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  1. #1
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    Carrying gear/necessities for LD rides

    What kind of saddlebags/panniers/packs...etc if any are you using for your long rides or brevets? Do you rely on convenience stores or pack it with you? I'd like to carry some "real food" with me for nourishment and that can be bulky. What do you think of the Carridice Barley? It's made to be used with Brooks Saddles.

  2. #2
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    a lot of folks like the Carradice bags. Personally, I use an Axiom handlebar bag and a rack trunk bag, mostly because that's what I already owned prior to riding brevets. My packing list is in this thread.

    Brevet Bikes / Gear

    The handlebar bag is nice in that it provides easy, up-front access to its contents (food and wallet, mainly) and it's a stable platform for mounting my cue sheet. It's less than optimal in that it raises the center of gravity on the fork and makes the bike really twitchy. For next year, I'm probably going to go with a top tube bag, like the Bento, and some kind of cue clip system. I've heard complaints about the rack trunk unbalancing the bike in crosswinds, but have never encountered it as an issue. Then again, I ride a fairly heavy and stable touring bike, so it might be more twitchy on a lighter bike, but I haven't felt it.

    I do not carry all of the food that I plan on bringing, and just plan on using convenience stores along the way. I tend to go half real, half synthetic on the food. Diluted Hammer Gel in two water bottles, one hydration pack that is pure water, some clif bars, some clif or Gu gel packets taken straight with a little water, ziploc bag with fruit and nuts, maybe two or three bananas in the rack trunk bag. I'll grab a sandwich and a bag of chips at a deli or grocery for my midday meal, maybe a bowl of chili if the weather has been cold. I have a couple of bags of Gatorade powder that I'll mix into the water bottles after I've finished off the Hammer gel.

    You should ask your RBA and fellow randoneers about the availability of stores along the brevet route, paying particular attention to stores that have late or 24 hour availability for the longer 400 and 600K brevets. My general rule of thumb is to have enough food and water to last the stretches between controls (40 to 50 miles). Even if the control is unmanned, it's usually at or close to a store that can supply some food and water.

  3. #3
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I usually use a Carradice Pendle to carry things like repair tools, rain gear, maps, etc. for long rides. It's also quite convenient for winter rides to store layers that you remove s it warms up. I don't usually pack much food for a ride as I prefer to just buy stuff at convenience stores along the way. In Texas, our controls are almost always at convenience stores, so it's not an extra stop. Sometimes I carry powdered Gu2O to refill my camelbak.

    I like the Pendle because it has a reasonably sized main pocket and two side pockets. I use one side pocket to store things like eyeglasses, medical kit, and wallet. the other pocket gets the spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, and multitool. sometimes I carry a small handlebar bag (Rivendell candy bar bag) for gels or other things I may need to get to while riding.

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    I've never used a handlebar bag (unless you count the front basket on my Schwinn Fastback) but I'd think there'd be some advantage to more evenly distributing weigh, true?

  5. #5
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    French randonneurs love handlebar bags.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zowie
    I've never used a handlebar bag (unless you count the front basket on my Schwinn Fastback) but I'd think there'd be some advantage to more evenly distributing weigh, true?
    Even distribution of weight across the front and back matters when you're touring with panniers and carrying clothes and camping supplies in addition to repair gear and food, upwards of 30 to 40 pounds of gear. However, a brevet rider is pretty much a minimal tourist, and all you're carrying is repair gear, food, and one change of inclement weather clothes. That isn't heavy enough to dramatically alter the handling of the bike or stress one's wheels, and the handlebar bag, by raising the center of gravity on your fork, does make it less stable, offsetting whatever negligible advantages you'd get from weight distribution.

    Aside from that, there are additional drawbacks, like the bag blocking your lights and the mounting hardware taking up "dashboard space" on your handlebars.

    You might have better luck with a smaller bag that sat lower on the fork. I know that I've seen some randonneurs who ride with a Gilles Berthoud bag on a rack that sits just above the fenders. But I haven't tried that combination and can't comment.

  7. #7
    get_nuts
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    Do you guys carry anything for sleeping?

  8. #8
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    Other than a space blanket, usually not.

  9. #9
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    I have a Carradice Barley and a CamelBak Mule. The cool thing about the CamelBak is that I can use it as an icechest by filling the bladder with ice and water and then placing items next to the bladder. During my 600K this year, I carried a package of turkey sandwich meat like this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomM
    The cool thing about the CamelBak is that I can use it as an icechest by filling the bladder with ice and water and then placing items next to the bladder.
    I love my CamelBak Mule. It is insulated so well that I have to be careful about how much ice I put in the bladder. If I have too much ice and not enough fluids, I can run out of fluid while still having ice, which really doesn't help hydration.

    I'll carry my energy bars (Snickers and Payday) next to the bladder. Oh my.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by get_nuts
    Do you guys carry anything for sleeping?
    It depends on the level of support for the ride, whether my budget will bear a hotel/motel/hostel bed, and availability of that bed along the route. I have done 600 and 1200 rides where my lightweight down sleeping bag and an emergency bivvy have been in the trunk bag or drybag on the back, and they have been used. I got quite sick with a flu on PBP2003, and I collected my sleeping bag at Loudeac, and it was a lifesaver. I have even done events with a small tent on the back!

    I am not a great fan of spaceblankets... they seem just a bit too small; they are noisy (they rustle at the slightest movement); if I have damp clothing on, I have to warm that first before the blankets are effective; and they do tend trap the moisture so you awaken with (still) damp clothes anyway. Plus, they offer only limited protection in rain. Finally, they seem to be a one-use item -- many were left scattered on the floors of the checkpoint cafeterias on PBP because they were almost impossible to fold/scrunch down to their original tiny package.

    Oh, one thing that is handy, though -- a set of ear plugs. They mitigate the noise of traffic, banging doors to nextdoor showers and toilets, laughter and loud discussion, blaring party music from down the road, wind howling through tree tops, rushing water in creeks, and the chainsaw buzz of snoring randos.

  12. #12
    Senior Member humbug's Avatar
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    i just got a barley. for a little bag, you can fit a surprising amount of stuff in there. you could seriously fit several sandwiches, a couple power bars, and a big bag o' trail mix in there and still have plenty of room left for your patch kit, tools, spare tube, sunglasses, sunblock, cellphone, wallet, keys, etc. what have you. yeah, they give you buckles to hang it on the back of your brooks, but i find the quick release to be so much easier, but then i'm more of a commuter and am constantly getting on/off my bike. now, if only it came with a shoulder strap...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by humbug
    i just got a barley. for a little bag, you can fit a surprising amount of stuff in there. you could seriously fit several sandwiches, a couple power bars, and a big bag o' trail mix in there and still have plenty of room left for your patch kit, tools, spare tube, sunglasses, sunblock, cellphone, wallet, keys, etc. what have you. yeah, they give you buckles to hang it on the back of your brooks, but i find the quick release to be so much easier, but then i'm more of a commuter and am constantly getting on/off my bike. now, if only it came with a shoulder strap...
    It shouldn't be too difficult to make a strap that connects to the dowel.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    As others have said, it depends on the ride. When going to an organized ride you have never ridden before you may want to consider whether "you believe" the comments of others regarding event support and supply/rest stop details.

    Bottom line, be prepared.

  15. #15
    Senior Member humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomM
    It shouldn't be too difficult to make a strap that connects to the dowel.
    yeah i know, and i have, but it looks tres ghetto. i'm just saying it would be nice to have it more integrated into the design of the bag itself, but that's just me nitpicking. i wouldn't rather have any other bag than the barley.

  16. #16
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    As others have said, it depends on the ride. When going to an organized ride you have never ridden before you may want to consider whether "you believe" the comments of others regarding event support and supply/rest stop details.

    Bottom line, be prepared.
    +1

    Go out at night, in the rain and cold, have a flat or a mechanical - and you'll learn what works and what doesn't.

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