Join the Swift Campout

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Some of Bicycle Quarterly‘s favorite stories have been campouts – short camping trips into the mountains. We pack lightly and enjoy spirited rides, unrolling our sleeping bag or setting up a lightweight tent at the end of the day, before continuing the next morning on a loop that brings us home at the end of the day.

It’s a formula that doesn’t require a huge investment of time and money. For example, our ride to the end of the road at Carbon Glacier (above) took 24 hours start-to-finish. This year, Bicycle Quarterly is partnering with Swift Industries to sponsor the Swift Campout, which encourages riders all over the world to plan their own campouts on June 25-26, 2016. The rules are simple: Pick a great place and register (or just head out without a destination), ride your bike there, camp for the night, and then ride back.

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We look forward to hearing of all the great campouts that readers will enjoy. In the past, Campout riders have retraced our “Secret Pass” adventure that traversed the Cascades on long-forgotten mountain passes (above).

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This year, we’ve heard that some readers plan a cyclotouring ride over the Volcano-High-Pass route, inspired by our feature in the Spring 2016 Bicycle Quarterly. Our ride took four days, and every one was unforgettable, culminating in the discovery of Takhlakh Lake (above).

Whether it’s camping in a small RV park during a freezing night, and neighbors bringing you wood for a huge fire; reaching Carbon Glacier at midnight and washing off in the freezing river; or enjoying a canoe ride on Takhlakh Lake as the sun turns Mount Adams into ever-changing shades of orange – you’ll have these experiences only when you spend a night out in the wild. And that is the idea of the Swift Campout: Mark your calendar, perhaps gather a few friends, pack your bike with a few essentials, and have fun!

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This year’s Swift Campout is on the same day as the Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting in Carson, WA, but that doesn’t represent a conflict at all – you can easily participate in both events, by making the Un-Meeting your Swift Campout! When you register for the Swift Campout, simply indicate the Un-Meeting as your destination. (The Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting doesn’t require registration – just show up!)

We hope you join the fun, wherever you go. And please tell us about it afterward! Click the links for more information:

Photo credits: Mark Vande Kamp (gravel), Andrew Squirrel (campfire).

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into high-performance components for real-world riders.
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8 Responses to Join the Swift Campout

  1. Matthew J says:

    Nice to read you are partnering with Swift. Swift make excellent product. Communication with the company has always been pleasant.

    Along with Compass, Swift is a great ambassador for the Seattle small business community.

  2. Jack Nolan says:

    I’m heading out on the John Wayne Trail that week. Not sure if I’ll go all the way over. Depends on if I have someone to ride with.

    This sounds fun.

  3. velomann says:

    Where will the un-meeting campers be staying?

  4. Cynthia says:

    Why do you have to register with Swift if you’re going on a campout by yourself, as opposed to a paid guided trip?

    • The Swift Campout uses an evolving model of using social media to bring together participants, with a main goal of building and strengthening the bicycle community. When you sign up with your campout, your campout can be posted to other cyclists, creating opportunities for a bigger group, and in that way it is like the BQ UnMeeting.
      Swift has increased the organization behind the event this year with more prizes via sponsors. Bicycle Quarterly Press is a sponsor, and Swift Campout participants have a few BQ items for prizes, including BQ subscriptions and the René Herse book.
      -Barbara, Compass Staff

  5. Jim says:

    Jan do you know if Panther Creek Campground has hiker/biker rates for tent campers?

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