Packing Notes for Bike Camping
By OOFD Adult Overnight Director and Board President Breanna Bertacchi
We’ve heard the concept ‘pack your fears’ with regards to which gear to prioritize in your camping set. I have a tendency to focus more on packing my treats – sometimes those little added goodies are just what you’ve been waiting to pull out of your pack once you roll into camp, and they have the added benefit of also preventing some accumulation of pain or inconvenience as well. Here’s my top 3 list of goodies to consider making room for in your gear pack.
2023 Ride Report by first time OOFD guide Steph
When our group set out on our ride to Blackwell on the Out Our Front Door season opener, there was certainly a myriad of expectations in terms of what lay ahead of us along the trail. From first-time campers and guides to seasoned bikepackers, there was truly a range of experience levels which made for a really fantastic weekend!
As a first time OOFD guide, I wanted to be sure to exceed everyone’s expectations as the guides on Decemberg 2022 had done for me. I wanted participants to feel the same sense of relaxation and joy I felt on my first Out Our Front Door overnight. I was also excited to help guide What Lies West in particular because of the route - I ride the Illinois Prairie Path fairly regularly for transportation and recreation and relished the opportunity to share it with others.
2023 Ride Report by Jordan Evangelista - OOFD's lead guide for the 2023 ride to Milwaukee
How often do you visit Milwaukee - our friendly neighbor to the north? If it’s any less than, “at least once a year on OOFD’s bike camping adventure to the Good Land,” then you are seriously missing out.
Facing perfect May weather, an OOFD crew 17 strong rambled north out of the city along our great lake. We cruised along on bike lanes, quiet streets, paved paths, and crushed limestone trails. Gina, one of the guides, called out the names of plants along the way. The quiet parts made conversation easy. Stops at a lighthouse, parks, and a coffee shop included spiels about history, ecology, and what makes our destination, Brew City, so special.
Welcome to Bike Camping Season
Happy Spring and official OOFD bike camping season y'all! We are flying high off of a hugely successful and fun Hootenanny fundraiser. We have sold out our first 3 bike camping trips of the year (more than a month in advance) with the others very likely going to fill up as well!
We're kicking off our free overnight ride series next month with a bike camping trip to give thanks to our Essential Workers. The partners that continue to support OOFD have some great events coming up. Battle to the Dunes is right around the corner and the epic SWMI ride ride in July already has more registered this year than registered total for last year!
From 2016-2022, our transfer and refund policy has always been nonexistent. We have been completely or nearly 100% volunteer organization and simply didn't have the capacity to handle the administration of processing transfers and refunds. We did our best to make work with folks when special circumstances arose.
How can I possibly summarize the magic of OOFD’s first ever SWMI ride in 2022?
I could give you a breakdown of the day by day, we did this then this. You can get the general gist of the flow of this 5 day, 4 night, 250+ mile bike camping trip here. From Chicago to SW Michigan. Swimming all along the way. A long time personal OOFD dream come true.
Come Flock Off the Block with us! This is one of OOFD's biggest rides ever. We rented the entire Camp Shabonna in South Holland, IL including 17 campsites, the group site, and 4 cabins. Also, we have the most excellent partners on this one, both Patagonia and Specialized!
We will have a van that can haul your camping gear too. We'll be at On Tour Brewery in West Town the night before from 5pm-10pm so you can stop by and drop your gear off. You certainly are welcome to haul your own gear on your bike as well.
This is a family friendly party. It's our first time combining the Adult and Family Programs in one overnight bike camping trip. It includes a catered dinner, live music at the campsite and so much more!
The Great Curiosity of the Dunes
By OOFD Guide Ashley Lyons upon reflecting on the 2022 Battle to the Dunes Ride
When you’re halfway through the year and you crave adventure, get thee to the Dunes. The Battle to the Dunes ride is a joyous experience. You join the sun still rising over the lake and venture down familiar territory: the lakefront trail. There’s comfort in the familiar at first, yet you’re still giddy with the energy of dozens of new bike friends who greet you with wide smiles. You might be nervous, too.
Intro to Bike Camping Clinic at Cosmic Bikes - April 2023 (How and What to Pack)
We are so grateful to have partnered with THE Bike Camping Bike Shop of Chicago - Cosmic Bikes for an Intro to Bike Camping Clinic on April 20, 2023. There was incredible turnout with over 30 folks in the audience. Lots of new folks that haven't bike camped before.
See below for the BIKE TOURING 101 - HOW AND WHAT TO PACK script from the clinic.
Cosmic Bikes owner Justyna explained a bunch of great gear she has used on overnight rides throughout her extensive experience of going on local, micro-escapes around Chicagoland. Much of that bike camping gear is available in their shop, from stoves, to tents to bike camping bags! Be sure to check out their shop if you get a chance, 4641 N. Milwaukee. And be sure to check out Justyna's Chicago Bike Blog that covers a great variety of bike topics with an especial focus on micro bike camping adventures.
Bike Camping, Parties, and More!
Y'all! The Hooteannnay Fundraiser is tomorrow at Metropolitan Brewery and tickets are almost sold out! The first three bike camping rides of the year are sold out too! Sensing a theme here.
You see that blue sky and sunshine! Spring is here and goodness are we so. freaking. ready. to get some bike camping in. And all other sorts of fun stuff. Read on to learn about upcoming events in April and beyond including a bike camping trip to the Indiana Dunes in June, an Earth Day ride to Major Taylor Trail, and even a bike camping clinic at Cosmic Bikes.
"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"