Picnicking by Bike

John Fylpaa, Interpretive Naturalist at Lake Bemidji State Park

I can't think of a better use of a Saturday than a leisure bike ride coupled with a picnic break at the lakeside. While a car picnic allows you to bring everything including the kitchen sink, on a bike picnic you want to go lean and light. Plan to keep the food simple and the utensils few, but still not leave out any essentials and have no waste.

The essentials:

  • Small to medium backpack, handle bar basket or saddle bags.
  • Spork; this is a spoon, fork and knife combination.
  • Small reusable cup with lid; this cup is the perfect place to store a hardboiled egg.
  • 3-5 sturdy tight sealing storage containers filled with snack crackers, sliced cured meats, cubed fruit, cheese slices and a homemade oatmeal fruit bar. Size the containers to be easily stacked in your pack or basket. Containers work better than zip plastic bags which will allow the food to be smashed. If you need to keep some of the food cool a soft-sided insulated pack with frozen. If chosen properly the empty storage containers can be nested to decrease the bulk after the picnic.
  • Damp washcloths in zip bag to clean sticky hands.
  • Light thin table cloth or space blanket.
  • Sturdy tight screw sealing bottle for water, tea or fruit drinks. If it’s cool a thermos for hot coffee or chocolate.
  • Small first aid kit.
  • With a simple picnic and these few tips, you can spend your day outside on your bike and resting in the sun.

P.S. These tips work great for a paddling trip, too!

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