Tomorrow I’ll ride my bike approximately 50 miles to Hillsborough River State Park for a 2-month overdue camping trip.
The original trip was scheduled for Bike Your Park Day, the last Saturday in September. But that was a couple of weeks after Hurricane Irma. The park was left sodden, and it rained hard that weekend making it even muddier. Even now parts of the park are closed because of hurricane damage. We aborted the camping trip, and a friend and I did a nice 30-ish mile ride to Passe-A-Grille that Saturday instead.
But I’ve still been itching to do a bigger trip. I want to test my bike, myself, and my gear. So soon after the aborted trip, I started looking to see if I could reserve days at the park. Since Thanksgiving break was coming up, it seemed the perfect opportunity.
My bike should be good to go. All of the important bits have been pulled apart, replaced where necessary, greased, and put back together. There are a few things I might still replace before the big trip, but nothing that’s absolutely necessary. I picked up spare tubes and a traveling pump today just in case.
I haven’t done any long rides in awhile, but I know I’ll be Ok. I’ll take it slow where necessary. I have a loose path to my destination set in my mind. If I don’t follow it absolutely, no biggy. My goal is to get there before sunset so I’m not setting up camp in the dark.
I think my camping gear will be Ok. It will be cooler at night, so now is a good time to test it. I’ve only put my tent up once, so it will be nice to practice that more.
I was able to book Monday and Tuesday night. I wanted another day or even two in there, but that’s what I could get consecutively. Maybe I’ll see if they have an open site for Wednesday night, break camp, and move to stay a little longer.
I’m looking forward to relaxing, taking pictures, writing, chilling next to a campfire, watching the stars. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the ride itself. I’m looking forward to being surrounded by nature.
Wish me luck on my first big ride tomorrow!!