This time, I packed up the Mundo with our three sleeping bags, two sleeping pad (one of dubious quality that didn't make it back home with us), and the small Hubba Hubba tent. We also had actual planned meals, kitchen utensils, my little stove, and tableware. I went light on the clothing, figuring that we could layer as needed and that we'd only be gone for a couple of nights.
42 miles and one big hill later, we arrived at our hike/bike campsite. My legs were wobbly but my cheering section chanted "Go, mama, go!" all the way to the top and screamed "No brakes!!!" all the way back down to the bottom. These guys are awesome.
I had a couple of ibuprofen to stave off the headache that was creeping in after the long day in the sun and the next morning I was totally fine.
I was pretty proud of myself for using the stove this time around and planning enough food to almost last our entire trip. They weren't the best meals but I'm lucky that everything tastes better when you're camping. We had pesto gnocchi for dinner, oatmeal for breakfast, scrambled eggs with tortilla and leftover salami and cheese the next night, and plenty of peanut butter honey pita bread meals tucked in between.
Thursday was our rest day but I'm convinced that off-the-bike days are actually more difficult for me. Wrangling two wild children, continuously filling them with food from our quickly diminishing stash, and making sure they didn't drown (all while I just wanted a big nap myself) was rough. We had forgotten to bring any books or toys but there was a slow river, a big playground nearby, and so many rocks and sticks that had to be picked up. There was also rampant patches of poison oak but so far, we're in the clear.
It was close quarters in the 2-person Hubba Hubba but we managed. The vestibules under the rainfly made for a nice storage area and the boys are small enough to mostly squeeze onto one sleeping pad--either feet-to-feet or side-by-side. The hyper peacocks had kept me awake most of the night (reminder: always pack earplugs) and these boys don't sleep in later than sunrise. At least they wake up cheerfully and excited to start the day.
On Friday morning, the boys ate our last two packs of oatmeal and I packed up camp. We were able to get out onto the road by 8am, a mere 90 minutes after waking up, possibly a record.
The ride started off with a steep but short climb and some rolling hills but we got to Steady Eddy's in six miles for the boys' second breakfast and my first for the day.
They were pretty excited about the flavored yogurt and my breakfast wrap filled me up for the windy ride home. I was less thrilled about sitting outside on a beautiful day watching the local crowd pull up to the cafe and leave their giant trucks idling (one for over 15 minutes!). We were back on the road fairly quickly.
The wind was tough in some stretchs. It was blasting from the side so there wasn't much relief. We all felt gritty and tired. There were more roadies out zipping past our 200 pound bike and its live cargo.
Gampa showed up right outside of Davis to ride back home with us. He brought some extra snacks and was great company for us all. After another playground stop in Davis, we were ready for our final leg.
The wind had shifted slightly so it was more of a tailwind which made for an easier trip across the causeway--a long, loud trail right next to the freeway across a bridge overlooking some of the most beautiful wetlands that the drivers miss as they speed along.
We took one final break at the end where the boys played mock-baseball and we chatted with a lovely couple from Portland on beautifully color-coordinated Bike Fridays (randomly enough, they were also at the Haul-a-day test rides at VeloCult and remembered seeing us there).
This trip was much smoother than some of our previous rides. We're getting our gear setup and packing figured out and gaining new camping skills. The boys are naturally pretty easy to entertain themselves and are able to sit on the bike for long periods of time chatting away and looking around. The route was longer than what I'd prefer to do on a regular basis (probably 30 miles max, fewer for hilly days) and the wind made it harder. However, it was low traffic and still short enough that we made it easily in the daylight.
Next time I need to remember earplugs, extra shoes for the boys if there's any chance of water being nearby, one more layer for warmth during the chilly mornings, and more fresh produce for meals. We have most if our gear figured out except for a good pot set and sleeping pad for the boys (sturdy enough for them but packable).