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  1. #1
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    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.

    I've been trolling this forum for weeks trying to make sure I had everything I'd need. Being in the Army I made a list for PCC (Pre Combat Checks) to make sure I had everything.

    Friday night came and I discovered I left my list at work so I laid out everything by memory. I packed it all up, loaded the truck and thought I was ready to go.

    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-set-up.jpg

    Sat morning comes and I wake up to find my phone had not been charging the entire night. (delay #1) So I stuck around for 2 hours waiting for it to charge up some.

    I get to the trail head (30mins from my house), unload my bike when I discover I have forgot an extra tire tube and my butt butter. (Delay #2). So I load the bike back in the truck, drive to the nearest bike shop to buy a tube and some butter.

    I get back to the trail around 11am (4 hours behind). My original plan was to ride at least 63 miles along the Hennipin Trail.
    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-start-sign.jpg


    The first 40 miles were amazing. Just me and the bike. I knew I was behind a bit and I still wanted to get to to mile 63 before the sunset so I didn't stop and take near as many pictures as I should have.


    One of about 30 canal locks along the trail.
    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-canal1.jpg

    Train bridge built in 1904, still in use.
    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-trail.jpg


    Then it happened....the front end started bouncing up and down, it had happened....a damn flat.
    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-thorn.....jpg

    I pulled off the trail and went to work. I had 3 thorns like the one pictured clear through the tire and into the tube. I threw in the one spare tube I brought and that's when I realized.....I didn't bring any patches. So what do I do. I'm at least 7 miles from the nearest town, 40 miles from the start, 27 miles from my destination and I have no spare left or any patches. I pulled out my phone and typed in Walmart, 7.9 miles one way. So....off to Walmart I headed to get me some patches.

    By the time I got back to the trail it almost 6pm and I knew I'd lose the sun in about an hour so I went 7 more miles and called it a day to set up camp.

    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-camp-1.jpgMy First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-camp2.jpgMy First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-camp3.jpg

    Camp was amazing. I ate me an MRE (Chile and beans) and drank about 40oz of water. I can't put into words how great it was to finally be out and alone. The sky this night would be crystal clear. I stopped counting shooting stars at 15. Once my fire died out I climbed inside my bag and headed to sleep. About 3am I woke up cold. I figured my mid bag would be more than enough but I never thought the temps would get into the high 30's, the weather report called for mid 40's. I put on long sleeve silkies and my rain parka and tried to get some sleep. I didn't get much after that, cold sux and I can't sleep when I'm cold.

    I awake to some folks fishing the canal, they had driven in on 4 wheeler. They were pretty redneck for Iowa standards but they seemed like nice folks, esp when they offered me a beer at 8am.

    So I then packed up and headed out, I had about 47 miles to get back to my truck. The ride back was somewhat uneventful until I stopped for lunch at mile 23 and watched some turtles fighting so I figured I'd try for some more turtle power entertainment on my way back.

    I pulled in and saw this monster tandem bike.

    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-1187280_1399796970249729_1534394009_n.jpg

    I started chatting with the woman and discovered that they had left Washington State 2.5 months ago and were headed to Washington DC. WOW....yea...you read that right. We talked for a while and they headed off, they still had 3-4 weeks of riding to do.

    About 2 miles from the trail head I saw this on the side of a garage and just had to get a pic.

    My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.-1375736_1399796943583065_2035060222_n.jpg
    MERICA!!!

    So...to sum things up my first trip overall was a success but I did learn a few things.

    1. Have a list, you will forget something if you don't pack using one.
    2. Prepare for the worst in weather, cold, rain etc.
    3. Troll the forums, my pack out worked perfect. Many thinks to all the threads/pics of everyone's rig, it made packing mine so much easier.
    4. Ask questions in the forums, don't be afraid to ask questions about bags, racks or anything else. Based on what I've seen here everyone has tried it at least once and ultimately may save yourself some money when it comes to what does and doesn't work.
    2014 Scott CX Comp (gravel grinder)
    2014 Surly "OPS"
    2013 Scott Scale 960

    I'm a beer drinker with a mountain bike problem...

  2. #2
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    good for you

  3. #3
    ballbuster
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    Nice write-up! I had a good chuckle about the beer at 8am. If somebody offered me a beer at 8am in any other case, I would thank them and turn it down. But if out on a bike camping ramble, I would think about it for two seconds and take it! Heck, why not? Even if it was a crappy canned beer (and yes, I know that there is such a thing as decent canned beer).

    I like your graphic. I have yet to do a trip, but your graphic is a good starting point. I was planning my rig out around pannier racks and pannier bags, but I'm starting to think about strap-on packs.

    ... and yeah, I need to make a list. I have a work-travel list that has served me well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    Nice write-up! I had a good chuckle about the beer at 8am. If somebody offered me a beer at 8am in any other case, I would thank them and turn it down. But if out on a bike camping ramble, I would think about it for two seconds and take it! Heck, why not? Even if it was a crappy canned beer (and yes, I know that there is such a thing as decent canned beer).


    I like your graphic. I have yet to do a trip, but your graphic is a good starting point. I was planning my rig out around pannier racks and pannier bags, but I'm starting to think about strap-on packs.

    ... and yeah, I need to make a list. I have a work-travel list that has served me well.
    I like the bags because I can quickly take it all off and hit the single track if I want to.

    Oh yea....I took the beer, it was a BudLight and cold at that.
    2014 Scott CX Comp (gravel grinder)
    2014 Surly "OPS"
    2013 Scott Scale 960

    I'm a beer drinker with a mountain bike problem...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    Nice write-up! I had a good chuckle about the beer at 8am. If somebody offered me a beer at 8am in any other case, I would thank them and turn it down. But if out on a bike camping ramble, I would think about it for two seconds and take it! Heck, why not? Even if it was a crappy canned beer (and yes, I know that there is such a thing as decent canned beer).

    I like your graphic. I have yet to do a trip, but your graphic is a good starting point. I was planning my rig out around pannier racks and pannier bags, but I'm starting to think about strap-on packs.

    ... and yeah, I need to make a list. I have a work-travel list that has served me well.
    I was riding in Wyoming. In the middle of nowhere and was riding up this hill and I was having a pretty bad day. When this truck pulls up next to me and the guy is like, "What are you doing way out here?" and I thought about that for a minute and responded.
    "You know having some fun," as I am almost in tears cause I just can't quite take riding anymore. He sat there looking at me like I was nuts and asks where I started and I tell him I started in Canada and were talking for a minute and he then reaches in the back and tosses a beer out the window at me. I opened it up and drank 1/2 of it. He laughed and drove off. That made my day. This was at about 10:00 in the morning. Yay for beer while bikepacking!

  6. #6
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    It's good you made it home safe. Huge bummer for forgetting some prime pieces of equipment. Especially the butt cream. :^)

    bike town adventures - Welcome

  7. #7
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    Re: My First Over Nighter and lessons learned.

    Great write up ! I enjoyed the hole thing beer that early y not lol u only live once

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

  8. #8
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    Enjoyed the write up, thanks!

  9. #9
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    Part of me would really like to do something like this. I tarded backpacking/hiking for biking years ago, haven't done anything more than a 24 miler in ages. I've never done overnight on the bike before, and don't really have the bike for it. But I may just have to do it anyways.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armyballer View Post
    Oh yea....I took the beer, it was a BudLight and cold at that.
    Why is it that the Bud and Coors Light drinkers are always the generous ones?? Free is for me.

    Nice writeup.

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