We believe that making biking better in DC requires injecting a dose of whimsy and warmth into the everyday. Sharing a meal over a campfire, surrounded by trees and fresh air; a short gravel grind with a sweet reward at the end. This is the idea behind our camping ride - The Campfire Grind.
If you select yes for food, let us know if you have any specific food allergies.
Depending on the number of yes responses for food we will be shopping for veg / vegan friendly campfire roast-able dinner plus a few small snacks to share with the group.
Our primary goal is your enjoyment and safety. We will be watching the weather leading up to the event and will make a call on cancellation 24 hours before the event.
We are heading to the woods for a mini bike camping outing 11 miles from the shop. It's a smooth roll down the C&O Canal Trail.
This will be a low-key community ride, with a focus on fun, food, and friends. We will meet at 3210 Grace Street NW DC at 5:00 pm, and roll out on the trail starting at 5:30 pm.
Sunset comes early these days, so be sure to bring along a front headlight for your bike that is 200 lumens or brighter, and a phone camera for those golden hour snaps. You'll also want a few solid warm layers for the winter temps. A further packing list can be found further down.
We will be following the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. For this short overnight camping trip, the main thing to remember is “pack it in, pack it out": there won’t be a place for trash disposal at the campground or on the trail - so bring along a plastic shopping bag to pack out your waste. The good news is all campgrounds on the C&O do have chemical toilets, so no need to worry about learning how to dig a “cat hole."
Our recommended packing list:
A bike in good working order, that you feel comfortable riding on gravel. Your aero road bike is a blast, but something with tread and 28mm+ tires is going to be a lot more fun here. Trust us on this one.
A bright (200 lumens or more) bike headlight, capable of illuminating your path in the dark. Bonus, this can double as a camp flashlight! Make sure it has enough charge to last for a few hours.
A multitool and flat repair kit (tire levers, patch kit, spare tube, pump or CO2 cartridge).
Water: You’ll want to bring about 2 liters of water - approximately 3 reusable water bottles - as after mile 3, there are no further water refill spots on the trail.
Food & cooking supplies: you have two options here.
If you are planning to join in on our campfire cooking lesson and shared dinner and/or breakfast (highly recommended), you’ll just need to pack your favorite trail snacks, along with metal or plastic reusable dishes/cutlery, and a spare cup for shared hot drinks!
If packing your own food, you'll want to bring a solid meal for dinner and breakfast, along with ample snacks, and dishes/cutlery needed to cook and eat! (See above.) We'll have a few treats to share with you at the campfire, but bank on DIY for the rest.
Shelter and sleeping arrangements: a tent/hammock/bivy/tarp, and sleeping bag rated for 20℉ or below. We also recommend a sleeping pad for extra insulation.
Rain gear, just in case: a waterproof jacket with a hood or hat, waterproof pants and shoes (or sandals) if you have 'em, with quick-dry clothing underneath. You’ll also want a rainfly and ground cloth for your tent, and waterproof panniers or bikepacking bags (or your normal pack lined with a trashbag)
Warm layers to keep you comfortable off the bike: Fuzzy sweaters, blankets, windproof jackets, puffy vests, beanies, neck warmers, and winter gloves encouraged. Temps will potentially be dropping to the low 30's/ high 20's after midnight.
Missing any items on this list?
Before you head online or to REI, give us a holler at the shop! We may be able to help you find what you need. If we don’t have an item currently in stock, please place your order with us by Tuesday November 5th to ensure it arrives on time for the trip.
Camping gear: We are a dealer for Big Agnes, Nemo, Black Diamond, and MSR, makers of some of the best sleeping bags, tents, stuff sacks, and camping accessories on the market.
Bike-packing and touring bags: If we don’t have it in stock, we can help you order a perfect-fit Ortlieb, Revelate, Salsa, or Axiom bag and rack system for your bike.
Any remaining questions?
Ask us here, give us a call, or swing by the shop. We can’t wait to adventure with you.