Green Lane, PA
The Swift Campout was an excuse for us all to get together and do a ride that we have planning for years. We gathered as much of the FM crew as we could and added a couple of friends to round out our squad. Destination...a 40ish mile ride from Philly to Green Lane Park in Montgomery County, PA. It’s fairly straight forward ride, with two bike paths covering most of the route. Jill wasn't planning on camping, since she had to go to a high school reunion that night, so she made the smart move to ride with a case of beer in her bag. The paved SRT turned into the Perkiomen Trail and we were treated to gravel surfing on fully loaded bikepacking bikes. Dodging other cyclists and trying not to take each other out when our panniers touched. Ryan pulled off the trail onto a small dirt, deer path that led us into what must be a deer party spot. We lightened Jill’s backpack, had some snacks, blasted some Black Sabbath, and headed back out on the path. It was hot, dry, and dusty along the entire route, so the sight of a giant lake as we pulled into camp looked like an oasis. Ryan told us that the lake was contaminated from all the geese that hung out in it, so our plans were dashed. Luckily there was a creek nearby to soak our feet in and wash off the dust. Dinner and the rest of our beer provisions were consumed, so it was time to turn to the power of social media. With the promise of a free LWC kit, Andy V. answered our call for resupply and showed up only moments later with two cases of beer. The rest of our night consisted of camp fires, jokes, and park rangers having their minds blown by our hammocks set up in the woods. Jill ditched her high school reunion and reappeared at the campsite with pizza, beer, firewood, and all done up and in a dress to boot. Kris said it best, “high school reunions suck, that's why they’re every ten years. Camping is awesome, that's why people do it all the time!” The next morning we made coffee and breakfast and loaded up the bikes for the ride home. The crew rolled out and we all slowly peeled off to go our own ways. Inevitably each smaller group stopped for a beer somewhere to enjoy the day and extend the trip just a little bit longer. For our first bikepacking trip together we learned a lot about what to do for next time and already started planning the next excursion. Really, the trip was just about getting outside and riding our bikes with friends with no goal other than to have fun.