even if i left at that moment it would still put me about a half hour late. i decided to send my, “i’m going to be in late this morning” e-mail just so it wouldn’t be unexpected when i showed up. i should just make that message a template in word so i don’t have to type it in so often.
i had a little more packing to do and i had to pack my lunch for work, and shower…. i didn’t leave the house until about 9:10.
here is a quick summary
bike status: clean, bottom bracket is worn. two panniers, and a handlebar pack. everything normal.
me: clean, one backpack with work related items [clothes, lunch, etc].
food items packed: one liter of water, one water bottle, three energy bars, one pack of cajun trail-mix, one bag of mix dried fruit, one dehydrated bowl noodles, a few honey sticks, one avocado, and one cheese stick.
camping items: hooped bivi [small tent], down sleeping bag, sleeping foam, jet boil, fuel, misc bike tools, tire tube, cell phone, wallet, one 10w halogen light, one led blinking headlight, two red led taillights, two bar end leds, one digital camera.
items to note: no extra clothing, and i think i can camp anywhere.