Monday, April 27, 2009


Last spring Nancy asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Without hesitation, I said "I want to go on a s24o with our friends". This gut response was right on. We put it out there, everyone was gung-ho, we made it happen, and it was a blast

So, this year we went for it again. My sister Eliza's family, our pals Sally, Jeremy, their daughter Anda, along with Nancy and I all got together for an amazingly fun overnight camping/biking trip, known as an s24o (pronounced ess-two-four-oh, which stands for "sub twenty-four hour overnight"). The concept is to gather with friends after work, bring the minimal amount of stuff you need to camp out for a night, head off somewhere not too far way to camp and have a great time. The point is to do an adventure that can all happen in the span of less than 24 hours; make it manageable, have fun with a minimum of required prep, and be able to get back to your responsibilities without having to take time off. In reality, we've put more organization into these overnights then one might otherwise do because kids are involved coupled with a desire to live it up with our meals.

The magic of the event is the almost palpable sense of adventure that kicks in as soon as we gather. The kids are all excited because its something that is fun for them, but also because they see all us adults similarly excited about the trip. There's gear and stuff, taking pictures, getting ready, camaraderie, and nice spring weather. Its easy to feel good with all this in place.

Both years we've kept the ride manageable since we're hauling a lot of combined luggage between kids and stuff. That said, we've found some really great spots that feel really far away but are not more then 5 or 6 miles from whichever town.

Saturday morning started off with rain, which was a little worrying but proved to be inconsequential. My thought went to the large percentage of leather Brooks saddles amonst us; I worried we'd be abusing our soaked seats on the return trip. As it turned out, it didn't rain as much as it seemed from inside the tent and within an hour of getting up the sun was streaming through our campsite, warming us all and drying out our stuff. More good food and coffee put us in good shape for the ride home, which included a stop at a great yard sale.

This year lived up to the enjoyment we felt last year. Friends and family -excellent spirits one and all-, some rugged riding, beautiful locations, and great food. I can't imagine anything better for my birthday.


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