Topanga Creek Bicycles Campout

It’s taken a long time, 2 years in fact, but I’ve finally popped my bike camping cherry. A couple of weeks ago Chris from Topanga Creek Bicycles asked if I’d be up for a campout near the shop. I immediately said yes, knowing that I’d work out the details later. It turns out that there’s a campground very close to the shop up a very steep hill. The idea being that anyone could come out and try out their camping setup before attempting a longer ride or tour. I guess a lot of people were excited about it, but only three non-employees showed up. Hopefully next time it will be bigger.

I told Bruce about the campout and he was in, so we planned a route that would include a dirt climb in true Rough Riders style. We both were on our road bikes, Bruce on his Rivendell Bleriot and me on my trusty Surly Long Haul Trucker. We got a couple of weird looks from people, but that made it all the better. Here’s our route.

My goal was to pack as light as possible and it worked out well. The LHT with my overnight gear weighed about the same as when it’s in full commute mode. I only packed a bivy, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, shorts, trail mix, toiletries and a windbreaker. Pretty simple. Everything except the sleeping pad fit in the 2 small panniers on the back. The panniers that I used are really front panniers, and I have a set of the larger rear panniers. I can’t even imagine how much stuff you could carry if you used those.

I’ll just post a few of my favorite pics, but you can see all of them here.








The man with the plan, Chris from Topanga Creek Bicycles


Past being replaced with the future.

The weekend was a great success, and we’ve already started discussing future trips. My LHT performed flawlessly and my gear selection worked out well. I’m looking forward to getting out again, hopefully after the temps drop. It’ll be nice to have a fire and a cup of tea to relax with. Thanks to Chris, Scott and Eric for setting up this campout.

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  • Any pics of your bivy/bag set-up? I may camp out on the 400K next month @ San Elijo State Beach – I’m thinking I can get away with just a bag and a mat (maybe a groundsheet too) for now…but have been looking into the Nano GoGo or one of several tarp-tents to take on longer/colder solo trips.

  • Congrats on the overnighter! I’ve done a couple of them, and I intend to do more, but so far this year it hasn’t happened. I find the opposite, I’m always carrying tons of stuff and can never find room for all of it. Then again I usually cook.

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