I’m always on the lookout for gear that makes my bike riding easier!
Based on the recommendations of MG and Mike W., I got the Camelbak Aurora to help keep me hydrated throughout my ride.
This Camelbak holds 2 liters (~70 ounces) of water. It also has two zippered pouches in which I put my wallet and keys. I was a little concerned about the weight on my back, but I hardly even notice that it’s there, even when it’s filled to capacity. I think it has something to do with the fact that I typically carry ten times the weight with my backpack when I do my short commute!
As suspected, I sip way more often with the Camelbak, and am more hydrated. It does live up to its advertised suggestion of carrying water for about two hours’ worth of riding, so I do have to remember to refill after that point. I also want to get a non-residue electrolyte additive, like elete, for the water, as just drinking it alone makes me slightly crampy. All in all, I couldn’t be happier with my Camelbak.
J does triathlons, and I noticed this bag on her top tube, and thought it would be a useful thing to have. It’s a Profile Design E-Pack. The mesh top is secured with a hook-and-loop strip. It comfortably holds my cell phone, an energy bar, my inhaler, and a pack of Shot Bloks.
It’s easy for me to open the top and grab one of those things with one hand, and without weaving around too much on my bike. The only downsides are that it’s not waterproof, and I do tend to hit it if I’m standing up on the pedals. But I think it’s a handy thing to have.
George Swain has informed me, however, that there’s a top tube bag specifically for randonneurs. sigh. I might have to try it.
Eric P. let me try his cue clip when we did the 200K in March, and I was tickled by the simplicity and effectiveness of it that I had to get one of my own. It’s really just a hook-and-loop strap with a sturdy plastic yellow clip. (It’s on the left side in the photo.) DIY-ers will groan that I paid money for this thing, but it was cheap, and it works great– the cue sheet stays on, even when it’s windy.
Last but not least, this item is not new, but should have been included in my post Bags I Have Known, because it’s one I still use. The Timbuk2 Handlebar bag is the least obtrusive handlebar bag I own for my set-up. It has a slim profile, and can easily be moved from one bicycle to another without tools.
Shown here, it holds a baggie of drink powder, a spare tube (I should take it out of its box for more room), a wallet, a pack of tissues, a sunglasses case, and some small tubes of chamois cream. I have been able to fit a mini u-lock in it as well. There is also a zippered compartment on top that I have put snacks in, although it’s a little awkward to unzip with one hand.
So there you have it. Sadly, the acquisition of gear never ends. Next up: experimenting with saddlebags.