July 25, 2009

Bike camping, S24O style, and gravel.

I've done a lot by bike, that is true. From long streaks of commutes, to charity rides, to races, to 600k and 48-hour ultras, but I have to say: as I lay here under a canopy of stars, listening to the bugs, frogs, and waterfowl sing, I don't think I've been quite so satisfied with a bike-related event as this. About 11 riders strong, we left the Price Chopper in Olathe at about 1pm, rode to Hillsdale Lake, and set up camp. From there, Randy of Kansas Cyclist fame and I took off on a 30-mile gravel road mini tour of old bridges, older cemeteries (legible "died" dates as far back as 1860) and old schoolhouses. A REAL treat, and a great ride. Back to camp, a shower, beers, good conversation flowing all throughout the group, roasting marshies, sunset, crescent moon, a model hot-air baloon, the milky way and two bright shooting stars, the big dipper on full display, and finally sucking the last breath of battery to post it all while the sleepies catch up. Dude....."glad I
came" doesn't even touch it. Like Clem said earlier today, "I needed this". Now the campsite quiets, the last of the late-nighters are settling in, and the lonely distant call of the railroad is all I hear. No traffic, no bumpin' stereos.... And the BEST weather I think I've ever had during a bike ride. Life is tough sometimes - this year has been a real test... but moments like these: life is grand. It's not just the camping, its the total package. Burning nothing but calories to get here, taking a tour of things that from a car would be whizzed by and quickly forgotten... Life from the saddle, like this, is - once again - grand. A truly terrific day....

goodnight.

3 comments:

BadgerLand said...

I'm so bummed I had to miss this... :(

amnee said...

Well said. "Glad I came"

dmar836 said...

I have to get in on this. We recently made Hillsdale one of our loops from Olathe. Tell us more!

Perfect weather for a bike ride . . .