Monday, August 10, 2009

Brandy's Lame Adventure

Thanks to her dork master, the grand, overly-ambitious plan went all haywire.

Patty was out of town this weekend, which was my invitation to be irresponsibe and stupid. As always, I made the most of the opportunity.

This spring-summer I've become more and more interested in trying a little bike camping and specifically, a style called the S24O. It's a self-contained, quick overnight trip. John's done a number and appears to have them totally dialed in. My big plan was to try a first, mock, solo, shakedown, bumbling, stumbling, close-to-home S240. And since it would be so scaled-down, I'd be able to take my dog. Cool.

Hennessey Hammocks seem to be popular among S24O enthusiasts. I've known from first sight that I must have one and finally got around to ordering it from REI a coupla weeks ago. I signed up for their free store delivery, which I think is done by stagecoach, and it finally got here last week. I guess having it in my hands made me feel like I was fully S24O-qualified. Wrong.

This is not car camping. Trying to figure out the hammock setup and sort out the gear and bike and how to haul it all and juggle that with everthing else I had to do on Saturday . . . it became clear that this wasn't happening. But I wasn't willing to totally scrap the whole damn thing. So it devolved into a short Sunday morning trip - haul the hammock out and set it up. And even thought it's too dry to use a stove, I'd pack one, along with some other cooking gear and food, just for the practice. Pretend games - just like a 4-year-old with an easy-bake oven.

We finally headed out . . .

With the loaded bike and semi-slicks the going was slow. Better safe than sorry.

But you also have to have some fun sometimes, so I cut loose and bunny-hopped this log. Cleared it by probably 3 feet. You should have seen me, I was utterly amazing.

We arrived at our fake campsite and fake-unpacked. This is the Hennessey Hammock. You'd never know it by looking at the stuff sack.

Laughing my ass off . . .

I guess we grow our trees extra big around here . . . the strap wasn't anywhere near long enough.

The cord would go, but not with enough length left to tie off.

Maybe the easy-bake oven was a little bit over my head. I decided it was time to throw in the towel head home to find the toy where you put the right shapes through the right-shaped holes. With some extra cord and in the comfort of my own front yard, I finally got the SOB strung up. (The dog spent a bewildered weekend of watching and tagging along on this wacked-out series of events.)

This is from inside, looking through the bug mesh. There are clips and a mesh bag that slide along the tension line for hanging your stuff. Haven't figured out yet where you're supposed to keep the beer.

Although it was a pretty collossal disaster, some good things came out of the weekend. At least I know what I don't know. Bike camping takes lots of practice and refinement, that much is for sure. I'll keep at it.


Anonymous said...

Fun write-up, nice dog.

I think you might have your front tire on backwards, looking at the pattern.

I mention that because, if those are Schwalbes, reversing them actually makes a surprising difference in traction.

Unless you were on a fixie pedaling backwards, in which case, carry on and I salute you.

Pat S said...

Yup, Schwalbes. Nope, not riding backwards (on purpose, anyway).

Thanks for the heads-up, I'll check it out.

John Speare said...

You got to hang out, ride trails with your dog, fiddle with gear. Total disaster? I think not.

Disagree with anon on the performance of reversed treads, but who cares, if it messes with your mind, then it messes with your performance.

Final Badger run of the year on Fri 28th this month. You must come. Leave town around noon. Swimming by 3 or so. The lake will be luscious. Bring a floaty.

Anonymous said...

Disagree with "john speare" (obvious porn star pseudonym)on schwalbes. Simple test: stand by bike-o, clench brake lever-o, try to skid-o. If the tires are mounted right, you'll slide back like ice but lock-tight pushing forward. Those schwalbes are actually all you need as mtb tires.

But there's worse things than reverse-mounted tires.

Just don't reverse mount your "floaty."

See you Aug. 28th, dudes. I loves me luscious.

Anonymous said...

So how is falling asleep in that hammock? Is it comfortable?

Alan said...

The first thing I thought of when I saw the hammock was this bit from Jim Gaffigan:

Pat S said...

John, the 28th it is.

SRV, haven't had a chance to sleep in the hammock yet, but it's gonna be the bomb. It's designed so that you lie flat when you're diagonal to the tension line. Can't wait to try it overnight.

Alan, good clip. I'm not letting my cousin anywhere near my hammock.