Tag Archives: bike camping

A Throwback to My First Bike Camping Adventure


Every week, the #ThrowbackThursday meme fills my Twitter and Instagram feeds with photos of friends’ childhoods, drunken college antics, and old vacations and adventures. That stream of remembrance got me thinking about some of my own past bike adventures. I decided to do my own version of Throwback Thursday and tell the story of my first time camping by bike.

I took my first bike camping trip in May of 2009. I’d built up a Long Haul Trucker the previous winter and spent the spring commuting on it between Silver Spring, Maryland where I was living at the time and my newspaper internship in Bethesda. No less prone to daydreaming about bike adventurers then than I am now, I often passed time at my internship thinking up potential trips and chatting about them with my fellow intern and would-be bike tourist, Jeff.


The earliest incarnation of my touring bike.

It was Jeff who inspired me to finally make one of those proposed bike adventures a reality. A few days before Memorial Day Weekend, he told me he and his girlfriend Ava were planning an overnight bike trip along the C&O Canal and invited me to come along. Their plan was to ride to the hiker-biker site nearest the White’s Ferry crossing, camp, take the ferry across to Virginia the next morning, then ride back to DC on the Washington & Old Dominion trail. I was on board and set about borrowing a tent from a friend in DC and a decades-old foam sleeping pad from my roommate so that I could join the ride.

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Getting Away With Weeknight Bike Camping


There is an undeniable romance to bike camping. Escaping the everyday routine under your own power, sleeping outside, the sense of adventure; even the easiest S24Os are thrilling. I’ve experienced this romance on plenty of weekends and holidays, but it had long been my fantasy to sneak in a work-night bike camping trip.

Thanks to a recent spate of unseasonably dry and sunny weather in Seattle and two gung-ho coworkers of mine, I was able to make fantasy reality.

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Bike Camping 1972-Style

I rely on Google for too much, arguably. My email, my calendar, the analytics for this site, searching the Internets. Now, thanks to their mad attempt to scan every published document in existence, I can use Google to get cutting-edge bike touring tips from 1972.

Laura and Russ of The Path Less Pedaled (two previous Bicycle Story interviewees) posted a link on Twitter to a Google books scan of the April 1972 issue of Popular Science. The issue contains an article by A.J. Hand with the straight-forward title “Bicycle Camping–What you need to know to join the fun.”

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