Guest post from Marley Blonsky.
I have been using my bike to go camping since 2015, and it is one of my most beloved ways to spend a weekend. I have previously written about my bike camping adventures, but I recently realized that I have never had the opportunity to go with an electric bike
I decided to change that.
The desire struck me one Friday morning. I woke up to a vibrant blue sky, logged into work, contemplated my upcoming weekend with once again no plans (thanks COVID), and then it hit me: “I can go camping. I can go tonight. Oh my, I can take my new RadCity Step-Thru electric bike
It was the type of impulsive decision I am no stranger to. Fortunately, a bike makes it much easier to act on these spontaneous choices.
If you are feeling the yearning to spend a day on your electric bike followed by a night under the stars, here are a few helpful tips.
If you have only gone camping by car before, there is a lot to consider in advance. How will you reach the campground? Are the roads high-speed or cyclist-friendly? Are there wide shoulders that provide a safe riding experience? Are there any bike trails? A little research can go a long way in this scenario.
I am fortunate to live in Seattle, where there are numerous easily-accessible camping options available. Therefore, I opted to go to Kitsap Memorial State Park, which is approximately an 18-mile ride from Seattle with a delightful half-hour ferry ride in between.
2. Pack smartly.
My next step was to pack my gear. Since I was planning for only one night, I packed light: a sleeping bag, a small tent, my stove, some bike repair tools, a toiletry kit, and a book.
All of my gear fit perfectly into my two rear panniers. My RadCity Step-Thru has the spacious front basket installed, which I used to transport firewood once I arrived at the campsite. Nevertheless, my bag easily accommodated everything else.
Just keep in mind that various factors contribute to how long the battery lasts, including cargo weight.
3. Find the perfect spot.
Camping is incredibly popular this summer, and I’ve discovered that almost all of the reserved sites are already taken. Fortunately, many states offer designated “Hiker/Biker” spots for those who arrive by foot or bicycle.
In all my years of bike camping, I have never been turned away, even from a completely full campground. It turns out that when everything you need fits on your ebike, it’s much easier to share space with other campers!
4. Make a Recharge Plan.
It was essential for me to know that I could fully recharge my battery before returning home on Saturday. I was able to find the Park Ranger shortly after arriving and explained that I had come to camp on an electric bike. I asked if there was a secure location where I could charge the battery, and he was more than happy to assist. We took it to the ranger station, where it charged for a few hours. We made arrangements to meet up once it was ready to go.
If you’re not in the mood to make spontaneous friends, you can always call ahead to inquire about electricity availability at the campsite or nearby locations where you can plug in!
5. Take a Break! Your Bike Will Support You.
Usually, it takes me 3 to 4 hours to bike to the campground on my regular, non-electric bicycle, with a few breaks along the way.
Would you believe me if I told you that I arrived at the campsite in just 2 hours on my RadCity Step-Thru electric bike? Well, it’s true. I arrived with plenty of energy in both my body and my battery! It was a pure joy to arrive at the campsite, set up my tent, and still feel physically refreshed instead of exhausted. I prepared dinner, enjoyed the sunset over the Salish Sea on the longest night of the year, and woke up the next morning feeling rejuvenated and excited to bike back home.
On the journey back, I unexpectedly ran into a few friends who had also spent the night bike camping. As we rode together towards the ferry, we chatted and shared stories about our adventures and future plans for our next trip!