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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-09-10, 02:04 PM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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How do you take a bike camping? (Plus some OT pics)

I just spent a week camping in North Cascades Nat'l Park. Sadly, I left the bike at home, and sorely missed it for most of the trip. It's amazing how much freedom comes with a good bike; even in an inflatable dinghy, I feel a little bit "trapped" by comparison. But, I think a lot of us ride bikes because we like being outdoors, and so I'm hoping others will have some good advice.

I stayed at two campgrounds: one was in the woods at the edge of a lake, ideal for cycling, and the other was a backpacking trip that required a permit, up a trail that would be impossible on any bike. I don't believe either had a rack. Would it make sense to bring a cable lock, and attach the bike to a tree trunk? Do people leave their bikes behind and go hiking, in areas like this? I imagine it's less likely to run into a bike thief, but also that there's less to deter one if they do go exploring...

Hiking in a place named after a mountain range gives you elevation plots that look like one of Mr Beanz's rides. It's hard work, and a lot of it is borne by the legs, like cycling, and to a lesser extent by the cardio-vascular system. ( There's also carrying around a heavy backpack, while doesn't apply to cycling. ) I notice that long hikes are getting a lot easier than they used to be, since I've been biking so much, and especially since I've been taking on the hills in my city. I've been told that one shouldn't help with the other, which never made sense, but I think if you climb steep enough hills that you wind up mashing in the granny gear, this is going to make hiking easier for you. Has anybody else noticed this?

Even after hiking more miles than I can count, when I got back home and took the first few rides, some of the hills I climb regularly were a lot easier to take. I wonder if this means that I need to rest more, in general?

Some pics, from when I didn't have my bike last week:







Next, I need one of those bicycle boats.
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Old 08-09-10, 02:20 PM   #2
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Theft doesn't seem to be much of an issue to typical campgrounds and there's no way to effectively lock my tent and other belongings. But I do use a light cable to lock my bike to a tree or picnic table to prevent a spontanious theft of opportunity. I frequently combine hiking and biking by riding to trailheads. Then I try to take the bike back a little way into some woods before locking it so it isn't visible from any main road.

Biking and hiking don't use exactly the same set of muscles, but there's still a big overlap. The main leg muscles are strengthened by both and of course your basic cardiovascular fitness carries over. So I'm not surprised that you noticed that the biking helped with hiking and vice versa. But there are also some different muscles used for each activity as I notice the day after a hard hike if I've only been biking for a long period before.

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Old 08-09-10, 02:42 PM   #3
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We took our bikes with us when we went camping a couple weeks ago. No backwoods camping though and the bikes came in handy for riding to the bathroom, showers, the beach, etc. For kayak/canoe trips, or backwoods hiking, I don't think it'd be worth the hassle. While I had a lock for our bikes, it was to secure to the car while traveling and going shopping. We left them unlocked at the campsite.
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Old 08-09-10, 02:59 PM   #4
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We take bikes along often. Usually just run a cable lock through all the frames to make them harder to just walk away with. Never had an issue with theft.
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Old 08-09-10, 03:52 PM   #5
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we lock ours to trees

We usually just run a cable lock with a couple of extra lengths of steel cable through the frame and wheels and attach to a tree. I usually throw a tarp over the bikes. It adds to the impression that it's just a couple of walmart bikes rather than something expensive.
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Old 08-09-10, 04:07 PM   #6
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I took a trip in June - for a week, I mountain biked the North RIm of the Grand Canyon. It was wilderness camping all the way. The bike, probably did better than me in that regard. I also underestimated the difficulty of the trip and the riding area. I jokenly tell people I took my bike hiking along the Grand Canyon. I set my bike up like it was a hiking buddy (you know with a hat and back pack on) and took photos... sad really... but I look forward to doing another MTB trip next year...

since we were literally in the middle of nowhere, no one worried about their bikes. They were just laid about everywhere!
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Old 08-09-10, 04:07 PM   #7
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I take my bike camping every year! We go up to Markleeville, CA to prepare for the Death Ride. I just lock it to a tree or throw it into my car overnight.

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Old 08-09-10, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
We took our bikes with us when we went camping a couple weeks ago. No backwoods camping though and the bikes came in handy for riding to the bathroom, showers, the beach, etc. For kayak/canoe trips, or backwoods hiking, I don't think it'd be worth the hassle. While I had a lock for our bikes, it was to secure to the car while traveling and going shopping. We left them unlocked at the campsite.
Interesting. How do you lock them to the car? I've got a roof rack, and while the bike attachment has a small cable lock, I don't trust it.

I would have skipped the wilderness section of this trip if I'd brought my bike with me ... partly because the two don't mix ( the trail to the camp was considerably narrower than my shoulders ), and partly because the bike would have kept me so busy that I wouldn't have had time to hike to Cascade Pass. I'm very happy that I got to go kayaking ( and it was a three mile hike just to get to the kayak ), but the road is spectacular for cycling - lots of hills, and great scenery. So I'm itching to go back, and to bring the bike...
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