This is a copy and paste from my blog so hopefully it comes out right.
First Bikepacking Trip EVER | 280 Dude
I and my friend Mike C. have hiked, kayaked, biked, etc. and we want to start Bikepacking and Touring more. Bikepacking is a short Tour and a Tour is a long Bikepacking. Kindof.
I'll also outline the AdvoCare products that I use to help me along.
An overnighter was picked out for this past Saturday. I was going to take my hybrid (rear rack, etc) but a wheel went out of true. I then decided to throw caution to the wind and take my brand new, never been rode, 2014 Raleigh Revenio 2.0. I don't have a rack on it nor did I want to test out those skinny wheels with myself plus camping gear so I decided to use my Burley Travoy.
To date (2014) I had only done about 50 miles total due to a series of flats and wheel truing issues. I knew I could complete the 20+ miles there and the 20 miles back even if I had to gear down or take some breaks so it was a safe thing to do, even with a new bike.
When riding on your bike or carrying things on your back you have to resist the urge to take everything to prepare for anything. I tend to over pack. When I don't I find I wish I would have. However this time I left a few things at home on purpose and ..... yep, I wish I had taken them. More on that later.
At this time of the year in Ohio we get a bunch of wind. The temperature fluctuates from day to day and the thermal inversion is always working its magic. It went from chilly on Friday to warming on Saturday (creating wind) to much chillier on Sunday (creating more wind).
Saturday arrives and I go to Mike C.'s house and we prep the bikes. After a brief detour to drop off something we continue to John Bryan State Park Campground. Right away I notice how much more efficient my new bike is over my current hybrid. This is to be expected of course.
For any ride (or any exercise) of significance I make sure that I use ReHydrate. This helps my body replenish itself with electrolytes, feeds your muscles some amino acids, contains antioxidants to fight the free radicals produced during exercise and fuels your body with carbohydrates for energy production and sustained muscle endurance. This is especially important when you are going to be in a campsite where you don't have free access to your normal "stuff". I use it pre and post-ride to help that current activity and to help prepare for the next day.
Another product I would fight a pack of bears for is Nighttime Recovery. I reviewed it HERE so go there if you want to know what it does. I used it for this trip and I woke up on Sunday FAR more recovered than I would have without it.
Advocare's Spark is Spark. It's awesome. It's what has kept me off my Mt. Dew. It's a game-changer.
We had wind in our face most of the way and I for one could really feel it. I know pulling the Travoy takes extra effort and with that wind it took about 10 miles before I really started to feel it. It was a good hurt though as hey, we were on our bikes going camping! In Yellow Springs we stopped at a Subway to get a bite to eat before continuing on to the camp ground. Even though Yellow Springs is VERY bike friendly one of us stayed with the bikes while the other went in to get their order. You can see on the left that I have my gear on the Burley Travoy while Mike C. has his in panniers and a rear rack. We are trying things out to see what is more stressful on the ride, pulling a trailer like the Travoy or using panniers and possibly a handlebar bag.
We were hoping to get a certain spot at John Bryan because there are not many places there that are good for hanging hammocks. As we pedaled into the camping area we noticed a Scout bus to the right and a tent up near our spot! HEY! We got closer and found out that the spot we wanted was open so we quickly pulled in. We then took our gear out of our packs and put it on the picnic tables and proceeded to setup our hammocks. In the above photo you can see that we have them basically setup and are ready to add underquilt and tarp.
On the left you see Mike C. in his homemade hammock with his homemade underquilt with his homemade top quilt. What you DON'T see is his homemade (DIY = Do It Yourself) tarp. You will see that in another picture.
NOW you can see his DIY tarp (left, camo) with doors you can close to keep out the wind and keep in the heat. I have a Warbonnet Traveler (1.7 Double) and Kelty Tarp with an underquilt that Mike C. made for me. It got down to the upper 20's and we slept warmly except I tend to hang my feet outside the hammock which gets my piggys cold. I'm going to have to get some down booties to keep them nice and warm in the future.
Originally we were going to go on a night hike but when we went to the nearby water spigots we found out the water wasn't turned on! What? It has been on other times so we made the assumption. It wasn't a big deal as we jumped on our bikes and went the 2 miles back into two to pick up water the refill our water bottles and to cook dinner. Mike C. used his backpack to transport the water and that was a bit heavy for him so thanks for that. Once we got back we decided that we didn't need to go on the hike to wear ourselves out.
Combined Saturday rides came to 27.54 miles using Endomondo.
A fire was made using wood we found laying around the campground. Coming out of Winter there are all kinds of branches and such on the ground so we got a fair sized pile which lasted us until we were ready for bed. What we had left over on Sunday that we shared with some people who had a tent several spots away from us.
After a nice night in our hammocks we woke up, packed up, and headed out. Two miles later we were in Yellow Springs where we again ate at Subway's. Just enough to get us home. We COULD have made breakfast at the campsite but we decided to get going. ReHydrate and a Spark was put in my water bottle and I made sure I drank it quickly so I could receive the benefits during my ride.
The first thing we noticed, and knew the night before, was that it was colder and windier than Saturday. When on a bike you are exposed and if you don't have the right gear you suffer. We had ENOUGH of the right gear to make from the campsite to the bike path, where the wind was a bit less severe. Additionally the sun came out a bit and warmed us up. The above photo is from a trail-side park. We stopped for a bathroom break and to allow my hands to warm up a bit.
The ride back was a challenge. Not a challenge as in "am I going to make it?" but more that I wasn't used to the distance (especially pulling a trailer, wind, etc) and wanted to keep a strong pace. A few times I backed down to recover a bit then increased.
Mike C. lives up a hill after turning off the bike path. I like to use that hill to push and finish with spots flashing in my eyes. I can say that the spots started flashing about halfway up but after a short coast on a little downhill I pushed it hard up the last part of the hill and finished "just right".
It was a great overnight on the bike camping with my friend Mike. We will go out here and there as our schedules allow and once our kids graduate from high school we will no doubt have more of those weekends.
Endomondo's from the trip: