Entries Tagged as Cheap
People always ask me how many bikes I have. Right now, it’s the bare minimum. Three. When I follow that answer with something like, “Well, one of them is my touring bike,” I get all nostalgic and guilty because I haven’t put in the miles on that sucker that I should. I’ve logged a few thousand miles on my Long Haul Trucker, on everything from rando-style road rides to a month-long hump down the Pacific Coast. But here in Chicago, it’s tough.
After a snowy April and a wet May, I was ready for my first bike overnight of the year. I've made a few bike overnights each year since getting my touring bike, a Salsa Fargo; however, this one was different. I changed my touring kit from the traditional panniers and rack system I had used the past two years, to frame bags, a small front rack, and a large seat bag.
As a newbie to Washington state (two years), I am amazed by the variety of cycling terrain available to explore here. Want mountains? You got 'em. Want valleys? You got 'em. Want islands? You got 'em. Want rollers? You got 'em. Want deserts? Well, you have to go over to the east side of the mountains, but you still got 'em. I know there are many other places in the world blessed with grand outdoor scenes, but this is the first place I’ve lived with such natural wonders just outside my door.
It all started with me moving to the reasonably cycle-friendly city of Milton Keynes. Then it was riding to and from work now and again. Then it was commuting by bike every day. And then I would read about cyclists on multi-day, multi-month cycle tours across Europe or the United States. And it would make me think: I want to give that a go … but in a bite-sized chunk first.
I made a trip to Colorado recently to escape the Midwest heat and humidity, spending time north of Fort Collins camping, mountain biking, and hiking. I also decided to do an S24O bikepacking overnight while I was out there.
What did I want for Father's day? Only two things (clearly, this dad is a selfish and demanding and specific kind of guy): Ride my bike, always a given; and go camping. The ten- and eight-year-old sons had been hearing since March that camping at least one night per month April through October was a goal for the year. Between spring 2013’s refusal to let go of less desirable elements and the boys’ participation in the Great American Pastime, we hadn’t so much as driven a single tent stake. This weekend, however, would not get away.
On one particularly warm and sunny Oakland morning, we gathered up a group of six friends and to strike off across the Golden Gate Bridge toward Bolinas. We met at Awaken Cafe in downtown Oakland to fuel up our caffeine-powered pedaling machines, and hopped aboard BART for San Francisco. We disembarked at Embarcadero Station, and navigated through hordes of rather confused-looking Giants fans off to a Saturday baseball game before finally getting on the road and heading toward the Golden Gate Bridge.