Home > Gear, ultralight bicycle touring > We Just Roll Like That

We Just Roll Like That

Packing this last trip out was a breeze; made simpler with the addition of the powerful, if not almost magical, small plastic card.  Camping and cooking gear left scattered on the garage floor, we headed out with our bags half full (or half empty). 

My love for the Carradice Camper Long Flap and Ostrich Handlebar bag has grown even deeper.  Some minor irritants are the lack of a carrying handle for the Carradice and the ‘tough to tighten’ strap underneath the Ostrich.  I added small bungee straps to the Carradice to hold miscellaneous stuff, and they served well as a carrying handle.  As for the ‘tough to tighten’ strap?  I just quit using it.  Apparently gravity works just as well.

Raquel headed out with three pairs of shoes.  Huh?  Yep, three pairs of shoes.  Me one. Her three.  Somehow she fit clothing for a week and her shoes in a pair of Nashbar Day Tripper panniers.  We both have a set of these tiny totes and they are great for light touring.  A pair together are the size of a volley ball.  Raquel also used Topeak’s smallest handlebar bag/fanny pack combo.  We have two Topeak handlebar bags and to be honest they have not held-up well at all.  The plastic mounting bracket on both broke within the first few weeks of use.  We use them now (too cheap to replace them) with the aid of zip ties.

Fenders: never leave home without them.  I have never regretted having fenders on my bike and not needing them, but I have cursed my stupidity for heading out without them and getting caught in a downpour.  And while we are talking about gear for wet conditions, helmet covers have been a part of our rain gear for several years now and we’ve gotten a lot of use out of them.  You might be surprised what a difference it makes if you’ve never tried them.  They add protection from rain and wind, hold in warmth and greatly improve vision (by keeping the rain from dripping through the vents of your helmet and down your forehead).  You can roll your rain jacket inside the helmet cover when not in use and it serves as a stuff sack.  I keep my rain gear in a mesh bag to help reduce mildew.

Thanks for reading, Jack

  1. arlen
    April 16, 2011 at 9:27 am

    3 pairs of shoes??? Hmmmm thats all???
    and you only what you wore…???
    i bet she is not even ashamed of taking three pairs…
    i know i have seen it…
    i live with one of those creatures…
    the creature i live with has over 50 pairs…
    what can i say…

    • The Velo Hobo
      April 16, 2011 at 10:08 am

      50 pairs…I feel your pain brother.

  2. April 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Fenders are excellent and underrated, once you try them, it’s hard to go without them. But do I detect some disagreement on mudguards in the photo?

  3. The Velo Hobo
    April 16, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Yes her’s are plastic fenders and would not hold the weight of a set of flappers. I’m playnig around with the idea of making her a ‘mini’ set out of lighter leather (4 to 5 oz.).

  4. April 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I could have used either the Carradice or the Ostrich last week on our cruises at Folly Beach. I keep meaning to put a rack and bag on my wife’s cruiser so she can carry my purchases around. I hadn’t thought about it would give her multiple shoe options though… I’ll have to ponder that one a while!


    • The Velo Hobo
      April 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      The Ostrich can tote lots of purchases. Nice post of Folly, lots of history along the coast…here too I suppose.

  5. June 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Where do I get one triangular reflective signal like the one shown in the photo?
    Thanks and best regards,

    • The Velo Hobo
      June 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      I believe I bought it from the Adventure Cycling Association store…or maybe Rivendell bicycle works. It really stands out. I’ve been thinking about getting a vest. I’ve seen commuters and tourists wearing them and you can spot them a mile off.

      Thanks for the comment, Jack

  6. MrBubble
    October 16, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Jack —

    What are your setups like for the handlebar bag/ front rack bag? I want something that I can reach into while riding as well as a protected map case, but the inline brakes seem to present a problem. Thanks.


    PS: Check this out for the vest: http://www.amazon.com/Amphipod-Xinglet-Vest/dp/B004DKSJAG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=22IGB054W86KD&coliid=ID9IKF4RRK4MJ&psc=1 A rando guy had one on last night and I was impressed by the brightness.

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