Article originally published on DesireLinesCC Australian Bikepacking Journal
My vision for launching Into the Wee Hours was based on my own love for being in nature and going on overnight adventures, whether that be paddling, hiking, fastpacking or bikepacking. I’ve commonly been approached by people who either feel like they’d love to do this and just don’t know where to start; or feel like it’s totally out of reach for them. I’ve worked as a professional Outdoors Instructor and have also gained a lot of knowledge through trial and error on my own trips and know for sure that an overnight adventure is accessible to pretty much anyone willing to give it a go!
Recognising that your first overnighter can feel daunting – where to go? What to take? How to get there? This first workshop focused on the theme of “Packing a bike for your first overnighter”.
A great group of women gathered on the Sunshine Coast at HitBikes (who kindly loaned me the space). We kicked off with coffee; intros and some affirmations. Mindset and mindfulness is an important part of adventure for me and I designed specific Into the Wee Hours affirmation cards with this in mind.
The workshop was a couple of hours of interactive presentation and conversation; and then a two hour ride out to our local gravel roads and forestry. With a mix of backgrounds and outdoors and bike experience, it was a really great opportunity to educate and to inspire, and also for me to hear from other women about their fears; their intentions and their own experiences, while sharing gear preferences for overnight adventures. Before heading out on our ride, we used a variety of gear to strap a couple of items to everyone’s bike so they had that “bikepacking” feeling. It was a good demonstration of how simple it really can be at the heart of it – Voile straps and dry bags – voila! Bikepacking isn’t an exact science; there’s no “right” or “wrong” and in my opinion, that’s the beauty of it. At the end of the day, ride the bike you have; use the gear you have, and you can make it work.
The general consensus as we were riding through the forest with our loaded bikes was that we wished we were all ACTUALLY going on an overnighter together. Next time maybe?!
I’m incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity to share this time with these women and I can’t wait for the next workshop.