Are you trying to plan a trip that entertains the whole family without breaking the bank? Or are you looking to escape with friends on an adventure memorable enough to get you through hours of conference calls?
By turning your next getaway into a bike-fueled camping adventure, you can save money, create experiences and save yourself from the clutches of another boring tour guide.
Tent, Cabin, or Boat?
There are many ways to enjoy camping. Trail systems in tourist destinations like Winter Park, CO offer hundreds of miles of riding whether you’re in a tent by the creek or ordering room service at the resort. At Pennsylvania’s Raystown Lake you can rent a cabin or even a houseboat and access miles of trails for every level. Rail trails like the Katy Trail in Missouri are speckled with Bed and Breakfasts or you can go pack your camp gear on your bike for a rustic bikepacking escapade. (http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/bikepacking-basics)
Bring spare parts
You don’t have to prepare for your trip like it’s the Tour de France, but bringing an extra tube, a few quick links, and some extra bolts can ensure simple mechanicals don’t become ride-ending misadventures.
Have the tools of the trade
You might be able to MacGyver your way through fixing a flat with a couple of sticks and some chewing gum, by why would you want to? A multi-tool, pump, tire levers, and duct tape can get you out of most situations—having the name and number of the closest bike shop can get you out of the rest.
Ride from camp
Being able to ride from camp gives everyone the flexibility to ride when, where, and how they want without having to coordinate drivers or juggle ride schedules.
Maps (and Apps) are your friends
Plenty of apps are available that allow you to better plan your ride routes, but a paper water-resistant map is always charged and in range. Have multiple routes and bailout points in mind, especially when riding with kids and novices.
Kristin Butcher has been a rider and bicycling advocate for more than 20 years. After riding in nearly every state, she’s seen the power of bicycling communities across the country firsthand and eaten at more convenience stores than the FDA would recommend. Her stories have appeared in Bicycling, Mountain Bike, USA Today and BIKE Magazine where her column “Butcher Paper” appears monthly.
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