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The overnight bike camping trip tried to happen, but didn't

Tri Girl2011-08-02 03:12:28 +0000 #1
the title should read:

The overnight bike camping trip that tried to happen, but didn't. I wish I could change that.

A friend and I had planned an overnight mini-tour this weekend. We were going to ride 45 miles to a state park, camp out, then ride back home. We knew a couple things: there was going to be a 25 mph headwind on the way down, but a 35 mph tailwind on the way back home and everytime we get together for an adventure, we always wind up with more than we asked for (and that was especially true today).

Here's a (not so) brief run-down of what went right and wrong today:

difficult headwind

beautiful sunshine

great roads

even better trails

found a quarter

rear brake rubbing on friend's bike- fixed

rear rack rubbing on friend's back wheel (rubbed so bad it wore the metal smooth but didn't harm the tire

fixed the rack/rigged it as best we could- thought we could make it 17 more miles

made it to our lunch stop and ate lunch

more brutal headwind

more beautiful sunshine

got to police blocking road because of a grass fire

7 mile hilly detour (part of it walking 1/4 mile on a gravel road)

brutal headwind

heavy traffic

rear rack rubbing again

miles clicking by- feeling good

within 11 miles of the state park- woo hoo

rear rack breaks, bolts fall off, irreparable

duct tape rack so back wheel will spin freely

load all bags on my bike

within 3 miles of another campground

walk 3 miles on a gravel road uphill to campground

get to campground and it's on fire (the fire from before spread)

fire trucks everywhere- no camping

bike can't be ridden, campground on fire, tired ladies

called husband and he drove the 30 min. to come get us

Despite the difficulty we kept laughing and "bright side-ing" it. We had a blast, and even tho we were disappointed we didn't make it, we had a blast anyway. Plus, we think of it as a good training day: riding 50 miles in a tough headwind the whole way with a 60 lb bike (bike + load).

Here's a couple pictures from the day:

1. starting the day optimistically

2. ZOO! I love our city's zoo

3. riding one of our city trails- one I hadn't ridden before

4. the fire that caused the detour and was burning in the campground

5. my bike and the fire trucks in the background

Melalvai2011-08-02 03:22:50 +0000 #2
It just wasn't meant to be, was it? What a story!
Muirenn2011-08-02 03:36:16 +0000 #3
Love the picture of the helmet with the firetruck in the background!

Great story!
Chicken Little2011-08-02 04:25:43 +0000 #4
Hey, nice try. You learned a bunch, and it will be a smooth adventure next time. Wind in New Mexico yesterday was enough to make you cry, and we had a big canyon grass fire, also. Must be the season for it.
redrhodie2011-08-02 03:29:16 +0000 #5
Glad you made it out of that one! Sounds like those fires were moving fast.
Tri Girl2011-08-02 03:32:25 +0000 #6
Thanks! The wind was demoralizing. I mean, we have wind all the time in OK, but 50 miles of it just sucked the life force out of me.

Such is spring in OK. At some points we were pedaling as hard as we could and were only doing 6 mph on a FLAT road.

We were glad we weren't in any danger from the fires. My friend had tried putting a rack on her nice road bike for this trip- and since her bike doesn't have any braze-ons, she had to put the rack on with padded p-clamps. She found online directions and did it. The rack she bought on eBay was a piece of junk. The metal bent and it broke under the weight. If she'd gone with a better rack, I think it would have been fine. The p-clamps worked well, except that one rubbed the paint off her seatstay. She was cursing herself and wishing she'd just bought a child trailer instead (or a better rack). It was her first attempt at touring and she liked it, despite the mechanical issues. Live and learn.

OTOH- my Bianchi Eros that I built up a few months ago performed FLAWLESSLY while fully loaded. That thing is a tank and handled like a dream. I was very pleased in the gearing I chose and the components I put on it. I can't wait to take it out for a tour again! I found out my front tire has a huge gash in it, I'm assuming from walking on the gravel for 3 miles.

My DH frowns upon me traveling alone (he worries about my safety/vulnerability- much more than me) so I have to have someone to do things with. Otherwise I'd be out doing sub24 hour tours every other weekend.
lph2011-08-02 04:52:01 +0000 #7
The campground was on FIRE?

Helluva'n excuse to get picked up

I love zoos too..
redrhodie2011-08-02 04:54:31 +0000 #8

Originally Posted by Tri Girl

The rack she bought on eBay was a piece of junk. The metal bent and it broke under the weight. If she'd gone with a better rack, I think it would have been fine.

When I got my rack, I asked my lbs guy how much weight it could take, and he said a basic rule of thumb is one dollar per lb.

I have a habit of thinking up bike movie plots, and a fire in the campground could be good.



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