Thursday, October 30, 2014

I get ideas about what's essential when packing my suitcase. (Diane von Furstenberg)

We do credit card bicycle touring. No tents. No sleeping bags. No cooking gear. Just us, our bikes, and the absolute essentials.

The easiest trips are for one or two nights on the road. Different people call these mini cycling adventures by different names. S24O is  one popular term. It stands for "sub-24-hour" overnight trip. And most for most people who do them, that means "overnight camping trip." But why camp in a state like Florida whose tourist economy has motels, hotels, and resorts quite literally everywhere? Al and I prefer air conditioning, a hot shower, TV, and WiFi.

We said goodbye to our old short trip bike luggage. It had paid its rent by serving us well for over 10 years. It couldn't be used on our road bikes with their carbon frames. And we wanted to take some of the trips using our road bikes.

After several months of searching and comparing, we finally settled on new bike bags. Our final choice was a rack and bag made by a Canadian company, Arkel. The Randonneur Rack and the Tailrider bag meet our needs. The rack is quick to attach to the bikes. The bag has excellent organizer pockets inside and out. It even has an integrated rain cover.

On the Key West to Fort Meyers Beach ferry a few years ago.
Over the years we've learned to pack light. You don't need a lot. When your suitcase is tiny, you don't carry things you don't absolutely need.

The rainy season has ended. Bike travel season is here. We're ready to go.