I read some cycling resolutions the other day which were thinly disguised marketing pitches to buy more crap. One of them talked about buying plenty of winter cycling gear and riding with a backpack. Then, when you overheat, shuck off the warm stuff, put it in your backpack, and carry on.
Not too long ago I would have thought that was really dumb. After all, my mantra has always been “dress perfectly,” i.e. wear exactly what you will need for the entirety of the ride. There’s a lot of experience, otherwise known as failure, that goes into dressing perfectly. But after my bike sojourns with a massive backpack, I reconsidered. Why don’t sporty cyclists ride with backpacks?
I don’t mean the giant kind that set off discussions about the moment of inertia, rather, the small ones where you can stuff in a jacket, shoe covers, wool cap, and gloves when the weather warms up? As a bike commuter I ride with a small (sometimes large) backpack all the time and can’t imagine that a small one would be anything other than convenient.
Is it the faux racer disease, the fear that we might be doing something unsanctioned by UCI professionals? Is it the FOFTMTSLB? Fear of failing to make the Strava leaderboard? FOLMR? Fear of looking (more) ridiculous?
I remember when Stathis the Wily Greek, whose body fat had dropped down to -10%, rode with a backpack to carry his down jacket for those days when he had to either start or finish in temperatures below 80 degrees. It didn’t slow him down at all, and he looked so snuggly in that big poofy jacket.
For now it’s all theory, as I’m homebound, unable to do anything besides walk a bit, eat, sleep, and memorize Chaucer. But when I start riding again, I’m either going to leave my frame pack on the bike or start riding full time with a pack, if only to have something to hold my books and iron ore samples.
I have so many photos from my ride to Texas that haven’t been posted and that are quickly falling into the “gonna do it later” pile that I thought I’d go ahead and post them here with captions. A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why they often don’t do justice to people, places, and situations which, to well describe, would take a million or more.