Photo Credits: Lloyd and Sree
As an avid bicyclist working for SVBC, I’ve always known that biking is a great way to get outdoors. I recently learned that it’s also a great way to stay out there!
Though I’ve spent most of my travels in hotel rooms and have been known to ask housekeeping to remove a tiny spider that somehow ended up in my controlled little world, I recently adopted a touring bike and declared to my friends that I intended to try out bike camping. Active SVBC member and friend, Lloyd (who is also responsible for getting me into San Jose Bike Party), called my bluff and invited me to a weekend trip. The group met at the San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station and rode 40 miles south to Coyote Creek Harvey Bear Ranch.
I showed up with my bike, loaded down with four giant bike bags (or “panniers” in bike-speak) as if I had taken a sabbatical from SVBC to trek through Europe for six months. Luckily, Sree – a seasoned bike camper – designed a fairly flat route to the campground, so I barely felt the burden of weight.
I said “fairly flat” route, because the last two miles were basically vertical dirt trails. I huffed and puffed and eventually walked my bike up the hills. When I was sufficiently exhausted and the sky turned pitch-black, I decided those were ideal conditions to try riding narrow dirt trails for the first time. Cameron coached me through the rocks, trees, and my little screams until we all realized we were going the wrong way. It didn’t matter – we were having a great time!
Eventually, we reached our beautiful campsite where we dined on soup, ravioli, and cookies around a campfire. I set up my tent like I’d done it before (I had not) and managed to get everything back into my bags the next morning so we could ride the 40 miles back to reality. Luckily, my reality is that I get to work at SVBC, where adventures like this are encouraged.
The moral of the story is that no matter how many types of adventures you’ve had with your bike, there’s always another, brand-new one to be had. Many thanks to Sree, Lloyd, Elliot, Curtis, Deepa, Jesus, and Cameron for agreeing to let this first-time bike camper join the party!