How To Pack Your Handlebar Bag – Bicycle Touring Professional

by touring-bicycle

I get plenty of questions from potential bicycle vacationers who ask methods to go about packing their bike for a tour. This looks as if a easy query, however there may be really so much that goes into packing your bike.

The reply to this query additionally depends upon whether or not or not you’ll be driving with a trailer or with panniers. I’ve all the time toured with panniers and I’d advocate panniers to anybody who plans to spend 90% or extra of their tour on paved roads (If you’re planning an off-road tour, then I’d advocate getting a trailer, however typically, I actually imagine that panniers are the easiest way to go).

That being stated, I can’t cowl every part in only one submit. So I’ve determined to interrupt down this query of methods to go about packing your bike, by breaking the query into three completely different sections.

1). How one can pack your handlebar bag
2). How one can pack your panniers
3). How one can pack your bicycle

On this article I’m going to be concentrating on the gear that you simply would possibly carry within your handlebar bag.

My technique for packing my handlebar bag is to place all of my most necessary belongings on this one bag. My motive for that is that I all the time have my handlebar bag on me. It by no means leaves my physique. After I go right into a grocery retailer or run to the restroom to take a bathe, the handlebar bag goes with me. The explanation for that is that if my bike and the remainder of my belongings had been to be stolen, I’d no less than have my handlebar bag and the dear contents inside (pockets, cellular phone, digicam, journal, and so on). So long as I’ve these belongings in my possession I should buy myself a brand new bike, get a experience to the airport, name the police, or do no matter must be accomplished to rescue the tour.

Your handlebar bag also needs to comprise a lot of the issues that you simply need to get to if you find yourself driving your bike (your map or digicam for instance). I don’t wish to get off my bike each time I would like to take a look at the map or eat a snack, so having this stuff inside attain is extraordinarily necessary.

I’ve put collectively slightly video the place I present you precisely what I carry inside my handlebar bag. Beneath the video, I’ve listed the contents of my handlebar bag and given particulars for why I take advantage of these explicit gadgets.

As common, if in case you have any questions on methods to plan a bicycle tour of your individual, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

This Is The Handlebar Bag That I Am At the moment Utilizing:

Lone Peak Alta 100 Handlebar Bag – I like this bag as a result of this can be very sturdy, has a spot for a map on the prime of the bag, has sufficient room to hold all my most necessary belongings, and may also be used as a shoulder bag once you go right into a spermarket… or anytime you would possibly depart your bike.

Right here Is A Record of All the things I Carry Inside My Handlebar Bag:

Maps – I take advantage of primary highway maps that may be obtained at no cost from AAA (in case you are a member). If you’re not a member, you should purchase maps from AAA fairly inexpensively. I’ve additionally used the maps offered by way of Journey Biking on a few of my adventures. These (US bicycle touring ) maps are for particular routes and should you plan to experience off the route, they gained’t do you a lot good. In the event you do plan to stay to the routes they counsel, these maps are your finest wager! (Some bicycle touring books additionally comprise nice maps that you need to use.)

Digital Digital camera – I’ve a Sony Cybershot DSC-W7 It has 7.2 Mega Pixels and data photographs on a Sony Reminiscence Stick. The explanation I purchased this digicam is due to it’s batteries! It makes use of regular AA batteries and never the lithium batteries that you simply discover in video cameras and most new digital cameras. The explanation I don’t like lithium batteries to be used on a motorbike tour is that when the batteries run out, you need to cost the battery, and more often than not, when the battery runs out, you might be in the midst of nowhere and also you definitely don’t have 4 hours to sit down round whereas your lithium battery recharges. In my case, when my batteries run out, I simply merely pull the 2 spare AA batteries from my pack and stick them in my digicam and I’m able to go. I take advantage of rechargeable batteries so I don’t should always be shopping for new batteries whereas I experience and this technique has labored splendidly for me over time. (In the event you get rechargeable batteries, you’ll additionally have to deliver a light-weight battery charger with you.)

Lip Balm – I used to not know what lip balm was really for. After affected by some actually unhealthy sunburns and residing for just a few years within the dry air of the Rocky Mountains, I lastly found out that I wanted to spend the cash and really use these items.

Pockets – What gadgets you carry in your pockets is as much as you. I like to recommend not bringing an enormous leather-based pockets. As an alternative, simply get all of your bank cards, ID playing cards, and so on and bundle them collectively, put a rubber band round them, and throw the bundle in a plastic Ziploc bag. It’s going to weigh a lot lower than your common pockets and will probably be waterproof inside that plastic bag. Or do what I did and make your individual pockets! Watch the video above to see what I imply!

GPS – That is positively not a necessity for a motorbike journey, however on my previous journeys abroad, my GPS has been a lifesaver. I’d by no means deliver it on a tour of america until I merely needed to have it as a toy. The GPS I take advantage of is a Garmin eTrex Legend and I’d advocate it extremely. There are way more refined fashions, however I’ve discovered this GPS to be greater than sufficient know-how for my makes use of. (Ensure you know methods to work the GPS earlier than you permit in your tour)

Cell Cellphone – That is one thing you definitely don’t have to deliver with you, however I’m certain that fashionable bicycle vacationers are carrying a telephone with them. Convey it for security or just deliver it to keep up a correspondence together with your family and friends.

Knife – Convey a light-weight knife just like the Gerber 06050 Ultralight LST Folding Knife (or one thing related) that’s large enough and powerful sufficient to chop rope, wooden and fabric… and be ready to make use of your knife for defensive functions if essential.

Bike Lock Key – I connect my bike lock key to my handlebar bag with a lanyard in order that I don’t by chance lose the important thing as I experience. I like to recommend you do the identical! In the event you lock up your bike after which you’ll be able to’t discover your lock key, you’ll be having a extremely unhealthy day!

Hat – I carry a baseball hat in my handlebar bag in order that after I get off my bike and take off my helmet, I can instantly throw on my hat to cover my helmet hair. I don’t wish to stroll across the grocery store or submit workplace and have humorous trying helmet hair, so I take advantage of this light-weight hat to cowl up my unhealthy hair. You’ll additionally get much more respect from the locals should you don’t appear like a loopy particular person with helmet head, so put on a hat!

Snacks for the Street – I like to hold slightly one thing in my handlebar bag that I can munch on as I experience. I’ll usually occasions have a Clif Bar or one thing related in my bag in order that when my vitality will get low I can shortly seize a chunk with out having to cease and waste a complete lot of time.

Headlamp – That is one other merchandise that doesn’t essentially have to be in your handlebar bag, however I wish to preserve it in my handlebar bag simply because when I’m in my tent at evening, I do know precisely the place my mild is and I can discover it in a matter of seconds. I’ve a Petzl Tikkina Headlamp, which runs on three AAA batteries and might be not one of the best headlamp in the whole world, however it’s cheap and is offers off greater than sufficient mild to learn at evening, arrange camp, cook dinner at the hours of darkness, or sign for assist.

USB Stick – Earlier than I depart on my journey, I put all my necessary laptop recordsdata on this USB stick in order that if I have to entry the recordsdata whereas I’m out on the highway, I can go to a library and get to the recordsdata in a matter of minutes. I’ve a PNY 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive. I like to recommend that you simply get the most important USB stick you may get as you’ll be able to retailer your photographs out of your digital digicam on the system and thus, prevent from buying a number of Reminiscence Sticks in your digicam.

Palm Pilot – As soon as once more, that is one other factor that you simply definitely don’t have to deliver in your tour. I’ve a Palm LifeDrive Cellular Supervisor and I wish to deliver it although as a result of this one system offers me entry to the Web, e-mail, and instantaneous messaging. It additionally comes with 4 GB of storage, so I can have hours and hours of music saved on the on system… and I may even watch motion pictures and take heed to music whereas out on the highway.

Earphones – In the event you do deliver an MP3 participant (like an iPod) or Palm Pilot with audio playback capabilities, you’ll want a great set of earphones. I like to recommend not shopping for one of the best earphones you may get although, as I’ve ruined quite a few pairs of earphones after I by chance turned my head the mistaken method (forgetting the earphones had been nonetheless in my ears), the earphones fell out and down into the spokes of my wheels, the place they had been immediately destroyed by the momentum of my very own spinning wheels.

Passport – You gained’t want this in case you are touring inside your individual nation, however in case you are touring abroad or into one other nation, you’ll most positively want your passport… and you’ll need to ensure you don’t lose it! Hold it shut! Hold it in your handlebar bag!

Journal – I like to recommend that everybody journal about their bicycle excursions. I’ve crammed dozens of journals over time and I plan to fill a whole bunch extra sooner or later. There are a variety of causes to maintain a journal whereas on a motorbike journey, and I plan to speak extra about this in an upcoming submit, however for now, I like to recommend you get a journal that’s sufficiently small to suit inside your handlebar bag, however ridged sufficient to resist the calls for of an extended distance bicycle tour.

A E book To Learn – I learn greater than anybody else I do know and I couldn’t think about happening a motorbike tour with out no less than one e-book. On my final tour I learn by way of 4 books and I might have learn much more if I had needed to. I like to recommend Ted Schredd’s “The Biking Adventures of Coconut Head” in case you are seeking to get motivated in your upcoming tour. The identify of the e-book is a bit foolish, however the e-book is hilarious and insightful! I learn this e-book earlier than each bike tour I’m going on because it completely will get me enthusiastic about all that I’ve in retailer. I absolutely advocate it! (Click on right here to take heed to my interview with Ted Schredd)

Different Essential Paperwork – You’re going to need to carry your maps, tickets, itinerary for the journey, and the contact data for the locations you’ll be staying in your handlebar bag as nicely. You’ll probably meet folks on the highway and choose up their contact data as nicely, so I like to recommend maintaining this data in your handlebar bag as nicely. I put all of my paper supplies (maps, journal, e-book to learn, contact data, tickets, itinerary, and so on) in a Sea To Summit waterproof bag in order to guard all of it from the climate whereas I’m driving. The bag additionally works to maintain my paperwork organized whereas out on the highway.


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How To Pack Your Handlebar Bag – Bicycle Touring Professional  
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