The Bike Camping Nightmare

The insane family packed their 10 speed bicycles full of tents, clothes, sleeping bags and pillows. They proceeded on a 10 mile hike on their bikes. The bike trip started out uneventful. The day was sunny and hilly, did I mention hilly, and treacherous because they were riding on a state highway in Minnesota.

At one point during the journey a large piece of earth moving equipment came passed them at the high speed of 20 mph. The young youth who had the smallest bike of them all was in the last of the train and felt the roaring effects of this huge monstrous yellow giant earth-mover-scraper as it came thundering past in all its hugeness.

Everything went fine as the young family set up camp near the Mississippi River. We set up camp complete with a very teeny tiny stove (which I thought was cool at the time). The Mississippi River mud was fun to play in. My sisters and I had aspiration about making crockery of that gray mud.

Then it began to rain. This must’ve been when tents just came into existence because these were the top-of-the-line Ward’s models and they leaked. Did I say they leaked? That is an understatement of what actually happened. They seeped, soaked, and absorb water as if they were sponges. Then it thundered and lightninged. Yee Ha , I thought. This is a fun camping trip, not!

This lasted for three days. We spent our time indoors with whatever indoors there was, and watched it rain. Then we packed up as the rain stopped, and left the same route, this time encountering little resistance except rain: major thunderstorms and rain.

You can imagine what goes through a youth’s mind as he is being succumbed to the elements of rain, thunder, mud, water, and bikes. Those belligerent bikes.

Don’t get me wrong I love bikes, in fact that is where I learned most of my mechanical knowledge is on bikes. To this camping trip, however, the bike was sort the bane of my existence.

After rounding the corner and pulling into our subdivision I eyed and heard this most wondrous, the most beautiful, sound and sight of my seven year old life. I saw the mechanical machination, the lawnmower engined , belt activated, wonder of all of the neighborhood. Kids gathered round as the glorious sound of the vertical engine came to life. What was this mechanical machination?

This was a home built vertical engine go kart. To a seven-year-old boy that was just what was needed for this camping trip. It obviously can’t happen but to a seven-year-old boy that was what his dreams were from then on. Forget bikes he thought, this go kart would be the answer.

Why do I bring this old story up? Why do I bring back all the misery of the rain and thunder, the mud, the leaking tents, the questionable food? Because that is the time I found go kart’s to be my new calling in life.

You maybe saying so?! What does that have to do with me?

If you’re a father and you have kids remember how they think. Remember how they feel when all they know is at that moment. The go kart building experience can be one of those times. The impression of the bad bike trip remains forever, just imagine how much the go kart building experience will last with your kids for the rest of their lives.

I’m putting together this blog while on a camping trip and I thought I would relay this fond memory. And I wasn’t talking about the rain, and I wasn’t talking about the go kart either I was talking about the yellow caterpillar earthmover…

All you have to say is insane biking camp trip and all my brothers and sisters break into laughter.

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