Cycling Lesson 4

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Cycling and Camping

Bike Camping

Enjoying nature and all that God has to offer you is a way of re-energizing yourself.  Hiking and backpacking do not appeal to you but riding a bike does. Combining camping and cycling is the next step in your ability to go anywhere on a bike and be self-sufficient while enjoying the great outdoors.

Just think of riding through farm fields, wooded forests, mountains and plains, over streams and by lakes. Seeing the wild animals as you ride down the back roads in rural America! You smell the flowers, the farm fields, the lakes and the fresh air.

The sights, sounds, and smells were absolutely incredible. Car camping doesn’t compare to the adventure of bike camping.

So if you are looking for exciting summer entertainment, then I highly recommend camping by bike. It’s the perfect way to get a fantastic workout, enjoy beautiful state parks, scenery, and stay off the internet.

Camping by bike is a great way to figure out what you need and don’t need. Bikes can handle a lot of extra weight, but you’re the one who has to pedal it up a hill. So try to keep your load light, that way you can pedal fast and enjoy the scenery.

How much will it cost?

Depending on the park you go to, you’ll end up spending around $20 for a camp site, per night.

Planning your route

Do some research on the internet, pick your spot, and start planning.

You have a lot of resources at your fingertips to start planning your route, including Google Map, AAA road maps, and USGS maps made of paper.

A word of caution: Google Maps now allow you to map your route by bike. However, a number of people have noted that google bike maps aren’t that accurate and might unintentionally put you into high traffic areas. So before you hit the road make sure you reconcile your planned route with an updated map of the area. And make sure you take a look at the Google street view option to double check for bike-friendly streets.

So what do you need for this kind of adventure? Let’s take look at a minimum gear list:

  1. Bike
  2. Bike racks
  3. Bike bags, panniers, or a bike trailer
  4. Bike lights
  5. Spare tubes / patch kit
  6. Air pump
  7. Chain lube
  8. Tent
  9. Sleeping bag
  10. A set of clothes to wear on the bike
  11. A set of clothes off the bike
  12. A warm jacket (even if its hot outside it can get cold at night).
  13. Bike helmet
  14. Gloves
  15. A hat
  16. Rain gear
  17. Extra socks
  18. Towel
  19. Toiletries
  20. Flashlights and/or headlamp
  21. Spare batteries
  22. First aid kit
  23. Food
  24. Water is one of the most important items you need to bring. A dromedary water bag is a really easy way to carry a lot of extra water on your bike. Don’t get dehydrated out there!
  25. Maps
  26. A camera or notebook. You’ll want to record this adventure.
  27. An itinerary left with family
  28. Fire starter kits and matches or lighters
  29. Cook stove and utensils

This checklist looks very similar to the checklists for backpacking. The basic backpacking checklist is located in Backpacking levels 1 and 5.

Cycling Level 4 Requirements

1 – Develop your checklist for Bike Camping.

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