Bike Camping at Samuel P. Taylor SP

This weekend, my bf and I decided to make the most of the warm weather and try bike camping at Samuel P. Taylor State Park. The trip was 31 miles each way, and we took about 4 hours to get there with some breaks. Though my bike is not a touring bike, I find it very comfortable on long rides and it did have mounting locations to attach a rack. I found a lightweight rack at Sports Basement, but the braze-ons on my bike were in a weird place. The mechanics there recommended a rack-lock seat collar that had the proper attachments. I made it work. For this area, it's really nice to have a mountain bike or cross bike for road and trails, but my mountain bike got stolen so I'm making the best of it. We fully prepped and packed the day before so that on Sunday we could just hop on our bikes and take off.

I made sure to weigh my gear so it wouldn't go over the limit. I had 25 lbs on the back and 5 lbs in my handlebar bag. I had a tent, sleeping bag, hiking clothes and shoes, toiletries, first aid, bike tools and lights, a few eating and kitchen utensils, even a mattress pad and chair! It did feel different at first riding with the extra weight, but wasn't as bad as I thought. The hills were manageable. I had to be careful not to go too fast on the downhills, it can get a little wobbly. At one point I was going to fast, hit a bump and one of my panniers popped off. Now I make sure to secure it better to the rack. I had some eggs in that pannier and they survived because they were in one of those yellow plastic egg carriers. I had brought a small camp stove but didn't make sure it worked before the trip. We didn't really need it though, as they sell firewood at the campground and plenty of food at the Lagunitas store. Bike camping is actually $7 for a 2 day pass. It is a group camp right next to the bathrooms with 2 firepits, picnic table, water, and a food locker. Because it is a group camp, the other cyclists already had a fire going, and we could make hot tea. At the bike camp, we met interesting cyclists doing fun trips. Some women were doing the California Coast, then across the U.S. to the East Coast! I wish I could have stayed up and socialized more but was so exhausted. In the morning, we started another fire from the hot coals to make breakfast and hot coffee after our morning hike up to the ridge.

From the Cross-Marin bike trail, you can access Jewell trail to Bolinas Ridge. It is a nice short hike/mountain bike with view of Bolinas Bay. After a long ride, it's very relaxing to take a nap under a canopy of redwood trees with the sounds of birds chirping next to a babbling creek. Overall, a great way to spend the weekend!

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