So you've resolved to do some just-for-fun bike trips this summer but you're not sure how to get started. Read this post for a bunch of summer bike trip ideas, from the easy to dreamy!
This is a guest post from Judy, one of our brand ambassadors in Minneapolis.
Summer is coming – those hot, sunny days that draw you outdoors for events and activities. Time to attend outdoor concerts with friends, picnics with family, and take weekend getaways. For a lot of people that means packing up the car, loading up the family, and spending more time in traffic, frustrated and hot, than enjoying activities. You don’t have to go through this, if you have a bicycle. Taking summer bike trips (where ever there is) can be done easier than you think.
Fifty percent of trips taken by car are within a 2-mile radius – that’s a 10 minute joy-filled bike ride! Susan B. Anthony said about bicycling, “It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.” Getting to your favorite summer pastime activities by bike gives you the freedom to escape congestion by way of a self-propelled travel option.
Tour de Fat Bicycle Parade
If you haven’t tried this before, start with short trips – like going to the Memorial Day Parade. Make your own parade of family, neighbors, and friends riding to your local parade. An easy summer bike trip with no hassle of finding parking—your mobility eases your way in and out—while the post- event congestion in a hot car ensues. From there, expand your mileage a little bit each week. Take the family on a picnic at a park 10 miles away. It is easy to pack up a lunch: the Po Campo Uptown Trunk Bag fits a bottle of wine, and the Po Campo Bergen Pannier is roomy and durable to carry up to 80 lbs. of goodies with you.
Start testing your limits. Taking summer bike trips allows you to slow down and discover new places you don’t notice speeding by in a car — a colorful mural on a building, saying hello to fellow cyclists or people along the way, a short cut that can only be reached by bike! Take along the Uptown Bike Trunk bag, a bag that is as comfortable to carry as it is to ride with. The Uptown bag’s design has been updated to incorporate four sturdy Velcro tabs to attach to your bike rack, and the doctor-bag style provides a wide opening to make it easy to pull things in and out. So when you take your summer bike trip to your favorite brewery or restaurant, you’ll have a stylish bag to carry your important items.
As summer winds down, you’ll be ready to take a longer summer bike vacation trip. My first overnight by bike was riding with my husband through beautiful country scenery, smelling the freshness of what was growing in the fields, stopping at wineries along the way. It was an all-day 60-mile wandering that landed us at a favorite hotel where fresh sheets and a shower were waiting for me! Waking up refreshed, we were ready to return the next day relaxed after a weekend break.
From there, we expanded our trips to include self-contained camping or riding to stay at a yurt using a variety of Rails-to-Trails and on-road routes. So far, our summer bike trips have taken us from Portland to the coast, around the mountains in Colorado, across Iowa, and from the trickled beginnings of the Mississippi River—with plans to follow with the river all the way to New Orleans. We take all day summer bike trips to explore the richness of new regions, find fun curiosities, and savor new tastes with friends. Returning home, we are usually tired from the physical activity, but revitalized from the new discoveries.
Taking your own summer bike trip can give you a new view of your world without the usual troubles of going to and fro. As bicycling culture builds, infrastructure continues to grow to accommodate this traveling option from coast to coast. Take your time feeling comfortable taking longer trips. Take along a friend or your family helps to share in the fun. Take along Po Campo bags help get you there in style!
Judy has a passion to foster positive, active lifestyles for the social, environmental, and health benefits it provides. She guides bicyclists through classes and rides to encourage and empower safe, confident riders in our community.