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!
Free Bike Camping Trip for Essential Workers
A 2-Day Bike Camping Adventure from Chicago to Camp Shabbona Woods on June 24-25
This ride is to acknowledge and appreciate our Essential Workers. The Covid19 pandemic placed an unprecedented strain on folks across industries.
This one night local bike camping adventure is offered as a way to say 'thank you' to our Essential Workers community and as an opportunity to have us serve them in return. Camping spots, dinner, and breakfast will be provided by our OOFD guides at no cost to the participants.
We will provide transport to haul the riders' gear in case their bike is not set up to haul camping gear.
Please spread the word to any essential workers you know that may be interested. Anyone that identifies as an essential worker either during or after the pandemic can sign up. There are only 12 spots available so please only sign up if you very much intend to come. More details and registration here.
Hootenanny Fundraiser Recap
There’s no denying there was magic in the air at this year's Hootenanny. We sold out the 100 online tickets and had more folks show up at the door!
From the dedicated planning committee, to the day-of volunteer crew complete with homemade chili mac delivery by bicycle, to the friends, family, and loved ones coming out to support, the Hootenanny Vol. 3 was a smashing success!
Once all of the dust settled, we actually just surpassed our goal to net $6000 by $13!
We were able to keep our costs low with extra special thanks to our volunteer cooks and Metropolitan Brewing helping so much with donating beers and a discounted rate on the beautiful space! And the over $4000 in raffle prizes donated by all of our amazing donors (listed here) no doubt helped bring out so many great folks to the event.
Thank you to everyone who came out kick off the ride season in style.
Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel Shultz
New Adult Overnights Program Assistant Director, Lead Guide for Battle to the Dunes, vegan chili cook extraordinaire, reused material bag making wizard, and so much more!
Rachel Shultz is a recent convert to bikepacking, having re-discovered her childhood love of biking and camping during the annus horribilis of 2020. She lives on the Northside of Chicago and enjoys proximity to the Lake Shore trail as well as the North Branch trail. Having moved from Maryland in 2007, she is excited to finally be learning more about the natural beauty of the lower Lake Michigan area through her involvement with Out Our Front Door.
When she's not riding, Rachel enjoys tinkering with her bikes, hanging out with her French bulldog Lula, and vegetarian cooking. She's recently branched out into amateur bike-packing gear construction and would love to learn more! Check out the blog she wrote about becoming an OOFD volunteer last year here.
She is taking on the lead role for one of our biggest rides of the year, Battle to the Dunes, on June 3-4 which she will be heading up the guide crew of 9 plus 50 participants on the weekend ride to Indiana Dunes National Park to camp! Learn more about that ride and grab one of the final remaining slots here.
Where the Wild Things Grow Recap: Earth Day
We celebrated Earth Day by partnering with The Major Taylor Trail Keepers for a Where The Wild Things Grow ride and trail cleanup.This year marked 5 years that we’ve kept this tradition going strong helping to clean up this wonderful trail. Guides Will, Maura, and Matt Weiss led a crew of about 20 folks down to the service day from Palmisano Park in Bridgeport to the service sites mainly in West Pullman. The crew even had a celebratory glass of mead at Wild Blossom Meadery which is right on the trail afterward the service.
Bike Camping Clinic Recap: Cosmic Bikes
We are so grateful to have partnered with THE bike camping bike shop of Chicago, Cosmic Bikes, for an Intro to Bike Camping Clinic last week. There was incredible turnout with over 30 folks in the audience. Lots of new folks that haven't bike camped before. Check out this blog with a recap of what lead guide Rachel Shultz and Cosmic's owner, Justyna, covered so you know how and what to pack for your bike camping adventures this year!
Y'all! This year is off to a high flying start. We just had our first bike camping trip of the season this last weekend to Camp Blackwell led by Ashely Lyons, and it was a resounding success. You can see the pics from the ride here. So many great adventures ahead this year. Can't wait to ride with ya!
Glenn and the whole OOFD crew
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