June 22–23, 2024
The 5th Annual Off-Leash Overnighter: Going Back to Indiana crosses the Illiana line for family-friendly bike camping adventure, exploring Northwest Indiana trails and camping overnight at Oak Ridge Prairie county park near Griffith, IN.
The ride leaves Homewood Izaak Walton Saturday morning, riding car-free trails and lightly trafficked streets, returning Sunday morning. Dinner and breakfast are catered by the regionally renowned (and beloved!) Grindhouse Café.
New for 2024—optional Saturday route to Whihala Beach in Whiting!
OK, so now you're thinking about signing up for the most fun you will have this year! What should you expect on an Off-Leash Overnighter? How should you prepare?
GoodSpeed Cycles' Off-Leash Overnighter is a mini bikepacking adventure. It's a little out of the ordinary for most of the cyclists who go with us—and that's a huge part of its appeal.
For one, the Off-Leash Overnighter involves camping out overnight. As you might have guessed. From the name.
Two, it asks cyclists to be more self-sufficient than the usual organized ride. We'll provide you with an electronic map (via Ride with GPS) and minimal support. You find your way, carry your own camping gear and supplies (unless you have purchased the gear portage option for $20), and enjoy the freedom to explore, eat, drink, relax, and discover things along the way.
Three, the good vibes of gathering such a wide swath of the cycling spectrum and taking them bike camping just wash over you—it will broaden what you think cycling is about. Just look at last year's pics!
What bike should I use?
Some Off-Leash Overnighter cyclists buy an awesome road or off-road touring bike and a full complement of amazing bikepacking gear for our rides. And that's awesome (because we're a bike shop).
But MOST Off-Leash Overnighter cyclists bring the bike they have - road bike, mountain bike, hybrid, beach cruiser, adult trike, e-bike...not kidding! - packed and loaded in a million different ways. And they have a BALL. Because the truth is, almost any bike is the bike you should ride on an Off-Leash Overnighter.
The Takeaway - You can pack just about any bike any way you want for a 1-2 night mini adventure. Still, it might be nice to have bike gear and packing checklists.
Helpful guides to get ready for your first Off-Leash Overnighter
FOR YOUR BIKE
It should be in good shape - tires in good condition, brakes not rubbing, no weird sounds when you pedal/shift/brake, chain lubed. Bring it to us for a tune-up.
It must have a way to safely carry enough camping gear to get through 1-2 nights. Rear racks and front baskets can work on about any bike. Also, new bikepacking bags give any bike plenty of cargo capacity, even if you can't add a rack or basket. We can help you figure it out.
Headlight and tailight, preferably with a bright daytime strobe setting. Daytime strobes work - drivers notice you sooner. Plus our campouts regularly include a fun night ride to the nearest town.
Lightweight lock, so you are free to stop at sites, restaurants, breweries along the way.
Water, energy drink, etc.
Map/GPS (Ride with GPS app is a GoodSpeed favorite)
Bike shorts (1-2 pair)
Snacks (Honey Stinger Waffles are a GoodSpeed favorite)
Packable rain jacket
Spare innertube (make sure it fits your bike)
A chain tool + 2 replacement links
Zip ties and duct tape
Basic First Aid kit
Rent your camping gear from Moosejaw
Sleeping Bag & Pad
Headlamp or flashlight
Camp & sleeping clothes
Pre-moistened wipes/Bath wipes
Call or stop by GoodSpeed Cycles anytime and we can help you find what you need from the checklists above to outfit you and your bike for an Off-Leash Overnighter and farther ranging adventures.