Roughly 120 miles of road, dirt, gravel and hills.
7 pizzas and an uncounted amount of tacos and bagels were consumed.
1 armadillo sighting.
2 campfires and many cups of campfire coffee enjoyed.
The first weekend in May was beautiful: Warm, sunny days and clear, cool nights. A weekend made for bike camping. Thirteen of us gathered to drink coffee and do some reconnaissance for Swift Industries’ Summer Solstice Campout. Three days of riding alongside ranches teaming with young livestock, past a ghost town and finally through the charred pines of Bastrop sprinkled with new growth. We rolled out Friday morning armed with sunscreen and coffee.
The scenery in Bastrop is pretty surreal. In 2011, Bastrop State Park was ravaged by wildfires. All along our route there was evidence of that terrible summer, epic pines charred and cut down and bald spots existed in what was once a lush forest. But new growth was everywhere- bright green little pines against the black and grey giants. There were even blackberries growing in abundance. We set up our camp and then split into two parties. Party One set out on pizza duty, while Party Two got the fires going and made friends with three other bike campers who happened to roll through: a German woodworker taking 5 months to ride from Atlanta to Vancouver; and two women riding from San Diego and Phoenix, respectively, en route to Florida.
We let the sunrise wake us up and sleepily made our way to our various coffee set-ups. The rustling we heard that night was identified to be an armadillo bumbling around camp, bumping into our bikes and tents. We figured it was a good sign, since the armadillo is considered Beat The Clock’s spirit animal.
We said goodbye to our new friends as they headed to Houston and then hopped back onto Park Road 1C. Part of the group branched off for a dirt ride into camp while the rest revisited the hills. The camp vibes were strong with us- Bastrop’s pool opened 20 minutes after we arrived at the park.
Day 2 was full of burgers, swimming and plenty of lounging. We enjoyed a mellow night following a sun and pool soaked day and turned in early. The moon was almost full that night, making our headlamps almost unnecessary.
Up with the sun, we made our way home to Austin and back to work, grad school work and to take a nap (yours truly). Our yoga teacher and fellow Swift Navigator was Houston bound for a criterium race, where he ended up placing in the top 10. The final group out took advantage of Bastrop’s Main Street for a second breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and waffles.
Words by Laura Clemens Trujillo of helloclementine.com
Photos by Gideon Tsang and Crew
Swift Campout is a month away and we’re getting hyped! Make sure to sign on and mark the map with your own adventure. Hit the open road for a night under the stars, and remember to share your #swiftcampout stories to win amazing gear from Tenkara Rod Co., Ibex Wool, Horse Brand, Ocean Air Cycles, and Enlightened Equipment!
We’re calling for short vid submissions so grab your cameras and start documenting your overnight! Winners will get set up with a full touring set up from Swift Industries and more.