Shakeout Ride and Camping Trip (Fully Loaded)

Took my second shakeout ride and camping trip at Bonham State Park. This was another test of my bike, equipment, and fitness in preparation for the bikepacking trip planned for this summer. I learn something new with each shakeout ride.

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Bonham State Park entrance.

Drove to Bonham State Park on Friday morning and geared up for the ride. Carried 40 pounds of gear and supplies, plus the bike weight – still a bit much. The gear fit fairly well, but I still need to eliminate bulk.

Rode 40 miles on the park’s off-road trails and on the park’s roads on Friday. Conditions a bit wet on parts of the trails.

Weather was dry, not windy, 65-75 degrees F, and partly cloudy.

No mishaps other than this one: You know that mouth-open gasping you do at the top of an off-road climb? The type where you can’t get enough air, inhaling as deeply as possible. In the midst of a top-of-the-climb gasp, a bug flew in my mouth, took a ride down my throat, and stopped about midway. Coughed and gagged to get the little guy out, but not successful, so took a few swallows of water to wash him down. Guess I needed the extra protein for my endeavors.

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Loaded up for MTB bikepacking. Handlebar dry bag, solar charging panel, rear drybag, hydration pack, and safety gear.

Rode the bike until just before sundown. Set up camp with about an hour of the last light of the day and ate dinner in the dark (no flashlight due to minimalist approach to ultralight bikepacking). Ate cold food for the entire trip (no pots, pans, stoves, or fuel due to minimalist approach). Showered at the park’s bath house and ¬†washed my dirty clothes from the day in the shower. Learned that wet clothes do not dry overnight. Had to carry wet clothes for the next day of riding (wet clothes are heavy, and thus, wet clothes are unacceptable for my bikepacking trip). I need to re-think the strategy of washing clothes and air-drying them on the bikepacking trip.

Glad to have gotten a mosquito head net – as I set up camp at dusk, the mosquitos were out in force. I put on my head net and they did not bother me. When it got dark, the mosquitos receded in number.

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Campsite setup for MTB bikepacking – hammock and rainfly.

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Campsite setup for MTB bikepacking – hammock and rainfly.

Heard lots of birds Рcardinals, mockingbirds, whipporwills, ducks, doves, and an owl.  Even saw some wild turkey.

Slept in my hammock for the first time. The stars shone brilliantly on the moonless night – quite a view looking up in the night sky with trees silhouetted agains the glisten of the stars. Went to sleep with the sound of crickets, frogs and an occasional coyote howling far away.

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View in the hammock under the rainfly.

Woke up Saturday morning, ate, cold breakfast, broke camp, packed up and geared up. Road 40 miles on Saturday. Weather was dry, 10-15 mph wind, 65-75 degrees F, and partly cloudy. Many families at the state park on Saturday, setting up tents, and enjoying a great weekend.

80 miles of biking for the two-day trip.

Bike, equipment, and my body held together. I was tired, but wanted to see if my body could handle two days of biking activity and an overnight.