Riding a big bagged, racked up, road bike has it’s ups and downs. It’s great to have all your gear with you and know you can go straight from or to work. You can carry a change of clothes, your lunch and your small replica bike that you put in photos to make hills look bigger. It’s not so great lugging the stuff up the hills though. I very rarely ride a road bike with no rack or panniers and today was not an exception.
On todays after work ride, I was two bagging it. Frodo (two) Baggings. I had an assortment of kit in there.
- Normal people, non cycling clothes.
- Packed lunch
- Bike tools, spare tube and pump
- 2 x bike locks
- Waterproof trousers and coat
- Malt loaf
- A hat
- A whole cheesecake
Obviously all crucial bits of kit.
Carrying all of this stuff on rides with you does slow you down. However, there is something oddly satisfying about it. I also noticed this when I did a one time cycle tour ride. That one satisfying thing is momentum. When you are cruising along the bike feels like a juggernaut. You feel unstoppable, bolshy and stable on your feet. Like a young Phil Mitchell.
I’ve come to terms with pannier riding. It allows you to do everyday stuff and get out on a ride at the drop of a Phill. I now also look at overweight people in a different light. As they walk up to the summit of the high street and start to descend I shout to myself “smart move big guy, enjoy your momentum filled cruise to confidence city, you’ve earned it”.