About this time last year I was trying to figure out how Lori and I could stay hydrated while crossing 170 kilometres of Mojave desert on our bikes, without a support vehicle to carry our water. We have small framed bikes and can only fit 1.5 litres on the bike using the normal two.cage set-up most road bikes have. I knew that wouldn’t be enough so I tried to find out how much more we’d need. Surprisingly I couldn’t really get an answer to this question so I thought about our Cross canada trip, the 220 kilometres between Dryden and Attikoknan. It was also blistering hot that day, and we didn’t have enough water with us. I recalled that we had about 3 litres each, so based on that I figured we would need 4.5 litres to safely get across the Mojave. We also had full protection from the sun (me with a Red Ram long sleeved black merino wool undershirt, and Lori with a UV jersey from Lulu Lemon) and sun block with a factor of 60, which we applied regularly.
We looked at seat post holders and handlebar holders, but that is where we carry our handy Rixen & Kaul luggage, so we needed an alternative. Lori bought a Camelbak backpack and I made myself one, much lighter but maybe not quite so attractive. I have polished the design up a little and it really is perfect. 150 grams, high visibility day or night, very comfortable to wear, carries 3 litres and has an additional 4 pockets along the bottom (the middle pocket has two layers, the “phone” pocket on the top with a velcro closing). I am not a seamstress so it doesn’t look great but trust me, it fits fine. The mesh breaths, the water is positioned so you hardly notice it, and best of all, you can wear it over anything, always be visible. You’d think you could buy something like this, wouldn’t you?
The photo is upside down and I can’t figure out how to rotate it, but you get the idea. The orange vest has a 3-litre water bottle in the pocket along the spine. The blue vest, an XS I made for my friend Conny, only holds 2.5 litres of water. On the bright side, it only weighs 100 grams, versus the 150 grams of the orange one.