Took off for a quick overnight bikepacking trip, riding the Prairie Spirit Trail from Iola to Ottawa, then via gravel roads to Hillsdale Lake State Park, where I met up with some friends who’d ridden down from Kansas City. Basically reversed the rooute on the return — Hillsdale to Scipio, via Paola, Osawatomie, and Lane — then the Prairie Spirit Trail back to Iola. It was a cool night (lower 40s), but reasonably comfortable. About 160 miles total. Great little weekend trip!
I rode my Retrospec Amok cyclocross bike with most of my standard touring setup:
- Rear rack and Nashbar ATB panniers
- Military “Patrol” sleeping bag
- Thermarest Z-Rest sleeping pad
- Alps Mystique 1.5 tent
- Wald front basket
- Insulated soft cooler for food
- Clothing, toiletries, misc electronics
The sleeping pad was actually something new for me. I’d previously used inflatable pads, and they work great (barring the occasional leak), but I wanted to try a more minimalist approach, and the Z-Rest worked great. Actually slept very well, though I think I’ll opt for a full-length pad in the future (this one was only 3/4-length). The pad is very light and rugged, but it’s quite bulky. In this case, I strapped it onto my front basket, and that worked fine.
Little overnight bike camping trips like this are so much fun. It’s wonderful to just get away and have a little adventure, if only for a night. Glad I got in a little tour for the first time in 2016!