Friday, July 15, 2011

Recce trip and why it's good.

Actually, for me, any trip in my Catrike is good but yesterday's trip (July 14th) was especially great.

One of the reasons Adam and I like our Catrikes is that we can carry quite a lot of items relatively easily. Heading out for a picnic is a very simple exercise, logistically and literally. We can stow all kinds of items and travel for greater distances without the worry of dropping anything or of having to try and balance items in panniers as we would have to do on bicycles.

However, one of the ventures we have yet to try is going camping using our trikes. These days, I am good for about 50 kilometres before fatigue puts all that to a stop for the day. So, we were mighty impressed at the discovery of a campground located within city limits, not to mention my own. We had passed by its entrance last year when we did our 80 kilometre round trip to Kanata but only this year did we think about doing an overnight trip there.

The distance isn't so much of an issue for me - at least this year - but one of the issues we need to consider is cargo. As I said, we can carry quite a bit on our Catrikes but that doesn't mean we need not be judicious with our items. Camping is an especially item-intensive prospect unlike any other holiday. If you are travelling to a place you generally don't have to bring your own bed or house with you but, with camping, you do. Most campers pack up their vehicles and head out but it's not generally a huge issue with gasoline powered cars or trucks. It is, however, a massively different issue when one is packing a Catrike and it is this area where we are attempting to keep our loads as light as possible.

One of the ways we are dealing with this is to see how little we can get away with bringing. We both tend to pack very lightly anyway so, for us, Catrike camping is possible but as we've never done it before still an unknown quantity.

Enter yesterday.

We thought we could reduce the number of things we would need to bring with us by, for instance, eating out instead of bringing food with us. However, as our planned route doesn't really take us past too many restaurants nor are we keen on the idea of leaving our trikes unattended to eat we thought we would follow our planned route up to the point where we would want to stop and eat. At that point, we would see what was around and plan accordingly. We weren't certain we would be able to find much more than a variety store but we lucked out at Britannia Beach. While we did bring a picnic lunch with us yesterday, did note that there is what looks to be a half-way decent burger joint on site. No, it's not top  nutrition but, under the circumstances, will certainly work. That means we won't have to pack a lunch with us and, thus, will have more room for camping supplies.

The day was sunny, very warm but - whew - not that wilting humidity that reduces everything to gelatinous puddles. That's not due here 'til Sunday.

We rode up to Hog's Back and crossed at the Hartwell locks. I got lots of help lifting and carting my trike over the top and, for all that, I am extremely grateful. I could have done it but it was still nice to get help there.

Our route took us through the Experimental Farm, a completely delightful and serene place. We followed its pathway well beyond the western edge of the farm itself and eventually found ourselves deposited to a point just south of the Iris transit station. The day was now getting wonderfully breezy which, when experienced in some of the more wooded areas of the bike path, felt magnificent.

We made it to Britannia Beach in a little under 2 hours (including the couple of breaks enroute). We then sat back and enjoyed a fantastic lunch. I tell ya, you can eat a peanut butter sandwich (which I did) and it'll still taste like a 5 star dish after 2 hours of triking.

Heading back, we just travelled east along the Ottawa River parkway bike path, stopped at the ByTown museum at the foot of Parliament, enjoyed a well deserved ice cream and did some people watching for about half an hour before heading back.

We travelled 48 point something kilometres and had an extremely fantastic time of it. I am sure one overnight camping trip will be just as enjoyable (she said, hoping the weather deities hear her and take the hint).


1 comment:

  1. You should consider getting yourself a trailer! I use one with my bicycle as a grocery getter, and it works quite well. I have a single wheel, similar to the B.O.B. trailer MEC sells, but I would recommend a two wheeled type. Better load capacity, and it won't fall over when you disconnect it while it's loaded. A company in Guelph, Wike Trailers, sell a variety of styles, as well as kits that allow you to DIY.