S240

Well a friend of mine and I managed to do something I have read about for way too long and not followed through on. An S24O is a very specific form of bicycle camping where you return within under 24 hours to your point of origin. We accomplished that with hours to spare. Camping, cycling, and the two together are all things I’ve tackled but adding a time component is a dimension that throws an unusual angle out there that isn’t normally a consideration or assumption I work under when planning these things. Here it makes you define your travel distance, acceptable location to sleep, and equipment necessary all in a different light. All of this is done because the world is still turning and unfortunately I don’t have the luxury to choose to live a lifestyle that neglects dirty diapers for very long so if I want to do all of this the S24O is how to do so.  We searched for a suitable location and found one that would be more or less perfect for the distance we wanted to go and the amount of stuff to carry. If you look at the picture my bike is in the back and I fabricated a kitty litter pannier for holding some of my stuff which you can see in the pic. This worked pretty well but needs a little tweaking to be completely reliable. So many people have done this though there are tricks out there on how to make it work perfectly so simply check out the resources online and yours will be totally reliable I am sure (and pretty waterproof too….and almost free). My upright handlebars were not suitable though, they work great in the city but we had headwinds both days and on the open road I was a sail. I kept joking with my friend (who is the same guy I sailed across the Chesapeake Bay with) that I needed to be tacking to get the most out of my rig.

Finding a location to head to was the hardest part. We ended up stealth camping which is not recommended and I got attacked by chiggers so badly that I am only now beginning to recover. because of the stealth nature of our camp no fire ever happened which is one of my favorite aspects of camping (it was also before recent rains so very dry and probably unsafe) but we did get to sleep under the stars.  There are only so many places around Richmond that are acceptable for this type of camping and I will warn you that it is somewhat taxing as I felt like I had to carry a minimum of gear that probably could have supported me for several days if I needed to. Even though only 24 hours, I still needed a sleeping bag, tent, and water, which are three of the heaviest items anyway so it wasn’t like a long distance day ride or that we even covered that much mileage. All and all it was a good time and if you’re looking to get out-of-town for the night this can be a way to do it without making any noise, burning any gas, or just a way to see the countryside and be home by breakfast the next day.

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