This weekend I got back from two weeks of camping at Lake Mead. Over the past 15 years I have spent over 500 days backpacking, camping, and bike touring the area. So instead of boring you with a trip report, it would be better to discuss all of this National Recreation Area.
You might be surprised to learn that I have never been in or on Lake Mead. The lake isn’t the attraction for me, other than a source of drinking water when backpacking in the backcountry, when it is accessible from where I am walking… which isn’t frequently.
Last year, when I bought our Novara Safari bicycles, a priority purchase was a lock or some other security device.
The fact a security device to protect a bicycle is a requirement to keep it from being stolen pisses me off.
This got me to thinking. Almost every person I know, who has owned bikes, has had one or more stolen. In the past I have had three bikes stolen from me and all were locked to prevent theft. So thus began a new research project.
We spent 9 days camping at Lake Mead during our Thanksgiving break. During that time I did a 3-day bike tour, a shakedown cruise. I wanted to get familiar with the bike, the touring gear, and the process of integrating day-to-day living from the saddle.
Unlike cars, trucks, and motorcycles you really can’t order accessories from the bicycle manufacturer. There are a few exceptions like Surly or Rivendell bikes, which will sell you accessories built to fit their bikes or aftermarket accessories they have tested for fitment.
Generally bikes are like campers – a frame built by the manufacturer and most everything else is bought from vendors and bolted on by the user or the retail store selling the bike. Adding accessories is usually limited to what the aftermarket sells – meaning that accessories are not fitted to specific bike model, but are universal in design and fitment. That was our situation after purchasing our REI Novara Safari bicycles. We would need several different accessories for each bike.
You may ask, “What do bikes have to do with backpacking or camping?” Well, we often take our bikes when we go camping. I have a lot of experience touring and camping with a motorcycle, and a bike can be used for that too.
For our 12th wedding anniversary I bought Joyce a bicycle. I have to admit, it was a truly romantic gift, if I don’t say so myself.
At the time, I decided to buy one for me too. Women like that kind if stuff. You know, matching his and her stuff. So this is our first matching his and her purchase. But I have to make this public. I am drawing the line at bikes. There will not be any matching his and her clothes, or any other kind of matching stuff.
Aside from my wonderful attentiveness to Joyce’s wants and needs, and my propensity to pick out the best and most unique gifts for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries – I thought I might share a little about my bike research, selection, and the purchase itself. We bought two REI brand Novara Safari bikes.