The 20 Mile Radius.

The promise of a day of hustle and bustle at work had been broken by lack of work, or interesting work anyway.  On day’s like today work is not work at all, but instead a tediously slow death of a perfectly good day due to inactivity.  My mind quickly wandered into daydreams, and blogs, and maps.  I’d make my own “work.”

I decided that this weekend, regardless of the weather, would be a perfect time to do a blitz overnight bike pack. Based off the success of the previous endeavor, I began pouring over the best planning map in the world – Google maps.

I decided that for a Friday – Saturday blitz trip, that we should be looking for a location to poach a camp site, at minimum, a 20 mile radius from home, with a maximum distance of 25 miles.  This is especially helpful if all parties involved still have to work a full day on Friday.

Criterion for bike packing blitz/overnights:

  • Minimum of 20 miles away
  • Maximum of 25 miles away
  • Never Pay for Camping.
  • Rain
  • No tents
  • Body of water
  • Donuts

Lucky for us, we live in great biking country.  Our county is flat and contains within it’s oddly rhombic boundary lines a populous that loves lakes, boating, and weekend camping.  There are 2 Parks within 25 miles of us with camping and lakes.  Additionally, we have the indifferent, meandering 125 mile path of the Mackinaw river (I want to paddle it source to finish) that has a shield of protected forest preserves and hiking trails. There are also no shortage of country roads with little traffic, which make for nice wide bike paths to cruise.

Needless to say, we have options.

20 miles as a lower limit for travel might have to expand as the summer waxes into Autumn.  With good lights, friends and gumption, there are some bigger rivers to bike too and sandbars to camp on.   But for now, late spring/early summer, 20 miles is a nice fit for after work on a Friday, and a single night under that twinkly canopy.


Update 5/18:

Trip was a partial success!  Due to time constraints we landed just under 20 miles from home, and snagged a beautiful campsite in a stand of pines.  It rained from when we started pedaling until 10pm, when the nearly fully moon burst out of its cloudy cover.  We got a hike in and even saw a beaver!

I used my OR Molecule Bivy sack for the first time, and it kept all my stuff dry, and was great for one night out!


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