Wednesday, August 25, 2021

How to do a Bike - Hike

She came to Arizona from Oregon via covered wagon. I once asked her what it was like to ride in a covered wagon. She responded by telling me you didn’t actually get to ride ‘in’ the wagon, as that was for the family belongings, but instead you walked beside it. Thus, basically she walked from Oregon to Arizona when she was between the ages of six to eight. I’m referring to my grandmother whom I lived with when I was younger for different periods of time but mostly in summers.

Their trip took two years because they had to stop ever now and then to earn some bucks for the continued trip and I guess her dad was kind of sickly so he had to rest. Still, can you imagine basically ‘camping’ your way to Arizona? Well I can because I backpack and it’s pretty amazing how much ground you can cover in a given day. However, you don’t have a wagon full of belongs  to worry about when really just hiking your way along a trail.

I have a friend who recently hiked the Arizona trail which is 500 plus mile across the state north/south. The elevation changes is pretty incredible though. She did have the benefit of various stores and stashes along the way. 

I mention this because one of the things most of us enjoy when camping is hiking. And these days some of us even like biking. And others of us have even been known to plan trips around both of those activities. 

With me, it started out when my two sons were younger. I would find a place where we could haul them and their bikes up in the truck to a high point and they could ride their bikes back down on a pretty decent dirt road. ( As I remember, Mount Elden in Flagstaff was one of our first adventures. ) 

Then as they grew up and became entangled in their own lives, I started doing such things alone. It was a big realization when it dawned on me that with a little research you could figure out places where the bike could be stashed up high and the vehicle down low. This gives one the ability to hike from the truck to the bike, then ride the bike back to the truck. Down is good for biking. ;-)

Google Earth turns out to be a great tool for helping you research and plan out you bike-hiking efforts. Be sure to use the 3D view so you don’t end up overlooking the fact that there could be a monster canyon between you and whatever you're trying to go. This new video will give you a better idea about that sort of thing:

Another potential big advantage is you can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time with the opportunity to hike country that is normally not viewable from a road or even a trail. Us hunter types tend to like this ability. We don’t generally hike on trails anyway preferring to venture out across hill and del, so to speak. And using the Bike-Hike concept one can cover twice the amount of unfamiliar ground. Here’s an older Bike-Hike video example:

So basically what we have here is just another excuse to get out and have some fun. You might even find the kids will pull their heads out of the phones long enough to feel the wind in their hair on that fun ride down.

Go Camping! 


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