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Jun 23, 2015

One Night Out On A Bike

When people talk about bicycle touring the image that come to mind more often then not is something that looks like this - - -

- - - and conjures up images of long, multiple days in the saddle, riding across Canada or some such "crazy" adventure requiring quitting your job, growing dreadlocks, and not having a shower for weeks at a time.

Truth is, touring by bike can be just like that. Or it can be so much simpler and still offer the feeling of being away from civilization - even if it's only for a single night.

Sun setting over our bandit hideout along the Elbow River August 2014

Bikeovernights, or S24O's (single 24hrs overnight) are a great option for getting your camping fix without having to quit your job. Since the distances covered are usually not very far, you can bring more "comforts" along if you like (including wine!) or containers of prepared gourmet food without them feeling like a drag on your tour. Your choice of bike options also opens up allowing the use of bikes not traditionally considered good for touring, including your road bike, fixed gear bike, or even a cargobike. The format is really simple -

- after work, ride out of town to a campground or your favorite bandit hideout
- solo trips are fun, but friends always make it better!
- setup camp, make a simple supper (or a true culinary masterpiece)
- make a small fire if your location is suitable and chat into the night
- bed down for the evening
- wake up early, make breakfast, break camp, and roll back into town before many are even at work

Fixie overnighter setup. Custom frame/seat/handlebar bags from Porcelain Rocket and a Wald rack out front.

Any bike will do, so long as it is sturdy enough to carry your gear. Above is my fixie overnighter setup which can carry enough gear for 1-2 nights out. For longer trips, I prefer a bike that has rack mounts so I can carry a little bit more.

Here is the gear list in the photo above -

- 1-person tent with fly
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad
- stove with fuel bottle
- 3-litres of water
- bag of charcoal (for the evening fire)
- 2 rain jackets
- sleeping clothes
- change of clothes
- oatmeal and coffee for breakfast
- kettle
- cup
- spork
- first aid kit
- bike repair kit (tube, pump, tire lever, allen key set)

What I was wearing for the trip -

- cycling shorts under regular knickers
- cycling shoes
- wool socks
- cotton tshirt
- wool long sleeve hoodie
- cycling cap
- tiny, collapsible backpack with another bag of charcoal

Coffee always tastes better outside for some reason.
Planning a trip, short or long? Looking for bike touring products like racks and bags? Maybe you just need some advice...we're Calgary's touring experts and are here to help. We have world-class leading touring gear in stock from brands like Ortlieb, Tubus, and Revelate Designs.

Hate the idea of bike camping? You could always buy one of these...

Now get outside and enjoy the possibilities!

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