Baggage

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to day trips lately, what sort of provisions would be needed, and how best to carry them.  Currently I use a Carradice Barley, which is a handy little bag of 7 litres, and good for tools, phone, camera, tube, and a jacket; if needed.  Beyond that, you’ll notice that I’ve moved the Trek rack from the Cannondale to the LHT. 

With the Ixon on the LHT, I now have no qualms about riding at night, so having the rack allows carrying things for running errands and going to meetings.  The rack also reinforces my mindset that the LHT is a touring/work bike, so it is subliminally forcing me to slow my pace a bit when riding, because nobody goes fast on a bike with a rack….right?  The Cannondale is kind of stripped down, so its become a very light run around/backup bike.

The rack gives me some additional options.  I can easily strap something down onto it if needed.  I also have a pair of grocery panniers that quickly snap on and are very roomy.  The downside is that while they are good for short trips to the store, they aren’t that great on a day tour.  The rack also will provide support for a larger saddle bag if I chose to buy one.

So what should I do if I want to take a day trip, and need room for everything I carry now, plus some food, a dry shirt and socks, a rain parka, and maybe even a pair of casual pants/jeans?   I could just go for a larger saddlebag – something in the 12 – 15 litre capacity.  Carradice, Frost River, and Smythe all make nice looking bags, but they are pricey.  The new ones are in the $140 – $180 range, and used ones $100 – $130.  If I did this, I found a way to hack the bags so they can be quick changed, or I could just mount the Barley on the C’dale and be done with it.

Another option is to purchase a pair of panniers.  I think this would be overkill, but I’d certainly have room for a day trip and then some.  Frost River has a beautiful looking set for $135, and they would come close to matching the Carradice, and I wouldn’t have to mess with two pricey saddle bags, one of which would always be seeing limited use.  I’m also not sure how the bike would ride with the panniers.

A final alternative is to get a handlebar bag.  Honestly, I don’t like the looks of them that much; and I’m not sure it would work with the interupter levers anyway.

So I think I’l going to sit tight and see if either option 1 or 2 comes available on EBay.  I’m not ready to pay full price, and I can probably improvise for now.  My only other requirement is that whatever bag I get, it has to be the olive canvas…because it’s cool.

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