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Jun 25, 2018

Swift Campout 2018

For the last 4 years, Swift Industries - bag makers extraordinaire - have been hosting their free-form "Swift Campout" bike camping weekend right around the Summer Solstice to help inspire folks around the world to gather their friends together and get outside for the weekend. This year, we were finally able to pull together a trip and 12 brave adventurers joined us for our an weekend of pedaling and camping.

Day 1 Strava
Day 2 Strava

We hope this little adventure inspires you to go bike touring, bike packing, or even tackle a day trip you've been thinking about. Enjoy!

The Crew departing the shop.
Our route out of Calgary was to use a bunch of the pathway network to the south edge of the city then a series of quiet sideroads, some of which were gravel - in this case, very soft and muddy. Fun! The heavy rains from the previous 2 days gave way to sunshine and humidity a few hours before we starting pedaling - perfect!

Our route had us heading through an area near the Rothney Observatory which is a designated Dark Sky zone. We weren't able to see many stars this night due to an overcast sky and almost full Moon but it was lovely nonetheless.
Chris aboard his Surly

Connor and his Surly

Brad won the "ride whatcha got" award with his Kuwahara

Krockstarr and his Salsa

Sean and his Soma

Laura and her Norco

Heed and his Marin

JimmyMuscles and his Marin

Ian and his Specialized

Mr. Pillows and his Breezer

Lace and her Trek
Jonny and his Crust

Campsite found, fire built, crew stoked for a night of culinary decadence and partying till early the next morning.
Seriously tasty eats ahead.

Heed's dinner was chili dogs - so good!
Bacon sizzling. Coffee brewing. Oatmeal preparing. Eggs frying. More coffee brewed. As soon as the Sun came up the temperatures started climbing quickly, we knew we were in for a very warm day. Staying hydrated was going to be super important, especially with the hills ahead.

Mr. Pillows and Heed enjoying a second breakfast of popsicles in the shade at the Millarville General Store. The route home would take us through Millarville -> quiet sideroads via Plummers Road -> Coalmine Road -> 22X -> Bragg Creek for lunch -> finally push home via Hwy 22 and Hwy 8 -> back to Calgary.

Jonny cresting the big climb on Coalmine Road. While very beautiful, this road is a brute - especially when carrying camping gear. However, there is almost no vehicle traffic on it and it rolls up a beautiful valley filled with small homesteads and ranches before turning north and kicking our butts.

Climbing up from the valley below.

Regrouping before the final push to Bragg Creek for lunch.

Once we hit up Bragg Creek for lunch, it was decided that everyone would ride their own pace on the way home. The last 30 kilometres we a little tough with a very steady head/crosswind but all in all the weekend was a great success. 1 flat tire. 1 blown up rear derailleur (repaired), and smiles all around.

Mr. Pillows' Gear List:

  • toothbrush
  • first aid kit incl. allergy meds and IB/Tylenol
  • baby wipes/diaper cream (for rash), hand sanitizer
  • short and long sleeve merino wool base top
  • merino base bottoms
  • merino hoodie
  • 2 pair socks
  • 2 pair undies
  • face cloth/mini towel
  • Brooks rain cape
  • 1 pair of Swrve Cordura Jorts
  • LG Raid helmet
  • Thousand Brand mesh cycling gloves
  • Fizik X5 Shoes
  • Crocs camp shoes

Sleeping Kit
  • Thermarest NeoAir sleeping pad
  • +5 down sleeping bag
  • 2 pillows
  • 10 year old 1-man tent - no fly
Cooking Kit
  • MSR Pocket Rocket Stove with small fuel canister
  • Salsa titanium spork
  • MSR titanium pot and lid
  • thermal mug
  • GSI spatula and frying pan - BACON AND EGGS BABY!

Bicycle and Kit
  •  2018 Breezer Doppler Team Custom Build w/ Ultegra 6800, 3T wheelset
  • WTB Resolute tires 650b X 42
  • Tubus Tara Lowrider front rack
  • Ortlieb BikePacking panniers, seatpack large, toptube pack, handlebar accessory pack
  • 2 tubes, Rustines patch kit, multi-tool, Mora knife, Lezyne minipump
  • Bryton GPS

See you next year at the Swift Campout 2019!

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