The return of kayaking by bike!

Though I have a sweet inflatable kayak that I bought a few years ago, it’s been a minute since I’ve used it. I don’t think I took it out a single time last year, what with biking across the country all summer and then being fully enmeshed in school/classes and work for the non-summer time.

So I feel a little out of practice, and I needed a little bit of gentle nudging from James last week to give it another spin. It was hot, and I was considering an evening bike ride (which felt easier) or an evening kayak (which sounded like a good idea cuz of the appeal of being on water but felt much harder to muster). James helped remind me that I would love it, so I went out to the garage to “at least look at my kayak” and decide if I wanted to take it on my bike ride or not.

It’s always the first step like that that’s the hardest, so once I took it out of where I had it stored, it was easy enough to see if I could still pack it up, and then once it was packed it was pretty simple to see about getting it onto my bike — albeit this time with a slightly different packing scheme than when I was using it before, just because I have different bungees this time around and I couldn’t find any old inner tubes like I used to use for my paddle since James has done such an excellent job organizing all our bike stuff.


(the setup! It works pretty well. The kayak itself plus life jacket and pump are all in the bag on my back rack, which is attached with three bungees and looks unwieldy but is surprisingly stable. The paddle looks sketch but is actually not obtrusive while biking. The dry bag hanging from my handlebars has my keys, phone, etc and I attach it to my kayak while I paddle)


It was already almost 7, so I didn’t go far, but I biked down to OMSI and put in from the dock by the submarine there, and then spent an hour or so paddling down to Ross Island and loving life so much. I remembered all the things, like it’s SO EASY to pump it up, and I love the elegance of leaving my bike behind and having everything I need with me in my kayak for however long I want to be out. I loved the swallows swooping above me and how cool it felt on the water and the osprey that hung out with me for almost the whole time. I loved pulling my kayak back out of the water, deconstructing it all, putting everything back on my bike, and riding home. I love the smiles and double takes I get from folks who are like “Wait, what? Paddles on a bicycle?” It just feels so gosh-darn efficient, and I love it.

So that was a fun reminder that this is something I should do more with my time:)


  1. Awesome! I’ve thought of doing this with my inflatable SUP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.