The big day! Finally time to take my bike and kayak rig out on the road and the water to start the sport of Biyaking. This is what I’ve been working toward all summer, and dreaming of for the past two years. Yes folks, it’s finally time to peddle and paddle my two-day, 75 mile route including three stretches on road, and two on water.
I put a lot of planning into this trip. I was looking for the right balance between enough supplies to get me through the two days, but I didn’t want any extras. Each extra pound I carry is an extra pound I have to carry for 75 miles and two days.
All of the gear weighs in at 155 lbs. about 50 of that is the kayak, and 30 is the bike. I wasn’t initially intending to use my mountain bike, but the route I chose had gravel roads (just because Google Maps suggests a bike-able road, doesn’t mean it’s paved.) The bike change was a good decision.
*A list of everything I packed and prepared is at the bottom of this post.
I set my alarm, got up before the sun, drove the 1 hour and 15 min to Battleground Indiana, and began my journey right at sunrise. I had a few challenges along the way. My mirror didn’t like to stay adjusted on the gravel roads, and my headlight didn’t like to stay on (a mini bungee cord took care of that.) It was going well though. On one of the sets of hills – or valleys actually, I hit a top speed of 30.7 mph!!! I knew it was a bad idea, but so is letting the kayak try to pass me while I ride slowly down a hill. I made up for it going up the other side of the valley, where my speed hit a low of 3.5 mph. Ugh, I’d never had a need to use both of the lowest gears on my mountain bike before, but sure enough, they come in handy when towing a kayak and camping gear up a hill.
I finally hit nice flat pavement! Feeling on top of the world, I was rolling along at a good 13-14 mph and just enjoying the fact that I was actually living a dream that I’d been after for over two years… Then I heard a scraping sound on the pavement. I looked back to see my kayak nose dragging on the ground. “The cart must have slipped backward putting the nose down” I initially thought. Then it hit me. The nose is supported by the trailer bar, the Dumb Stick. The nose can’t touch the ground, but it was. My brain was a bit slow to realize that the Dumb Stick had broken, and was no longer supporting the kayak and trailer. At that point, I knew it was over. No fixing this one. I made it 12 miles into my grand adventure, and it was now literally grinding to a halt. I stopped on the side of the road to plan my recovery.
Fortunately, a nearby farmer saw me pulling my kayak by hand, and came out to see this unusual sight. We chatted about the adventure for a bit, then he happily offered to let me store my kayak and gear on his property until I could bike back to my vehicle to retrieve everything. Back on the road, much lighter this time, I got about 1/2 way (past the crazy steep valley), when I realized my car keys were in the kayak. Ugh… This wasn’t the plan at all. Back I go again to the farmhouse and my sadly defeated kayak rig, picked up my keys, and once again headed past the valley, over the gravel roads, through the town of Battleground, and back to my car. I eventually drove back to the kayak rig, and loaded up for the end of the weekend. While this wasn’t the plan, I wasn’t too bummed out because I knew this adventure would be happening again soon with better equipment! This trip was an adventure on its own, and I now had the opportunity to eliminate one more weakness.
Here’s the cracked Dumb Stick:
Time to make some improvements! Like I tell my bike… Stay tuned.
More adventure to come soon!
*List of Supplies: Total weight 155 lbs.
Head lamp (for hat)
Bandages / First Aid Kit
Emergency Whistle/Compass tool
CO2 & nozzle
2 gal water
Case of Gatorade
Phone batteries x 6
Battery back up pack
Heart Rate Monitor
Dry bag for clothes
Underwear x 3
Socks x 3
Dry-fit shirts x 3 (one long sleeve)
Gym shorts x 3
Bandanas x 3
Ear covers / hood