Location: MI

Photos of the Week: Bike Camping and a Winery Ride

I recently camped at John Brown Memorial Park in Osawatomie, Kansas, prior to riding the inaugural Tour de Vino the next morning.

I rolled into town about 7pm, after cycling about 30 miles, and stopped at the police station downtown to purchase my camping permit ($10), then set up in the park.

There didn’t seem to be a designated tent camping area, nor any areas where camping was prohibited, so I opted for the north end of the central part of the park. There was no picnic table, but there was a trash can nearby and a water hydrant within an easy walk. Level ground was hard to come by. Some folks were using the shelter house as I pulled in, so I set up away from that. They left just before dark, I was alone in the park, and it was a clear, quiet night.

Bike Camping at John Brown Park

I was using a new tent for the first time, an Alps Mystique 1.5. Here it is set up without the rain fly.

Bike Camping at John Brown Park

Here is the tent set up covered by the fly.

(Please forgive the inconsistent look to these photos; my camera was giving me fits.)

Bike Camping at John Brown Park

It was about 50°F near dusk, so I used my alcohol stove to boil up some water for a hot cup of (instant) coffee.

Bike Camping at John Brown Park

The temperature dropped overnight to around freezing. There was frost on the tent in the morning, as well as on the grass in low-lying areas. I had a heavyweight sleeping bag, so I was quite comfy during the night.

(And yes, I had turned the tent around after finding that there was a slight downward slope foot-to-head.)

After packing up my gear and breaking camp, I rode into town and had breakfast at the Whistle Stop Cafe, then headed east about 10 miles to the start of the ride.

Tour de Vino

The Tour de Vino was great fun, with over 100 riders touring the wineries of Miami County. It was a chilly start, but some nice sun and vigorous exercise helped the day warm up quickly. Great to see so many cyclists not afraid of a little gravel!

Tour de Vino

Thirsty cyclists sampled some award-winning wines at Middle Creek Winery, as well as at Somerset Ridge Winery and Nighthawk Winery.

Tour de Vino

The tour wrapped up at Nighthawk Winery with food, more wine, and live music into the night.

The black bags on the table are bottles of wine that cyclists purchased at the other wineries, and had delivered to the end of the ride. And this was after lots of bags had already been picked up, and doesn’t include the bottles sold at Nighthawk. The wineries sold quite a lot of wine! It’s great to see cycling provide a significant economic impact to these small agribusinesses.

Thanks, MiCoVelo, for putting together such a smoothly-run and well-organized event!

I suspect that the Tour de Vino is going to become a really popular ride in the coming years. Bikes, gravel roads, rural hospitality, and wine … it’s hard to go wrong with that combination.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

2 responses to “Photos of the Week: Bike Camping and a Winery Ride”

  1. Brian L. says:

    Great article & pix, as usual! Sounds like a fun campout & ride. Your new tent looks interesting. Are you planning to write a review of it?

  2. Randy Rasa says:

    A pre-review is coming shortly, then a longer review after I’ve lived with it for awhile. Thanks for asking!