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.
I was using a new tent for the first time, an Alps Mystique 1.5. Here it is set up without the rain fly.
Here is the tent set up covered by the fly.
(Please forgive the inconsistent look to these photos; my camera was giving me fits.)
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.
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.
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!
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.