Friday, July 04, 2008

Old man mountain sipping

One thing I always find difficult on long, summer rides is finding time to drink water. Once those two 22 oz. water bottles mounted on the bike are gone, drinking water means stopping and getting off the bike to get water out of my panniers. And I hate stopping while on a ride.

So, I've always admired those Camelbak's that let people sip water through a tube while riding without having to even use your hands. But, the problem is the the water has to be stored somewhere, and a Camelbak means carrying the water on your back. And I hate having things on my back while riding even more than I hate getting off the bike!

The obvious solution is to store the water somewhere on the bike and run a tube from there. I first experimented with this at the beginning of the summer on my Rhode Island bike tour. I mounted a low rider front rack on my bike and ran a tube from a water bladder in the left front pannier. From a drinking perspective, that worked really well. From a riding perspective, it didn't. I really didn't like having something heavy like water on one side of the front wheel. If I'm going to have water on the front of the bike, I want it centered over the front wheel.

The solution is a front rack with where you can put things on top of the rack, not just on the sides (as with a typical low rider rack). While reading Vik's Big Dummy, I saw he had a rack that looked like exactly what I wanted. It's made by a company called Old Man Mountain. I bought one and it came just the other day. It's exactly what I wanted. In the pic above, I have a 2.5 liter Platypus water bag mounted on top of the rack with a tube leading from it. I tried it out the other day and it worked great. . . . Now if I can only find the time to actually ride. :)

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