The What if? Monster was taking over. It was the weekend and I’d been looking forward to going on my first bike camping trip. What if I couldn’t bike 20 miles with that much elevation gain? What if there wasn’t an available campsite? What if it was too hot, making it a miserable ride? What if I’m up all night scared of the dark? Maybe I should just stay home? That’s when my phone rang and work asked if I could come in. “Sorry, but I’m out of town on a bike camping trip.” That settled that and I loaded up my gear and hit the road.
What I learned:
1. I need to adjust my bike’s ergonomics. Parts of me kept going numb.
2. I can bike further than I thought. In three hours I rode 20 miles, mostly uphill, in 99 degree weather. It wasn’t relaxing, but it was gratifying getting myself to the campsite.
3. Cut myself some slack and don’t make myself cook dinner after an intense bike ride to the campground. Next time bring ready to eat food for dinner.
4. I didn’t expect the heat and the physical exertion to make me so ravenous. That evening I ate all of the food that I brought, so in the morning I got up early and biked home for breakfast.
5. For a while now I’ve been trying to use up the last of the stove gas and the sunscreen. I finally ran out- Friday evening! That made for a cold dinner and no sunscreen for the ride back.
6. Definitely bring less stuff- I was pleased that my gear fit on my bike without needing to buy additional panniers or racks, but I was frustrated by not being able to find things. Next time I’m traveling lighter.
Things that Worked Out:
1. Unknown to me, two sections of the bike path were closed. One required a minor backtrack and the other I carried my bike through the landslide area where the trail use to be.
2. It looked like the campground was full so I knocked on the Campsite Host’s RV door and asked if there was a spot. He was very helpful and found me a site! I am so glad I asked. I really didn’t want to bike or Uber home.
3. I found a place to lock up my bike while slept- to the fire ring!
4. Dinner was picturesque eating on the lake and then thanks to the heat it was warm enough for a swim at sunset.
5. I was blessed with noisy neighbors. They distracted me from my fear of the dark.
6. While relaxing by the lake, I came up with the idea to Virtually Hike the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to mentally prepare for the 2,650 mile thru hike.
I saw two baby turkeys and their parents, bunnies, jackrabbits, hummingbirds, butterflies and I caught a tiny tree frog. I’m so thankful that I didn’t listen to the What if? Monster. I enjoyed my first ever bike camping trip. The first of many! My heart is so happy.