When I was a kid, my parents scoffed at the idea of paying money to send me somewhere to spend time outdoors. So I was basically deprived of the American tradition of summer camps. My childhood dreams remained unfulfilled until last year, when Box Dog Bikes started their initial #bdbsummercamp series! This year’s event proved to even be doper.
Eric, Geoff and Angus from Box Dog led a group of about 15 or so through a mixed terrain exploration of the East Bay hills. It was a great way to kick off the first official day of summer.
Bike nerd talk: This was my first camping trip with the Rawland Stag (which doesn’t have provisions for a rear rack or mid-fork braze ons), so I had to install a mid fork braze-on adapt-a-ma-jig from Tubus. I paired this with a borrowed Tubus front rack from Ian K.B. and the result was a stable handling front loaded touring machine (Jan was right). This was also my second attempt at bike camping with a hammock and this time I was able to set it up correctly, which proved for a pretty chill sleeping experience.
More people joined later in the afternoon at Lake Chabot Regional Park and it turned into the the largest bike camping gathering of bike nerds that I’ve ever been to. Seriously. Box Dog had a bunch of their bikes available at the camp site for demo and their sweet camping gear on display. Dinner was taken care of by Nick and Lindy from the Pedal Inn and they served an amazing camp meal of tofu spring rolls and pork banh mi’s.
In a day and age where it’s so easy to shop for things online at bottom barrel prices and then have drones deliver you things almost instantaneously (well not quite yet), it seems like a crazy and foolish thing to “support your local bike shop”. Also since everything is digitally consumed these days, it’s so easy for bike brands to just setup social media nonsense and gain adoring fans who live vicariously through the internet. However, I want to stress that real people and not robots (or unpaid interns) were the ones that made this camping trip possible:
1. Box Dog Bikes had a super obscure adapter piece (Tubus LM-1 mounting set) in stock in their store that I needed for the trip. Seriously, it would have taken a week for me to order that part from the internet.
2. They let me install said adapter at the shop, gave me a few pointers in the process and saved me a trip to the hardware store from buying like two bolts.
3. They organized and LED the route through some amazing mixed terrain territory. No one mentioned the words “gravel grinder”. They also led a more direct route for others who just wanted to take part in the bike camping. What a considerate group of folks!
4. Eric from Box Dog helped me setup my hammock correctly and even prevented me from throwing my straps into some poison oak. Thanks dude!
5. Lastly, the good folks Pedal Inn prepared and provided the group with real food that you could eat, you know with your mouth, rather than digital photos on Instagram that you would have to eat with your eyes.