- Not the car/bike/motel style of bike travel that Al and I do all the time.
- Not adventurous bike travel around the country or world.
- I just want to leave the car in the garage and pedal away from home for a week or two.
What to do? Well, I will do the bike travel, but solo. While going on a trip without Al isn't the bike travel I want, it is the bike travel I just gotta do. Not to whine, but I'm not getting any younger. The clock on this kind of stuff is tick-tick-ticking.
But then I had another problem to work out. I'd been using my road bike for overnight trips. It was fine but limited. We live in a tiny studio condominium. Buying a another bike on top of the two I now own was just not an option. I decided to use my retrofitted vintage mountain bike for these slightly longer trips. Soft ride. Stable. Goes anywhere. Flat, grippy studded mountain bike pedals. A comfy carbon Jones loop handlebar.
I figured I wouldn't have to buy all new bike bags and gear, but some shopping was definitely going to be necessary. Now outfitting your bike for travel is quite personalized. Some people do ultralight. Some pedal heavily loaded bikes. Some pedal only on paved roads and trails. Others pedal down virtual goat trails. Different styles of bike travel have spawned a wide variety of bike bags and gear. Traditional stuff. Randonneuring gear. Bikepacking gear. Tents. Shelters. Hammocks. There are guidelines, of course, and friends have been great at offering advice and suggestions. I've thought about all the advice, and I've decided to mix and match stuff from different styles of bike travel for the best fit with my style of travel. Also, based on advice from friends, I've decided to carry camping gear. It's not the most comfortable way to spend a night at my age, but I've got to admit I love camping none the less.
I have no idea whether this is going to work out. But what the heck. To borrow a worn meme, I'd rather say "oops" than "what if."
(I'll show how I outfitted the bike in my next post.)