Thursday, July 7, 2016


We are pretty serious about bike camping at our house. Several hours were spent on Tuesday night preparing a friend's bike for a bikepacking trip next week. Some people would just take any old bike into the woods but for us it is all about convenience and comfort.
Loaded for bear
A number of modifications needed to be made before we felt that our friend would like the bike. For example, I own many handlebar bags and I selected a couple for her to choose from. She chose a smaller one that I had bought to do the MS Mountain Tour in Hinton. At that time I felt that a bag was still necessary, but I wanted a lower - profile one so that I could easily thread my way through thick trees.
MS Mountain Tour
When riding for several hours every day, day after day, having a comfortable grip on the handlebars can help avoid fatigue in your hands. So on this bike the aim was to swap out the current grips and replace them with specially designed grips that widen out a the palm. As well, we wanted to add handlebar extensions so that the hands would have numerous positions to choose from.

Wide palm grips and handlebar extensions

One of the things we wanted to be sure of was if the panniers would fit her saddlebag rack. Experience had taught us that you can't assume anything. Luckily, the pair I was lending her fit perfectly on the rear rack.

The positioning of the saddlebags on the rack was important as well. It was important to be sure the bags fitted to the rear of the rack to avoid an annoying condition called "heel strike" when the heel of your shoe knocks into the bag with every pedal stroke. Very annoying.

Our friend took the bike out for a spin and very much appreciated the changes. Just watching her, you could tell that the improvements were going to ensure that next week she has an enjoyable bike camping trip.

A properly fitted out bike