First bike tour/camping – S24o!

So, it’s not really s24o (sub-24-hour-overnight), since we’re expecting this to take more like 30 hours, but it’s basically an s240.  Here’s Grant Peterson’s (of Rivendell) article about s240s.

The initial plan was to bike north about 40 miles to Zion IL and Illinois Beach State Park, and do the overnight there.  Unfortunately, it turns out that Illinois Beach State Park is closed indefinitely due to storm damage.  

The next option was the Indiana Dunes.  Here’s a route that gets one bad review and then quite a few good ones on Bikely.  More pre-planning and foresight might have been in order, as every campsite in at the State Park was booked up for the weekend!  The National Park was a possibility, but the Dunewood campgrounds get mixed web reviews.  The combination of sub-par reviews and a more unpredictable bike route bumped the Indiana Dunes option down on the list of possibilities.  Next up was Bong State in Wisconsin.   Too far and also full for the weekend.  Curse my poor planning!  I did learn that hilariously named Richard Bong was my namesake’s compatriot of sort — both were WWII flying aces for their respective allied nations.   Richard “Dick” Bong and Brendan Eamon “Paddy” Finucane .

Despairing, I pani-googled and came up with the FRT.   The Fox River Trail is really highly reviewed, I don’t know why it didn’t come to mind sooner.   And,  the Fox River Trail reaches the Illinois/Wisconsin line just a few miles shy of Lake Geneva.   Which I always hear these Chicagoans talking about.   A quick check on Lake Geneva’s Big Foot Beach State Park revealed three remaining campsites for Sunday night.   As I pored over the map to determine the most optimal of the three (high ground, shade, distance from roads/other campsites all taken into account) one of them disappeared.   So I went ahead and pulled the trigger on one of the two remaining sites.   Chances are it won’t be optimal, but hey, it’s a sellers market.

So, we’ll be biking 46.7 miles along the Fox River Trail from Elgin to Geneva tomorrow!  Fingers crossed for a heat, rain, and mechanical-problem-free two days!

Our bikes are good to go: new tires, tubes, cable, brake pads.  Everything adjusted.  The Schwinn World Voyageur lacks braze-ons for a water bottle, a deficiency I hadn’t noticed until yesterday.   I bought a little attachment for a bottle mount from REI yesterday.

In addition to the obvious stuff like tent, provisions, sleeping bag, pad, here’s my list of STUFF NOT TO FORGET:

  • 2 presta tubes
  • 2 schrader tubes
  • tire lever set
  • park multi-tool
  • adj. wrench
  • phone + charger
  • mini-pump
  • bungees
  • trash bags
  • first aid kit
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