Recently for the first time, I went bike camping with my dad. We went to an area near Half Moon Bay which is on the coast of California in the Bay area. Fortunately it wasn’t too hard to get there because we do not live too far away. Bike camping for those of you who don\’t know, it is basically camping but by bike. You bring sleeping bags, a tent, clothes, and everything you need in a backpack then stay overnight at a camp sight. I had ridden partially there and back before but not to the actual campsite itself so I knew I could make it, I just did not know how hard it would be. This was my first time bike camping and here is an overview of how it went!
After packing everything up we got our backpacks on and began our ride to the campsite which was approximately 30 miles with 2500ft of elevation. There was only 1 major climb that I had done many times before. As soon as we started riding I could tell that this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. The backpack felt like it was around 20 pounds, nearly a third of my weight. The actual weight will be revealed later in the article ;). My dad and I each carried a backpack, his had the tent along with food and clothes, I had the sleeping bag and some toiletries. We were meeting up with our cousins before the climb to go together. As we started to ascend the climb the fog from the coast started rolling in and the temperature started to drop, the roads started getting wet and I started getting cold. At the top of the climb we ate some beef jerky then descended the 6 miles climb. It was steep with a lot of hairpin turns so we had to take it pretty slow. As soon as we started going down the hill I was frozen, the roads were soaked and I was not prepared for the freezing cold weather, around 45 degrees farrenheit. At the bottom of the climb I was shivering and my fingers were frozen. There was a bike hut a little bit away from the bottom that was run by the people who live there where you can get water, coffee, snacks, and more. We ate some snacks inside the shed to avoid the cold. The campsite was around 10 miles away from where we were, it was pretty flat and it warmed up a little as we kept going along the coast. The campsite was right next to beach so we could hear the waves from our tent. For dinner we went to get fish and chips and we ate indoors for the first time in over a year! After that we headed back to the campsite and ate some snacks and made S’mores on the campfire. Pictures will be added soon.
The way back we could either take the bus partway or ride back, we chose to ride back. My garmin unfortunately does not last very long and was at around 30% at the start, my dads was left on overnight and had only 9 percent remaining. The main climb back was around 7% grade with a distance of 5.90 miles. The backpack was very heavy and was weighing me down a lot so we took it easy until we got to the top, right before the top my dads garmin died, right at the top mine died too. The rest of the ride was recorded on my dads phone. The weather was so much better on the second day while going up the main climb, Tunitas Creek Road. We made it back at around noon and got a Hamburger to refuel at a local restaurant.
Bike camping is very fun, it is adventurous and hard at the same time. Now for the moment you all have been waiting for, the backpack weighed in at only 8 pounds, which was way less than what it felt like. I would definitely do that again and I highly recommend it. Here is a link to the strava rides: https://www.strava.com/activities/5385730643, https://www.strava.com/activities/5385730424, https://www.strava.com/activities/5385730452, https://www.strava.com/activities/5385730692, https://www.strava.com/activities/5385794302.