Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

Bike Overnight Reconnaisance

Exploring off the beaten path, the stream uses the road.

I thought this was a desert.

Saturday we decided to reconnoiter a potential overnight bike trip. East of town is a reservoir surrounded by a patchwork of state, federal and private land blanketing the foothills. Riding for about 15 miles from our front door on the highway and green belt put us at the top of the dam at the lower end of the reservoir. Traveling past a gate and a sign prohibiting aggressive behavior (dang) we started up the dirt road leading up the draw hoping it eventually connected to the network of roads on the other side. I think at this point we were on private land, but it was hard to tell because there was really no signage. No matter because the road continued to deteriorate  and actually became the stream bed for large sections. The grapefruit size rocks and loose sand would have been easier to navigate with some wider tires at a lower inflation. And Sky King’s rear tire picked up a goathead thorn and flatted. I wasn’t going to admit this but we violated the 7 P’s ie; proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance, in that we only had one spare tube for Sky King’s bike.

Trail side flat repair

Bike Down!

But it wasn’t all a bust. We had fun and we found out what we wanted to, namely that this course would be less than enjoyable on these bikes when the bikes are loaded with gear for overnight camping. And it also nourished the seed of an idea for adventure or expedition touring. A seed which will be further nurtured until it sprouts into some sort of as yet unknown mis-adventures!

Riding past a nice little spot by the stream.

Sky King navigates past a lovely site.

Offroad touring

The Bike Hermit approacheth.

3 comments… add one
  • Sky King May 23, 2011, 4:40 pm

    And we didn’t see or hear any rattlesnakes!! Just a few lizards.

  • Karen V May 23, 2011, 9:34 pm

    We like to camp at Black Rock campground along the North Fork of the Boise River (about 60 miles from Boise). I have a secret wish to get there by bike sometime, but it would be a tough ride for me. I could travel light since the rest of my family would get there by car and haul all our stuff.

    To drive there you go to Idaho City and then take a gravel road (not a very nice one–large rocks, washboard) for about 20 miles to the campground. It would be nice if there was another way to get there or someplace else equally nice and perhaps 20 miles closer to Boise. I’m now inspired to explore the options via map. In Google Earth it looks like there is a decent road right along the main fork of the Boise above the reservoir, but it stops at the confluence with the North Fork. Did you have a destination in mind from a map, or were you just wandering? I hope you’ll report back on any other adventures in the area! I’d definitely like to do some local bike camping this summer.

    • Bike Hermit May 24, 2011, 1:17 pm

      This is a tough topography for bike camping. The foothills rise out of the high desert, and even though from a distance they look benign, once into them one realizes it’s rugged country. I was exploring by car the Simco Road and Black’s Creek/Mayfield area and it looked really nice. But I wanted to ride from Boise and it looked as though the road from Lucky Peak went through, which I think it does but I need a different bike. We are planning an overnighter this weekend or the following one (weather dependent) and I will post that trip here. Also, I am turning a Sam Hillborne into an expedition/adventure touring bike. Stay tuned for that as well!


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