Thursday, August 7

Pack of the Back

Tourist.  I'm not good at it.  One of the main reasons I do stage races.  I don't have to figure out what to do with myself all day.  Line up, follow arrows, clean up, repeat.  Eat somewhere in there a few times.

I'm coming up quick on my first Mancation since 2011.  Really?  Wow.

photo cred: Big Ring
Such good times.

I started packing already since Bill Nye and Wirun are taking my rack, bike and gear out in a car a couple days before I fly out.  I'm staring at the piles of stuff sacks and whatnot trying to pare down to the bare minimum, lest I end up jammed into the back seat like just another piece of not-so-fragile luggage.

I want to respect the possible length and severity of the rides we may attempt.  Monarch Pass, Kennebec Pass, Georgia Pass... a bunch of other passes, various mountains, ridges (our planning is terrible).  This means plenty of food, water, and rain gear... and unfortunately means a pack of some sort. 

I've been spoiled riding in the land of a thousand waterfalls.  Water everywhere.  A single speeder with limited mechanical needs, a few iodine pills, and an ability to ride long periods of time without much to eat.  I think since that last trip out west, I've worn a pack maybe (and that's a big maybe) five times.  This is not including riding around with an 18 pack of PBR supporting a Faster Mustache event.

I've got three hydration packs to choose from; a 50oz Wingnut, a 70oz Camelbak... something or other, and a well over decade old and highly modified 100oz Camlebak Blowfish.  I hate them all for one reason or another but mostly for just being a pack in the first place.

I looked through the pictures from the 2011 Mancation to see what I used then.

photo cred: Big Ring
Some 100oz red Camelbak that I wore most of the time and has since moved on to a new owner... not a good sign.

photo cred: Marcus
The 70oz Camelbak something or other that holds the water down low on the waist, but is still a pack in the sense that it's on my back making me unhappy.
So apparently my decision was muddled then too.  Enough so that I took two packs and ran the one I no longer have more than the one still in my possession.  Brilliant.

Now that I have a decent camera, I'll want to carry it AND have access to it.  The Wingnut and 70oz Camelbak win there, but the Blowfish wins on nostalgia alone, overall capacity a close second.  I've pondered on which rides I could get away with on just three bottles (two on the bike, one in the pocket) while still having a responsible amount of food, tools and that stupid rain coat one needs when riding in the Rockies in the summer.

I'm just thinking out loud here.  No real point and no need for feedback.  I know people who wear packs on every ride and God bless them and their ignorance as to how miserable an activity it really is.  Five days a week, I have a sweaty pile of Cordura™, webbing, closed cell foam and truck tarp on my back, but at least I'm getting paid.  On vacation, I just want to leave that mess behind. 


I spent a fair amount of time messing with old phone and radio holsters from early messenger days and various pieces of webbing and Velcro trying to come up with something for the camera.

In the end, I gave up.  I am nowhere but where I started, which is kinda where I thought I would end up.


Anonymous said...

obviously, you need to spend many dolares on some kind of frame bag, handlebar set-up, or giant seat twinkie. I'm sure having that on your bike will really help you shred the gnar, not be annoying, and aesthetically please your senses.

dicky said...