Codorus S24O

On May 22nd, Doc, Bone and I arrived in York, PA at the north end of the Heritage Rail Trail.  What transpired over the next 24 hours will, no doubt, be remembered by many, far and wide, as one of the most horrible Cthulhu Mythos singularities in the history of man.

Um…

Actually, we just went for a bike ride and did a little camping.  There was a penguin, though.  I’m not sure what to make of that.  Doc’s not the lazy type, and got his write-up online first.  Bone’s a little less lazy than yrs trly, and published his next.  Well, you’re reading this, aren’t you?

First, a few words about bike camping in general and the S24O in particular.  Defining “bike camping” isn’t always easy, but I’ll give it a go.  In my mind a bike camping trip is a lot like going for an overnight hiking trip.  Hikers, especially the AT through-hiking types, carry most of what they’ll need in a back pack – tent, sleeping bag, a pad to lay on, clothes, some food and water, maybe some cooking gear, a rain jacket or poncho.  I’m sure you understand.  So bike campers, in our definition, carry everything they need on their bikes.  Attach some racks, get some panniers, fill them up with the stuff you’d take hiking, pick a spot and start riding.  This is implied when I say “bike camping”.  Of course, you could arrange for someone to meet you at the camp site with a sag wagon and all your camping gear, and then ride there on your carbon fiber weight weenie machine.  And I suppose you would be camping and you got there by bike.  But that’s not what we’re talking about here.  The term “bike packing” gets tossed around some, too.  That’s a good term to use, IMHO, but is probably better for off-road bike camping adventures.  Bike camping and “touring” also have some cross-over.  We won’t go into that just now.  The late Ken Kifer wrote an excellent essay on the subject.

The S24O is a specific form of bike camping, in which the participants make their trip last less than 24 hours.  Sub 24-hour overnight.  Pick a spot you can ride to in a few hours, pitch your tent, cook a meal, drink some red wine and Islay, try sleep, listen to the rain and multiple orgasms instead, get up, eat breakfast, break camp and ride home. Grant Peterson of Rivendell Bicycle Works wrote a pretty decent article about the S24O.  Rumor has it that it was his idea to call it an “S24O” in the first place.

This last weekend Doc, Bone and I undertook an S24O from downtown York, PA to Codorus State Park.   Doc was kind enough to drive us to the start and we set off shortly thereafter. Here are Bone and Doc, probably wondering when I’m going to stop fiddling with the camera and get my act together.

From Codorus S24O

My rig at the start.

From Codorus S24O

Looking south toward the Howard Tunnel.

From Codorus S24O

We stopped for lunch at Serenity Station in Seven Valleys. The food’s not bad.

From Codorus S24O

Just before Glen Rock we turned off the rail trail onto a lovely, narrow, traffic-free road. Rolling hills and wonderful scenery.

From Codorus S24O
From Codorus S24O
From Codorus S24O
From Codorus S24O
From Codorus S24O

Just before the State Park it started to rain.  We checked in, found our site and took advantage of a short break in the weather to pitch tents and make dinner.  The rain started again, both barrels, after we turned in.  Fortunately, it stopped just before sunrise and we only got a few sprinkles along our ride home.  I didn’t take any camping pictures that were worth showing, so you’ll have to go read Doc’s or Bone’s account for those.

Doc’s rig just before leaving the park.

From Codorus S24O

Bone’s lovely Trek 520. Note the plastic bag over the Brooks saddle? That’s so he wouldn’t have to ride a wet piece of leather all the way home. I didn’t do this to mine and now I’m trying to figure out how to reshape it.

From Codorus S24O

Hanover Junction.

From Codorus S24O

We stopped at Serenity Station again for lunch and then rode, more or less, straight through to York. I had noticed during our trip south that my comfort level was decreasing rapidly just before we turned off the rail trail. Once we were on the road, and dealing with hills, I was fine. Sunday morning from the park to Glen Rock was a wonderful ride. The discomfort started again almost immediately upon hitting the rail trail. My shoulders wanted to quit about 6 miles before we finished. They still hurt today. So I guess I’ll be tinkering with handlebars and stems again. Oh, joy.

Thanks to Bone and Doc for putting up with me.

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