What would you do if the editor-in-chief of a local paper emailed you with the question: “Are you riding the century this Sunday?” Oh, and you’ve hardly ridden more than 15 miles at a stretch during the last few months. And, it’s Friday, two days before the ride. This was my first contact with Mr. Lee James. I had sent him a bundle of ideas, sample clips, and a resume earlier in the week. Maybe I’m jumping the gun thinking he wants a story. Maybe he’s just looking for a riding buddy. But it quickly got me thinking about what’s possible off the couch. The first time I rode 100 miles was this same event, but that was twelve years ago, and I trained for ten weeks, following Bicycling magazine’s schedule.
Like this shot? Check out our Bike Overnights Flickr Group, where we're all the way up to 137 members!
Bike overnights are usually a way to escape the routine of home and work for a couple of days, squeezing a fun mini-vacation into an otherwise normal week. While my family has taken many such mini-vacations, we’ve found yet another good time for bike overnights -- when we’re already on vacation. You, too, can make that weeklong vacation more interesting, by throwing in a bike overnight.
Like this shot? Check out our Bike Overnights Flickr Group, where we're rockin' the bike-photography world with 136 members!
Over the past ten years, I have taken several one- to two-week bike vacations around the U.S. and Europe. However, after retiring in April 2012 and being inspired by the articles on BikeOvernights.org, I decided to take some short tours in and around the beautiful state of Colorado. This article is about my third such trip, which took me up to the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. For this three-day ride, I biked with panniers on days one and three, and did an unloaded ride to the top of Trail Ridge Road on day two. The two nights out I spent in a hotel in Estes Park.
From Upcoming Event: GITy Up! on Trails for Illinois. Photo courtesy of Steve Buchtel.
Like this shot? Check out our Bike Overnights Flickr Group, 133 members strong!
Awhile back I started researching different types of riding, and soon discovered bikepacking when I ran into a guy at an event who sells gear for that activity. He and his wife actually rode the Continental Divide on mountain bikes. This, of course, led me to the Internet to find out all I could about bikepacking, which wasn’t too much. But I found it so interesting; it made me think back to my days in the Marine Corps with all the adventure and camaraderie. I started talking to my buddies about bikepacking and they expressed a general interest in it.