Category Archives: camping
Summer Solstice on the Swift Campout with Beat the Clock in Austin
Words by Gideon Tsang, photos by Gideon Tsang and Spencer Brown
On the morning of the Summer Solstice, Beat the Clock hosted a Swift Campout in honor of the longest day of the year. We awoke to the familiar cloud cover that has come with Texas’ rainiest year on record. Swampy barely beats the scorching summer sun but beggars can’t be choosers, eh?
13 of us rolled out from Sa-Ten Coffee and Eats onto the desolate roads of central Texas towards Bastrop State Park. The protagonist of the route is Old Sayers, a 10 mile gravel road filled with rolling hills and handsome oak trees. It always feels like we’re riding into a Terrence Malick film. If the storybook setting weren’t enough, we pulled over for a nature break at a tree swing. We swung with giggles and ‘Grams.
As we arrived in Bastrop early in the afternoon, the rain gods welcomed us by opening the heavens. The remainder of the evening was spent fashioning coyote scarves, camp coffee and of course, whiskey. If all days could be spent bike camping with friends, make them days longer!
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Get pitted, so pitted on the White Rim!
Photos by Kyle Kelley and Liz Browne, words by Kyle Kelley
Before I begin to tell you about my trip along the White Rim Trail, I’d like talk about the rising popularity of bike packing and other two-wheeled exploration. With the current events surrounding “The Death of The Oregon Outback” I feel the responsibility to say a little something about wilderness etiquette. It might seem like common sense, but we have an ever-growing responsibility to this earth and the wild places we’d like to keep wild. Be it car camping, back packing, or bike packing – please always clean up after yourself and even the visitors who came before you. Do not leave campsites as you found them, leave them cleaner! I’d also suggest taking the same approach on rides as well. Take care of your own trash, but go a step farther and pick up everything you see. And always stay on designated roads and trails. Fragile ecosystems don’t need you making things any harder.
When Golden Saddle Cyclery first opened one of our customers told me about a 100 mile bike ride in the Island In The Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park. I had just been in the park a week before, but without a bike so I was especially interested in hearing about the ride. As a big fan of the area, and the desert in general, I returned for a handful of visits before finally bringing along a bike this past March. And let me tell you, it wasn’t until riding the White Rim Trail that I felt like I had really experienced this magnificent place.
I know a lot of you live in LA but have you camped up on Mt Lowe? Now’s your chance…
“On June 20th Golden Saddle Cyclery and Errin from Frontage Roads will be hosting a Swift Campout!!!
The ride to historic Mt Lowe is no cakewalk(About 5,000 feet elevation gain), there will be two routes(one paved/one dirty) heading up to camp. This is BYOEverything!!! Pack food and water for the ride and night! It’s going to be a scorcher!!!
If you have any questions about this Saturday please call the shop and ask for David or Kyle.”
You should definitely do this!
… and I’ll be out of technology’s reach for a few days. Fear not, I’ve got some really great content scheduled, so enjoy.
Lauren and I have done plenty of camping and she’s done her share of cycling around town, but we’ve never gone on a bicycle camping trip together. Yesterday morning, I was surprised to hear her ask if I wanted to get in some tent time before I headed out on the road again on Friday.
So last night, I packed up some bags, a tent, my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet and food for two meals. We headed out to the closest state park in the area: McKinney Falls. The route there is pretty easy, even loaded down with a bunch of gourmet food, wine, a hatchet and a skillet. I took it slow and coached Lauren through the climbs, we stopped for photos and tried our best to ignore the impatient rush-hour traffic zipping past. The weather looked nice, with bright blue sunny skies. It didn’t rain this go-round, but it was still quite enjoyable…
I didn’t think this mandated a whole gallery, so check out a scrolling story below.
Swift Industries hopes to encourage all of you to organize a campout on Soltice weekend, June 20th and the 21st. Find out all the details and what you could win at Swift Industries!
Niner has really nailed this one. With the success of their RLT, they’ve just issued a steel version, marketed towards bike packing, camping and light touring. While it’s not a full blown touring bike, you can strap a few bags to it, as well as a rear rack and take off into the wilderness.
With a geometry dialed in for gravel, cross racing, all-road conditions and even some singletrack shredding, the RLT 9 steel presents itself as a new platform for those who want to get the most out of their bike.
Made from Reynolds 853, with thru-axles, fender / rack mounts and PF BB30, the RLT 9 Steel utilizes modern tech with the feel of steel. Am I excited about these bikes? Yep. We’ll be riding them in the forthcoming weeks…
Available as a complete with multiple build kits, or a frameset in two color combinations. Check out more photos below and see pricing and sizing information at Niner.
It seems the guys at Everything Will Be Noble took heed of our Black Friday camping trip route. After the Cross Nats dust settled in Austin, they left for a 200 mile route we planned back in December. It’s great seeing local routes getting some fresh eyes and photos.
Check out Everything Will Be Noble for a great tale!
If you haven’t seen this, it’s worth the watch.
“For one week, the whole crew stayed at the Casa Maccaroni, in Lajares, which is located in the middle of a desert pierced by only a few little volcanoes, in the north part of the island. From there they would cycle to spots on a average 45 km a day. Going to cities and villages, skating, coming back.
With no training, this trip turned out to be pretty tough for the skaters, but made them realize skate tours can be more than just sitting in a van to get to spots. A memorable experience for most of them.”
People have asked me this more than just about anything else when it comes to bicycle camping: tent or hammock? Before we dive right in, I want to clarify that those aren’t the only options. You can also use a bivy or just a sleeping bag on a tarp. I’ve done it all and over the years, I’ve dialed in what I would consider a great system for selecting which will work for you.