Before I go off to Texas and back with my new backpack approach to bike touring, I thought it would be a good idea to do a mini-tour and see if perhaps this wasn’t, you know, a completely insane idea.
So tomorrow I’m heading up to El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbara. My biggest concern is whether or not the 40-lb. backpack will make the ride unendurable, or if, as with my shorter jaunts, it really is a superior alternative to the conventional wisdom of putting all your crap on the bike.
My second concern is how well my parts will endure a fully loaded pack for 135 miles in regular pants rather than in padded cycling shorts. A buddy texted me to advise that the backpack approach alone caused him such grief on the way to Santa Barbara once that he pulled over in Carpenteria, bought a rack, and zip tied all his stuff to the rack. Others have questioned the sanity of even considering a long bike ride without bike shorts.
Of course the whole fun of doing new things is finding out for yourself what is conventional because it works and what is conventional simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. And there is the added twist that even when convention is right for 99% of the people out there, it still may not be right for YOU. How are you going to know if you don’t try?
Looks like the weather will be good and the wind won’t kick up until later in the day.
Here’s a photo of all my touring junk for the trip, followed by before-after photos of what happens to you when you start living on your bike.
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