The endless potential for bicycle overnights in the foothills of South Carolina had been running through my head for a while. It was difficult to pare down the options for a three-day, two-night trip. There are opportunities to explore waterfalls, fly-fish mountain creeks, find hidden hikes, taste wine (or moonshine), paddle kayaks, and build campfires, all easily accessible by bicycle. Go state park hopping or explore the national forest? Travel on gravel or stick to pavement? Enjoy the views from the bottom or climb to the top?
I had an unexpected couple of days off work and the weather was holding well for mid-October. So, I decided to load up the bike and head off to Salt Spring Island for a one-night campout.
This is a beautiful summer or fall-color ride over high alpine four-wheel-drive roads and an old rail trail, coupled with a wonderful overnight stay in Telluride, Colorado.
A few years ago we spent our REI dividend on a luxury item: A BOB trailer that we hoped would fuel our desire to try some overnight bike trips. Poor BOB was neglected for three years, collecting dust as he hung upside down from our garage ceiling. Our attempts to use BOB had been thwarted due to schedules, weather, or not being in shape. So, we were determined to try a bike overnight at least once this spring.
Dry, summer-like temperatures and peak foliage in the Green Mountains are a perfect match. With the impetus to visit Hazen's Notch and Lake Carmi—two Vermont regions I'd longed to explore—there's no time like the present for a bike ride. At 7 a.m. I step off the commuter bus into dense fog. I don a reflective vest and start pedaling. In Johnson I make sure to photograph the cool bike racks.
A few months back I read an article about Microadventures written by inveterate adventurer Alastair Humphries that inspired me. Being the “time-crunched living in an urban area yet still having a passion for the outdoors” sorta guy that I am, the idea of fitting in a small adventure during the week resonated with me. I’d been thinking about it for a while so this past Tuesday evening I gave it a go.
I had been patiently waiting for one of my kids to be ready for a bicycle tour. Finally, the six-year-old really wanted to spend the weekend on such a trip. Boston to Portland is a great introduction to bicycle touring: The route is generally flat with long stretches of bicycle trails away from cars, there are many beaches to stop and play at -- and, of course, it doesn't hurt that there are plenty of ice-cream shops along the way.