Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Couples Bike Camping 101: Gill, Massachusetts

For nine years I've been kissing my dear, patient wife good-bye on weekend mornings and disappearing over the horizon on two wheels, not to be seen for hours. Though I've engineered a number of enjoyable short joint rides over the years, my dream that she would catch the cycling bug never quite came true.

Until this year.

Over the winter, I floated the idea of an overnight bike camping trip, and she took the bait. We've always liked to camp, so that was a good motivator. A primo camp site on the Connecticut River at one of the area's most sought-after campgrounds was a second. The fact that the ride there would take no more than a couple hours sealed the deal.

I snatched the site the day reservations opened up in early spring. As the weather warmed, I arranged short, achievable "training" rides, always ending in ice cream or food (carrot works better than stick every time).

By early last week, Emily admitted she was looking forward to the trip, and helped me draw up the packing and food lists. By Friday afternoon, we were "loaded up and rolling," as Jerry Reed sang back in the day.

What follows below is a short photo essay on our fun experience.

When all was said and done, was it a success? Suffice to say that, on Sunday, Emily reported to her family that she had a great time and hoped to do it again. Win!

I used to think loaded touring bikes looked elephantine. Now I think they look like adventure.
The bridge between Turner's Falls and Gill shows how we humans 
 altered the flow of the mighty Connecticut for our own purposes.
Our blah little site at Barton Cove campground. Did the best I could.
The Salsa Vaya in its natural habitat
Looks like the new backpacking stove works. Camp coffee!
A favorite field in photogenic Montague
Woodsy glam-rockers left this artifact at their camp site
Sunset, Barton Cove, Connecticut River

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