I don’t ride with a saddlebag on my bike, haven’t for more than two years. I wish I could lie and say it was the rules that made me get rid of it, but I can’t, kind of. Saddlebags are quite acceptable in my neck of the woods, whether or not the guys at Velominati approve.
I got rid of my saddlebag because of Men in Black. The movie. Seriously.
I gave my saddlebag to my wife because my bike looked like a Ballchinian with a saddlebag on it. It looks fine on her bike and truth be told, I’d still be using it if it looked that good on mine.
Last year I rode with all of my tools loose in my back pocket. This year I have an awesome pack sold by Serfas that holds everything perfectly and fits excellently in my middle-back pocket. No more sweaty money is an added bonus.
I don’t notice it there on a 50 mile ride. I do on a 100 but I can live with it.
With DALMAC coming up, and taking into account the fact that the four day 400 mile tour* is only SAG supported (no rest stops), I started thinking about what I want in my back pockets… Food and maybe a rain jacket if rain is in the forecast and money… That’s about it really. Do I want to carry my tools too? Function is going to have to trump form for once…
I dug out my old mount and Specialized tool container…
I’ll give up a little in weight to a standard saddlebag, about a Quarter-Pounder’s worth in the mounting system, but I’ll take water proof when I’ve got my travel tools with me, any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Simple fact is, till I can afford a team car to look after mechanical issues, hundreds of miles from home, with no other option but quit for the day and call the chuck wagon or break a rule that wasn’t intended for the type of tour I’m going to take part in, well let’s just say I won’t lose any sleep over the infraction.
Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
*DALMAC is a 400 mile tour but the group I ride with cuts the last 20 on the last day off… There’s a silly little 20 mile loop that they stick on to the end of the fourth day that starts and ends at the finish to make the mileage work out that we lop off. In other words, after 80 glorious miles along the most beautiful 80 miles of road in our entire State, they throw on a silly loop to make it an even 400. I didn’t know when I signed up for the ride, but my friends cut that loop off, and I won’t be bothering with it either. 380 miles in four days is tough enough.