Riding up on Friday after Jose finished work turned out well. It was a bit of a scramble to gather everything. We realized last minute that we didn't have fuel for the stove and while we were loading up, Zorro (our dog) peed on the sleeping bag bags. Yuck. Luckily, the bags inside weren't wet and we just decided to pack easier meals. Jose took the boys in the trailer and the sleeping bags in panniers on Oscar the Bike. I attached a milk crate box to my Yuba Mundo and loaded it up with firewood, took the clothes and food in my panniers, and had the tent strapped to my rack. Sadly, a last minute scramble never turned up the keys to my Mini Yepp and I had to ride there with the front baby seat still attached. Not the best long-distance riding situation.
The ride is beautiful--90% or so along the American River Bike Trail. There are a few spots that you have to maneuver around the streets but it's still very easy to get around. We got lost once but found many helpful bikers able to keep pointing us in the right direction. The last 3 miles or so is all uphill but the Mundo was great. My load was balanced enough and the gears are low enough that I made it up 5-7% grades. We rode the entire way, stopping very briefly just once to give the kids a snack to munch on. We would have made it the whole way but Big Brother had opened up his water and couldn't close it. Those were his only pants and I did not want them soaked that early.
I was really impressed at Beal's Point--green, shady, quiet. I wish it had a bicycle camper section but they did have nice spots away from the road (sadly, none were available--reservations next time). It's also a little pricy since they don't have bike rates--$25/night. We registered and set up camp. It was getting a little chilly by the time we got there about 5pm so we bundled up and I started the fire. It was great having brought wood. I'm sure we could have just bought some there but I like a little extra challenge. We were able to put some tortillas and cheese in a pot on the grill over the fire pit which turned out some pretty nice quesadillas. We brought up fresh spinach from our CSA Full Belly box and I had a semi-warm cup of tea. Then it was bed time. I love having kids that go to bed at 7pm, it's the best excuse to tuck in at the same time.
Except that we have more riding tomorrow. Little Brother turns 1 and it's Easter! I am very impressed with the Mundo's hill climbing, load bearing, and distance riding abilities so far. I am also very impressed with my children's patience and tolerance for bike riding. Big Brother entertained himself with his many books and Little Brother slept most of the way. I hope that we're all ready for next week's adventure- 85 miles!