With the long days of summer upon us, don't just limit your bike rides to what you can do from your house or a short day's drive. Strap your bikes to your car rack, hit the road with your camping gear for a weekend, explore new territory, and relax to the peaceful sounds of nature after your long days in the saddle.
Here are three must-haves when packing for cycle-camping trips:
1. A basic bike maintenance kit
You don't need to bring your full tool box, but you'd hate for a broken spoke, snapped chain, or flat tire to ruin your weekend. Pack a multitool, extra tube and tire levers, extra spoke, and a master link for your chain. Put your floor pump from home in the back of your car to make your life easier when it comes to dialing in your tire pressure. Throw in a rag and some chain lube for good measure should the need arise -- your drivetrain will thank you for the TLC during back-to-back riding days.
Carrying the right tools will help ensure you never miss a mile.
2. A basic body maintenance kit
Love your body and it'll thank you in those extra miles. Bring a self-recovery kit you can use back at camp: a travel size foam roller or massage stick, a yoga mat for post-ride stretching, and your favorite recovery drink mix to fuel your muscles for the next day in the saddle.
A post-workout beer is a popular choice for cyclists.
3. Prioritize your sleeping setup
Sleep like a baby by making sure you pack a good camping pad, sleeping bag, and pillow so you can be refreshed for your morning adventure. If you're camping from your car, there's no reason not to pack for comfort while you catch your Z's. Check the nightly temperature and make sure you have enough layers to keep you warm as you fall asleep to the cool forest breeze.