Friday, July 16, 2010

Bike Camping - the logistics

We just returned from a fantastic bike camping experience on Lopez Island. I really doubt that the trip could have gone better than it did. No bike wrecks, only one bike malfunction that was fixed with impressive McGyver-like techniques, amazing weather, great company, fabulous scenery........ It really was a great time.

Some may ask, how you go about camping using only bikes to transport people and gear? Well, it is a fine art that I think we mastered well. I really wish I had gotten more photos of the transportation, but it is a bit hard when you yourself are on a bike, with a backpack on and small child attached at the back. I wasn't thinking as much of photography as getting everyone to the final destination in one piece.
The big secret to transporting is BIKE TRAILERS and lots of them!! For our family we had one bike trailer that was packed to the gills. Tom's use of bungy cords was truely an art! Note the paper towels:-)
One of the riders in our crew had his bike, with a train of TWO bike trailers attached and another had his bike, 3 year old on tag-along-bike and then the bike trailer behind that. It really was an impressive site that got many looks from passer-bys! It was our own little parade with 19 people!

Once all the trailers were loaded and gear in place we walked onto the ferry for a gorgeous ride in the Puget Sound. Somehow we have not had ferry rides on our list of to-dos so this was Nora's first ride and Madison's second. They really enjoyed it all!
The ride itself is was just under 5 miles to the campsite, which is a fairly short ride in biking terms. Of course, the longest non-stop riding Madison had done before that was probably 2 miles of very flat terrain. All reports we were given was the ride was nice and flat. Of course, the reports were given from a person who rides over full mountain passes, so maybe we should have considered the source a bit more. Overall, for adult riders with any riding experience, the island is relatively flat but there were a few big hills. The biggest being straight off the ferry, which was a bit tough and demoralizing for the kids. We were really proud of Madison and all the children who powered through with great attitudes to keep pedaling through the toughest of hills.
The final test was to physically get the bikes and trailers down to the campsites on the beach. The sites were not car-accesible and you had to go down a steep dirt trail to get to them. Once the momentum starts on a 100+ lb loaded trailer it is a bit hard to stop it! But we did get all the gear down safely and the campspot was well worth the effort! The view from our tent:
Tent City


katy said...

looks really wonderful, Lisa! You are so much braver than I am.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! Double WOW!!! It sounds just wonderful. Hooray to Madison and the long hill...and to all of you for doing it. Peggy