2014 Year in Review: Bike Camping/Touring

Hello friends, time for one part of my belated 2014 year in review post! This one concentrates on my bicycle camping and touring experiences for this year.

2014 was an “ok” year for my bike camping/touring. I didn’t do as much as I would have liked. You may say that I never do as much as I like. And that’s true. But 2014 is the first year in like forever* that I didn’t do an honest-to-goodness bike tour. I define a bike tour as something around a week, and longer. I did some overnights, sure. But I only had three multi-day camp/touring experiences, all at four days long. That’s it. To someone who’s done at least a week long tour every year since 2005, that’s a big deal.

And if you’ve been following the blog long enough, you know this wasn’t the plan. I had hoped to do a week long tour in Eastern Oregon in September. Due to things (mostly my concerns about the XO-3), I changed that to a three-speed tour along the Iron Horse Trail east of Seattle. While this would be the better part of a week, I shortened it after the second night when I had the pedal-unthreading-from-crank fiasco.

And 2014 wasn’t the greatest year in general. While it didn’t have any event as drastic as my break-up in 2013, I still wasn’t healed up from said break-up in 2014. I spent the year in a cloud of doubt and insecurity. So it was quite a blow when I seemed to fail at the one thing I felt I did okay, touring.

And yeah, I know that I didn’t really fail, but man, that night on the Iron Horse Trail. dragging my bike many miles through the dark, back to civilization, bike one pedal short and flat in the rear…all I can say is I don’t want to relive that any time soon. Yes, I survived, but I still feel stupid.

Anyways, let me look on the positive aspects of 2014’s camping/touring experiences. Here’s what the year looked like:

  1. Feb: Battle Ground Lake ( bike overnight, to now be abbrev’d as BO/n)**
  2. Mar: Ainsworth BO/n
  3. Apr: Banks-Vernonia Trail/Crown Zellerbach Trail BO/n
  4. June: Powell Butte stealth BO/n
  5. June: Oxbow BO/n
  6. July: Battle Ground Lake BO/n
  7. July: Oxbow BO/n
  8. Aug: Puget Sound/San Juan Islands mini-tour
  9. Aug/Sept: Labor Day Cape Lookout mini-tour
  10. Sept: Three Speed/Iron Horse Trail mini-tour
  11. Oct: Ainsworth BO/n
  12. Dec: Stub Stewart cabin camping BO/n

By the numbers:

  • 14 nights tent camping
  • 6 nights in a hostel
  • 2 nights with Warmshowers hosts
  • 1 night in a motel
  • 1 night cabin camping

So 24 nights away from home, almost a full month! (I’m not counting the tent camping at the Deschutes Rail-Trail trip, since it was not true bike camping since we drove to/from. Also not counting any non bike camping/touring trip.)

Also to note: I bike-camped nine out of the twelve months in 2014! The only months I missed were January, May, and November. But each of those months I did travel: January to the Bay Area, May to Minneapolis/Lake Pepin, and November to the coast for a work retreat.

Join me again for more 2014 thoughts, and hopes for 2015.

*Forever meaning “since 2005”.

**Because I ain’t sayin S240!

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