TOURING TRIP HIGHLIGHT – HARTMAN CREEK 2017

Shop led bike packing trip to Hartman Creek State Park in April was loaded with quiet roads, great scenery, and a great crew.  We have more in the works, but here are the highlights from our first bike packing trip.

New Moon (Downtown Oshkosh) is responsible for powering the bike shop in more ways than one could imagine (caffeine/food) and now helped us with a great start to our trip. Pictured is the ‘Bago Bagel’ (all veggies, sans tomato/black olives, + bacon)
Loaded. Even one night means you need to be prepared. Specialized AWOL, Axiom bags, and Brooks Cambium saddle for the win on this trip.  Total bike weight: around 80lbs.  (I brought too much.  Lesson learned!)
8 riders, packed and ready to tackle the 56 miles to Hartman Creek State Park on Saturday morning.  Temperature was high 50s with a gentle breeze.  Beautiful April morning.
Fuel for the trip powered by Red Bull.
Quiet roads during the day. Looks like it was loud here last night.
Bob pulling a Bob which carried Bob’s things.
On the way out, soaking in the April sun.
Towards the edge of Winnebago County.
From Poy Sippi on, the ride included many stops. Some to rest, but most to be tourists at. Poy Sippi dam, doing what it does.
We decided Poy Sippi was a good spot to take a lunch. Grabbed some snacks at the local gas station and hunkered down by the dam for an hour.
Lunch. Of Bike Packers.
Additional lunch option.
Yeah, lunch was pretty fun.
Saxeville has a bell, which was stolen by soldiers from the south, by the north, during the Civil War.
Horse power meets bike power.
Maybe the coolest ‘stop’ along the trip, this wooden bridge outside of Saxeville was paid for and put up by the residents of Saxeville. The Wisconsin DOT offered to put up a concrete spanned, boring, bridge. People of Saxeville, thank you for this. Such a great feature to come across on our trip. Also, special thank you to Bob, a member of the crew, who showed us around Waushara County like no one else could.
Another view of the Wood Bridge outside of Saxeville. Hint, hint, it’s on ‘Covered Bridge Road’.
Had a great Saturday on the bike, got to Hartman Creek and setup camp. Go by bike = free entry. Plus, show up by bike to camp, they guarantee a site for you. This is a State Park that treats cyclists, year round!
Trees? No problem, here we see a dichotomy between store bought and what was bought in a store decades ago + MacGyver intuition. Additionally, setup time reflected a difference of over 500% on one…Kevin never fell out of his, but he is also ordering a hammock for the next trip…
Kevin testing his ‘creation’ (we were all impressed with his ‘No tent / No sleeping bag’ approach. Kevin won the award for most creative bike packer of the weekend hands down!
So we cheated…a little bit. Amber, (Ben’s wife) ‘happened’ to be camping at the park as well and had veggies, potatoes, and burgers for the crew to snack on. Not only made for a great snack, but gave us the calories to sleep through a 35° night.
Obligatory campfire pic.
The only thing better is planning the next trip.
These were the easy ones to take a pic of, outside of the fence, they move too quick!
Blue sky for days. That speck in the center of the photo is a hawk, looking for breakfast. On our way out of the park, headed back home Sunday morning after a killer breakfast ourselves. Yes, we cheated here again, Amber (Ben’s wife) happened to have bacon and bagels along, which we sampled.

 

Back at Poy Sippi…lunch of the champs. Crazy what a bag of chips and a Red Bull can do  I swear, I eat well normally!
More quiet Winnebago County with the obvious craziness of the night before left on the tarmac.
So, on top of Liberty School Road, overlooking to the South East of Winnebago County, Oshkosh nearly in our sights, we were tasked with visible sunshine and an invisible to viewers, incredible wind shift that occurred over the course of mere minutes on our trip back home. 2/3 of our way home, with a cruising speed of over 16mph, we encountered an impressive wind shift that went from a tail wind, to a direct head wind out of the east. Wind speed jumped to 15mph and was coupled with a temp drop of 10° over the course of 2 minutes. While this turns into a chore regardless, when you have an additional 50lbs of gear on your bike, and the bags that are holding said gear act like a massive sail, this change of wind turns into an interesting change of pace. Our 16mph dropped to a challenging 8mph. If everything was easy, it wouldn’t be rewarding, right? This was rewarding. Smiles were plentiful at rides end, even with Mother Nature throwing a curve ball! (Please note: Sean’s left hand, middle finger have been edited out of this image)

This was a great trip, we were so happy to have such a fun crew to join us and cannot wait until our next.  Please look forward to 2-3 bike packing trips throughout the year, each year from us.  Interested in jumping on board? Stop down and chat, we will help get you ready for the road!