How To Save On Gas
"Why I Need A Roof Rack For My Trailer"
Camping in the backyard was a dress rehearsal for the real thing. This past weekend, we loaded up our bike trailer and a trailer on loan to us from our friends Paul and Danielle and headed off.
I thought it was going to be a rough day, I woke up feeling a bit like I did the day I went to the hospital (out of breath), but I figured if I rode a bit, I'd be ok. I think I might have loaded ABL down a bit too much, she had the two older kids, some equipment and about 16 pounds of fluid (water, gatorade, milk, etc.). I had most of the equipment, and TGL in her car carrier. We rode through the construction site near our house to get to the trail system that goes through our development. My plan was to find the most level route to the campground at Lake Fairfax in Reston. We crossed Dranesville Road and went south along the Sugarland run trail system. We had to climb out of the valley to get up Lake Newport road. ABL nearly passed out a couple of times on the climb; luckily, dinner (catered by Boston Market) was at the top.
I swapped some stuff out of ABL's load into mine and she found the riding easier from then on. We got to the Campground just before 8pm and got a site near the bathrooms (I'm up every two hours at night, so I wanted a short commute). My little constructicons helped me build the Coleman tent and blow up the air mattresses (way cheap at WalMart). The bathrooms were ultra clean when we got there, quite a surprise from what I was expecting.
I was really beat, but I had to start a fire, those marshmallows won't roast themselves you know. Darkness was descending, so we broke out the glo-lights as well. Q was so fascinated, she wanted to call my parents and explain how they worked, "first you break it, then you shake it, and it lights up".
The campground had the usual noise, fires poppin', people laughing, babies crying (oh wait, that last one was us), but I can't fathom how many people drove their cars to the bathrooms at night. Big honkin' Escalades were crunching and spitting out gravel from between the tires as they pulled in. Seriously, the campground isn't that big, A little walking will do you good. And for god sakes, don't let the engine idle while you're in there!!! If you want to go to the bathroom in air conditioned comfort, get a hotel room.
The next morning, we broke camp and headed over to the Watermine, a family swimmin' hole. The Watermine was a lot of fun considering how cheap and how close it is, but I can imagine when it gets packed, the experience might suffer a bit. I think the only downside was that they didn't have a snack bar. When we left, I managed to put most of the equipment and the two older kids in my trailer. Man was it rough pedaling, but we managed to make it home faster by traveling south on Wiehle and taking the W & OD home (with a quick stop at DQ for Ice cream). I could have used a rack on top of the trailer to ease ABL's burden. As it was, I was seriously overloading the trailer. The weight limit is 100 pounds, but according to the manufacturers, that's just what they feel can safely be brought to a stop by a road bike. I didn't really notice any difference in the braking with it overloaded. ABL had someone tell her it wasn't safe to be riding on roads with kids and I had someone in a Prius tell me it was too hot for me to have my kids in a trailer. Yeah, thanks for your concern America, please keep it to yourself.
P.S. In case you didn't know, ABL does a have a bit of Captain in her.
Yes, she's wearing a black bathing suit under that Tshirt, and yes, that is one happy baby. Q took the picture, so it wasn't staged for the Captain Morgan pose off or anything.
Labels: bike camping, Coleman tent, lake fairfax, water mine