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Pondering a Bikepacking Trip

        It is August, which means we are in the middle of peak riding season.  It is also the time you realized you let another summer slip by without a "real" adventure.  I am pondering a 24-36hr bike packing trip.  I am looking at riding the Root River Trail in Southern Minnesota.  

    Granted it will not compare to riding around the Western Rockies in British Columbia.  But why do we bike pack?  For each person that is a separate answer.  For me it is to be removed from my daily life.  It is a way for me to spend a lot of time outside and reminds me of my childhood in the country.  
    I am even pondering just doing a sub-24hr ride from my house and camp along the CVNT (Cedar Valley Nature Trail) at a State Park near LaPorte City.  I have in the past bandit camp along the Katy Trail when training for Trans Iowa in late fall.  When I bandit camp it is not really a big deal, just pull off on the trail to a park bench on the path in the dark.  I figure if an park official comes along and says something to me as I am camping at 10pm-5am I will most likely be told to keep it moving.  I know others who when they do illegally camp, go to great lengths to camouflage and hide.  I figure if you are going to lengths you make an appearance that you are up to no good.  The chances of someone coming down the bike path in a remote area on a week night and being upset at me in a sleeping bag is slim.  
    During the BC Epic 1000, the four of us came in to a Provincial Park at 1am, to find we were confused on where we could camp.  We also had been riding since 6am.  So we were not exactly sharp.  I saw a large tree in an open area.  I said lets bivy there.  We crashed a for three hours and were gone by 5am.  Point is, keep it simple and be in and out and do not hang around.  
    Please do not take my adventures as the gospel on how to bandit camp.  I know I am teaching illegal behavior and one should always try to abide by the policies of the local area.  What I am showing is how to have the least amount of impact to an area.  I have yet to be confronted by an official and I imagine if I was, I would be told to pack and keep it moving.  I keep my set up simple and sometimes do not even break out a bag.  I try to make bivy as simple as possible to show that it is a temporary situation.  If you break out a tent, I think you are conveying a different thought.  Also by using a bench area in middle of no where, you are blurring the lines of the spots intent, but you are also in an area you are suppose to be.  
    I do not advocate trespassing on private land.  A few things upset me, and that is an area I have issue with.  I will not trespass on private land.  To me there is no good excuse other life emergencies too.  If you are trespassing out of convivence you are showing disrespect to the land owner.  If you think about it, when you are out on the bike on a gravel road and you go up a driveway to a house an ask for water you are trespassing.  Now would the Sheriff arrest you, probably not.  Do I go up to a house an ask for water?  I have not, but I have gone up to a house and had people lock up their dogs because the dog was running along with me and wanted to go for a ride.  So i turn around an run the dog back to the home an ask politely they keep the dog inside for 5 minutes and give me time to depart.  I have yet to hostile incident, in fact the owner understands.  
    Back to my bike packing trip idea.  What ever I decide on doing is going to be last minute and short.  But I am wanting something to that gets me in to the summer nights.


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