Posted by Alan on 21st May 2007
I think it would be a bit foolish to head off on a 3.5 month bike tour without first testing my gear, my bike and myself. So this past weekend I packed up all the gear I’ll be taking on my trip, loaded it on my bike and rode into the mountains west of Denver. It was only about a 38 mile ride to get to Golden Gate Canyon State Park, but some of those miles are VERY steep. A 19% grade in spots, to be exact. If I had known about the 19% grade before I got there, I might have picked a different location to camp, but I made it OK in the end and it didn’t kill me (and the ride home the next day going downhill was a lot of fun).
The campground was a bit more crowded than I would have liked (and way too noisy late into the night), but I was glad they had showers so I could rinse off once I got my camp set up. There’s nothing like a warm shower after a tiring bike ride to make you feel almost human again. Maybe I’ll rethink my plan to “stealth” camp in the woods for free as much as possible while on my trip.
Lessons learned this trip:
1. Never leave your tent unzipped. You never know when a squirrel will think it’s funny to poop in your tent while you’re off brushing your teeth.
2. The section of a campground with families and kids running around during the day might actually be the quieter section at night while they’re all asleep. The section further back might be more quiet in the day, but full of noisy drunk stupid loud annoying idiotic (did I mention noisy?) people who aren’t “camping” so much as they are partying in the woods.