"Life is not a dress rehearsal" - inspo for your first bike camp

I’ve been meaning to bike out to primitive camp in the local national forest to camp with my kiddo and some friends for years. (Side bar: a primitive bike camp basically means just riding on a forest trail and setting up camp anywhere in the woods, where camping like that is legal. No ranger, no bathrooms, no picnic tables – super remote and tons of fun). It’s a short 10-ish mile ride on a dedicated Rail-to-Trail path but something about it being overly accessible to me has had me putting it off for way too long. I’ll plan a cross country road trip years out, no prob. But a primitive bike camp a short distance out my front door? “Meh, it’ll always be there so it can wait.”

Ok. More like 3 years, but still. Too long.

Us humans can be such odd creatures, can’t we?! Recently I stumbled upon a quote from Bike Overnights that resonated with me in just the way I needed it to:

Don’t Wait. Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal.

That’s a useful reminder from a friend of mine. I can’t tell you the number of people who tell me they are going to try a bike trip, but never do. The reasons are legion, from lack of gear to lack of time. But now you know: bike travel is as simple as hopping on a bike, any bike, and riding a few miles to a nearby campground or lodge. Don’t let excuses get in your way. Commit right now to taking a bike trip in the next couple of months. Set a date and destination, and invite friends or family. Once you try your first bike overnight, you’ll wonder why you never tried one before!

I feel the author of this article was speaking directly at me. Immediately after reading this article, I texted a fellow mom biking friend asking her when we could go on a bike camp and within minutes, we had a date and location set. The planning process for a late winter family bike camp began. And it’s like a weight has been lifted – I’m finally doing that thing I’ve been wanting to be doing!

2019 is going to be a great year. I just know it. If 2019 is the year you go on your first bike overnight, as a fellow forever and a day procrastinator, I just wanna say: you got this! There are tons of awesome resources out there for those new to bike camping. The quote above comes from the Bike Overnights article for “My First Overnight”. They also have tons of great gear lists and examples of bike overnights from other cyclists. Some bikecamping blogs can be a little overwhelming but what I love about Bike Overnights is they write for your average, everyday cyclist – people like me. Not really ready for an overnight yet? Make it a day trip! Finding public lands close to home can be so easy – check out our tips on hacking Google maps to find your nearest public lands.

What are you waiting for? Life isn’t a dress rehearsal!