it’s not what you say

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Back on the scene with my pedal matchine, I&I a gwan fe camp an a wail on a de street all de way to de trail.

You know, the Good Life. I’m saying this whole camping via bicycle renaissance is where “it” is at. And there’s lots a ways to get from where you are to a spot by the campfire. So please, find one that suits you and take it.

In my experience, the mainest stumbling block to pursuing a Good Time is being a little bitch. If you are over that hurdle, the next one is likely having a bad attitude. Some folks assume the worst about everything, but I am not friends with those people and neither should you be. With both of those impediments removed, one might be thinking “but I don’t have the right gear!”

(screeching brakes noise)

That line of thinking is forgivable, but also very regrettable. For your most accessible bike campout experience (the little short overnighter from your home to someplace close-by), if you have basic camping gear then you already have what you need.

No. No, it’s true. You can make it happen. That’s really the mainest stumbling block- not making it happen. Look at this clown:


I will not list all the the wrongs pictured here (and there are many) because they all add up to make the most important right- actually doing it.



See? Claro.




This could be the end, full stop, only there’s more I’d like to say. For your quick little local overnighter, the chances are that your choice of campsites is pretty limited. So consider this: your only limits are what you can get away with. The only helping hand you’ll ever be offered is the one at the end of your own arm. Grab a secluded place in the bushes and hobo it up*.

Sure, it’s great that some can make trips to the Himalayas happen (and then not write about it), or rally for 2 weeks across scenic wild Utah, or have super custom Xs and Ys, but most of us have to make do with smaller chunks of radventure. Slip through the cracks and into your local darkness. You’ll be happier and prepared for the Big Adventure when opportunity comes your way.


And, but, so you don’t need special gear, but it is nice. And you are a nerd, so you love that stuff. Given that there is nothing new under the sun, a frame-bag is the piece of gear you’ll likely benefit from most if you are expanding your kit. (caveat lector:  I’m large for a cyclist, so I am prejudiced in that my frame has lots of room in it.) I used the Revelate Designs bag for several years (and do still, as it is nicely made and holding up well) but I do not love the zipper.

So, upon the recommendation of folks whose opinions I value, I purchased a roll-top frame bag from Scott Felter, at Porcelain Rocket. I asked Scott to make the bag to the dimensions of my XXL Surly Krampus, since that’s the go-to campout bike most nowadays. I figured I could make the best of swapping it around from my this bike to my that bike, since they aren’t too different. It’s working out.

Of course, with new gear, you have to test the shit out of it…


I reckoned a case of (that’s correct- 24 12oz cans) Hamm’s would serve to put the bag through it’s paces.


Yes, it pedaled like a pig. That’s not the point. I am able to stuff it like that if I need to. That’s the point.


Your smart drunk knows you have to stay hydrated, so I put a 100oz bladder of water in there, too. That proved to be the winning combination when I clipped a hard-to-see-in-the-dark log and endoed. The bike flipped over my head and came to rest a few feet beyond me. Not a single beer was popped. Now, I’m not claiming anything other than luck in this instance (BAD-I crashed and I hadn’t even opened a beer yet, thank you…GOOD- I was able to crack a foamy can (ok, a couple foamy cans) of cheap domestic beer to celebrate) but, you know. Still.



So we were able to resupply the trash can lid spot quite nicely.



I’m well-pleased. It holds campout stuff just as handily…


It’s not what you say, or even how you say it. It’s how you do it. 1)GO. 2)have fun. 3)be safe.




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14 Replies to “it’s not what you say”

  1. Pingback: it’s not what you say | PEDAL CANTON

  2. Night time lows in the single digits for the rest of the week. It’s stories like this one that help me to get by.

  3. Great read but I’m with joe surprisingly. North NJ was -8 degrees at the 6 of AM I had to wake my sorry ass up this morning.

    Adventures like this will have to wait till spring/summer.

  4. Our Feb First Friday “bum fire BBQ” edition was waaaay Rad. No overnight on this one, but ride to beer/fire/deer heart on a skewer/homebrew/whiskey/???? and then a ride home was what the Dr. ordered. Fixed me right up.

    Rock on with you bad selves.

  5. Ahhh…is that an apple in your pocket??? or an ass pocket of whiskey? Seems to be both. Our local trails need a trashcan stashcan lid.

  6. AHHHH – Krampoos – I’ll read the article if full next time instead of whackin to the pics first

  7. scott is my neighbour! Super guy. The wife and I both picked up frame bags Scott put up for auction for our community recreation commitee.

  8. Last Fri it was 10F here in Michigan, and blowing hard, but we pulled our sleds out across a wilderness lake that was only 5 miles from the capitol and set up camp on an exposed peninsula (doh!). We also put up a tarp. Then we built a big bonfire and 4 of us hunkered and down had a great ol’ time! Nobody even got that cold. I read two Robert Service poems out loud before we all went to sleep. The 2nd one ended with “And the hunger maddened malamutes had torn him flesh from bone.” We heard coyotes. A bike coulda pulled it all in a trailer but the snow was a bit deep’n’chunky even for a 5psi fatty.

  9. Good Christ you crazy bastards never cease to amaze me. Between this shit and the booze laden bike trips from Phoenix to Tucson I have no doubt you DC bastards could probably put together one helluva nasty combat team that could help deal scumbags like ISIS. The stamina and endurance required to pull off some of this shit is actually quite amazing.

  10. “In my experience, the mainest stumbling block to pursuing a Good Time is being a little bitch.” hahahahaha a

  11. Make custom fitted bags in Flagstaff for the same or less than what you’d pay for the revelate bags. Plus the killer frame bag I picked up I’m gonna get one of the Rogue Panda seat bags, the best seat bags design going period.