Bicycle Camping in Colorado Bend State Park

Jon, Ross and I have been planning a weekend getaway to Colorado Bend State Park for some time now. Texas has a lot of rich, lush campsites, all within riding distance of Austin. Bend, TX was an obvious choice, due to the distance and route it would require us to do in a day. I knew it would be about 120 miles each way and depending on our route, between 5,000′ and 8,000′ in climbing. In the end, we opted out of the extra 3,000′ of climbing, which was a smart move.

We left first thing Friday morning, around 6am and headed out through the neighborhoods to Bee Caves, where we split off on 71. From there, we hit 281 and finally, CR 580, all the way into Bend. While some of the roads were peaceful country roads, a lot of the day was spent on highway shoulders. I brought my Woodville, Ross was on his Sachs and Jon, his Icarus. Since I was the only one who had a touring bike, I carried the food, my supplies, tent and Jon’s tarps, which he planned on making a shelter out of.

The guys carefully selected their goods and we set off. I shot 4 rolls of color film (Portra 800 and 400), as well as a waterproof, disposable camera. The following image gallery is from the entire weekend of camping, swimming and the rides to and from the park. The ride out came in at 117 miles and 4,500′, the ride back was 116 and 4,100′.

This gallery is massive, with over 100 photos and each have a brief description, so don’t forget to read the captions.

Check out the Gallery by clicking the photo above, or click here to open a new tab.

  • Guest

    live life

  • cashed

    awesome set

  • http://www.facebook.com/wade.stevens Wade Stevens

    sounds like a blast, minus the freezing part.
    jon’s bike looks like a toy next to yours.
    do you guys lock up your rides when hiking?

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      We carried a cable and a master lock.

  • Casey

    This makes me home sick…i moved to chicago again two years ago….. man…..i miss those rides

  • chris

    awesome!  Good choice on the Blue Bonnet Cafe.  

  • grham

    i love this post. i’m planning on doing alot of these this summer. too bad where i live you have to go preeetty far to see anything out of the normal/worth while. whatever, it’s all about the bike ride

  • Josh

    Great set! I can’t imagine riding with a backpack for 100+ miles though.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      I’ve done it and it’s really not bad at all

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Brennan/1644595817 Jonathan Brennan

      ADVIL.

    • Jack Lewis

      I did a century with an Ortlieb Velocity messenger backpack, it was great. It’s very water proof and comfortable. I believe the capacity is 40l.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesmckeon Jamie McKeon

    these are legit! i just spend 3 days walking out in the country here, on firetrails that could easily be ridden… when summer hits i might have to get on two wheels not two feet.

  • Cowtowncouriers

    Awesome photos! I like the waterfall photo with the fisheye.

  • Spankman55

    amazing photos. for your next weekend trip you should ride to enchanted rock state park

    • Chris L

      I’m in on the Enchanted Rock ride…

  • Sime

    love this set dude.

  • kyproud

    Wow . . . I’m really jealous/inspired. I do a ton of backpacking and commute by bike, but haven’t been able to combine the two. The scenery looks incredible. Thanks for sharing.

  • kelly

    Photo #11, the vultures in the tree. One of my favorite photos of yours, and I follow pretty regularly. So good. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A5TEZPKTWQD35R73EVZXTGXRMM Tony

    So many great shots. Really inspiring

  • Trackosaurusrex

    There are some really great photos in there.  Could have been a really great set if you could edit!

  • http://twitter.com/pabaroni Paolo Baroni

    in the pic 95, what’re that tyres on the sach?

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Conti File Tread

  • NicholasLuvaul

    you shoot the portra with your t4?

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      that was all the Canon AE-1 and a disposable, waterproof camera.

  • Matt white

    the entire internet is jealous

  • Mlgary78

    Dope pics man…thanks for sharing

  • Tk

    It’s fantastic you did this! We’re planning a cycling trip to Col. Bend as well so can you tell me how did you handle the long ride in on the rock/dirt road to check in for the campsite? Thanks!

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      You’ll need at least a 32c tire. That’s about it.