Two Fun Words: Bike Camping

by Tammy Strobel on May 21, 2012

On Saturday morning Logan and I packed up our camping stuff and headed out on a bike camping trip with our friends Russ and Laura. We met Russ and Laura, in 2009, when we were still living in Sacramento. They were in the midst of a cross country bike touring trip and we offered to host them at our tiny apartment and we’ve been friends ever since.

Saturday was perfect for a long ride; the sun kept poking through the clouds and it wasn’t too hot. It was in the high sixties, with a light breeze. We left Portland around 9 a.m. and made our way to L. L. Stub Stewart State Park. We took the MAX from Portland to Hillsboro and then rode twenty miles through winding country roads, past blueberry farms, dairy cows, and flowering fields to the tiny town of Banks. The we rode up the Banks-Vernonia trail. It was lovely!

Taking off for an overnight bike camping adventure was just what I needed. The trip cleared my mind and helped us sort through a few decisions. A few weeks ago, I alluded to upcoming changes and during our pedaling adventure Logan and I created an action plan. I’ll share all the details with you later this week.

Pedaling along the country roads and up the trail was a blast! On our ride to Stub Stewart we passed dozens of cyclists and the campground was filled with approximately twenty bike tourists. Bike camping is catching on in Oregon!

A few of my favorite trip highlights included: taking lots of photos, laughing at Russ’s camera on a stick (that’s how he got so many awesome shots in the video above), two boys making a campfire, waking up to the pitter padder of rain on the tent wall, and a second breakfast at Banks Cafe on Sunday morning.

I created an inspiration board to share some of my favorite photos from the weekend. I hope you like it and decide to give bike camping a try this summer! If you aren’t sure where to start, read this post and be sure to check out Russ and Laura’s website too.

 

1 Alicia May 21, 2012

Awesome adventure.

2 eva May 21, 2012

That looks AWESOME. I want to go bike camping! We have excellent state parks in my area but everything’s uphill–if I lived somewhere that flat, I’d be out every weekend, but I gotta get in way better shape first;) Next summer I will do it, though.

3 Tammy Strobel May 21, 2012

@Eva – The second half of the ride to Stub Stewart is a long and steady climb. Coming down the next day rocked. I have full faith that you’ll be able to climb big hills soon!

4 eva May 21, 2012

Thanks! This is where I want to go: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/trails/savoy1.pdf
It is breathtakingly beautiful but not easy to get to on a bike (I think this is why the bike-trendy places are mostly flat…) but that’s what they make low gears for, right? ;)

5 Victoria Smith May 21, 2012

So glad you and Logan were able to do the bike camping trip you’d hoped for the weekend. Looks like a blast! The photos are gorgeous too :) The Banks-Vernonia Trail looks amazing. I’m adding to my “adventures to take list.”

6 Tammy Strobel May 21, 2012

Vic – I think you and Grant would love this state park. They have cute little cabins and they are heated and cheap! Check it out. :)

7 Rose Byrd May 21, 2012

Tammy, that crimson clover reminds me so much of May pastures back home on our cattle farm in my childhood Mississippi days! And you guys had such a beautiful camping spot and great friends to share it with. Cannot wait to see what yours and Loganator’s “action plan” involves! Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic weekend with us! Hope your knee is not objecting!

8 Tammy Strobel May 21, 2012

@Rose – Thanks so much for thinking of my knee. It did really well. No pain at all! It’s amazing what a little physical therapy and rest can do for one’s body.

9 Brittany May 21, 2012

You have comments back!! I am so happy! :oD This looks like SO much fun! My boyfriend and I were just talking about bike camping a few weeks ago. I need to ramp my activity back up and start riding my bike more to get into better shape if this happens. He’s more into long rides than I am, so we’ll see what happens. Random question, but what bike saddle do you have?

10 Logan May 21, 2012

Hi Brittany,

Tammy has a Brooks B67 saddle on her bike. Its a wide, heavy duty, sprung saddle for an upright riding position designed with a city bike in mind.

If you want a great female perspective on saddles check out Dottie’s wonderful posts on her blog, Lovely Bike.

Cheers!

11 Jt Clough | Big Island Dog May 21, 2012

Loved the video.

We biked 40 miles on the other end of the Big Island from where we live this weekend. It was awesome. And beautiful!

12 Beth May 21, 2012

What a great looking trip. Thanks for sharing the video and the photos.

I’m curious — what kinds of bikes do you and Logan have? I’ve recently gotten into biking (the casual kind, not the racing kind :)) and now I find I always want to know what people are riding.

13 Logan May 21, 2012

Hi Beth,

We ride Surly Long Haul Truckers converted to almost the exact set-up that is described in this Clever Cycles ad – http://clevercycles.com/blog/2012/05/09/pimp-your-surly/

14 Brittany May 21, 2012

Hello, Logan! I have been using a Brooks saddle the past two years and still find it fairly uncomfortable and have put in quite a bit of riding on it. Do you know how long she’s been using hers? I would love to do longer trips like y’all do, but the saddle is just what makes it not so fun for me. I’ll check out the link you posted. Thank you for sharing!

15 Logan May 21, 2012

Hi Brittany,

Tammy has been on it only a year, however, she cheated a little, she stole the saddle from me after I had already broken it in. ;) Initially, It only took about 2 months for me to break in the B67, which was great. The wide surface treated with the proofide breaks in much quicker it seems than the narrow models. I also left it exposed in the rain accidentally a few times which really sped up the break in. The euphemistically termed “honeymoon” break-in period for Brooks saddles is infamous. :) Tammy had a Brooks B17 model previously and gave up on it because it was “too uncomfortable”. To help I gave her my beloved saddle and adopted hers. We’ve had the B17 saddle about a year and a half and its just starting to soften up. I ride about 14 miles per day for my commute and I’ve heard the break in is different for everyone. ;) Good luck and be sure to check out Dottie’s blog for tips on saddle comfort for women. She wrote a great post called “Female Anatomy and Saddle Discomfort” that you may find helpful. :)

16 Brittany May 21, 2012

Ahhh, the infamous B17. THAT’S the one I have. I should treat mine with proofide again a few times, as I think it only got treated once when I first got the saddle. Hmmm…leaving it out in the rain, huh? I should take advantage of our next few days and get in on that! (Kidding, kidding…I think. ;-) Ah, yes, I’ve read that post! It’s my sits bones that get “pokey” feeling after I have been on my bike for too long. Knowing that the B17 is still just starting to get worn in for you makes me feel better. I really like the saddle and want to give it some time, but, geesh. I’ll keep using it because I know people love them and they’re great saddles, but…I can’t wait for mine to get some good wear. My commute is 11 round trip, which I now look forward to biking again.

Thanks for the tips and general info! Glad to hear I’m not alone! :-)

17 DarrenKeith May 22, 2012

What is the name of the track that is playing on the video? Very cool. I have to pick up that album. :-)

18 Tammy Strobel May 22, 2012

I’m not sure. You’ll have to email Russ and ask.

19 shel May 23, 2012

Hey, Tammy
That looks like a blast; good friends & good times!

It made me wanna re-read “Simply Car-Free” and (after some digging) I discovered that you’re updating it! That’s awesome; when do you plan to put it back up on your site?

Bike on!
~Shel

20 Tammy Strobel May 23, 2012

Hey Shel – It was a blast! I’m not sure when I’m going to put it back on the site. Probably by the end of the year. :) Thanks for your interest!

21 Alicia May 23, 2012

What camera did you use to take the photos?

22 Tammy Strobel May 23, 2012

Both my iPhone and Nikon D5000. :)

23 Ryan May 25, 2012

Could you please tell me the name/brand of that little wood burning stove. It looks like it folds up flat and it would be really good for camping

thanks!

24 Logan May 25, 2012

Hi Ryan,

The wood stove is a Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove. For great camping gear recommendations check out Russ and Laura’s blog, Pathlesspedaled.com and their amazon store.

Cheers,
Logan.

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