Whether you like it or not, Jersey pockets are your best friend. You can wear whatever you wish when you go to the beach, neon-thong, striped-speedo, clam-diggers, cut-offs etc... You can sport your most clever T-Shirt for the next festival concert, with surety you are out-clevering the most distinguished connoisseur of the screen-print trade, but when you ride your bike a lot you should seek storage behind and not below your back. Let's think of the Hips as en equatorial border, below which cargo, is subject to an extra week of screening before customs allows passage.
Consider the lonely water bottle, and the average ride length. If you are a human you maybe ride 20-30 in an outing. This length regardless of weather and obstacle is a good stretch, which keeps your day free for other chores and self-improvement. Riding much further typically means commitment and free-time akin to the dandy class, and spoiled college students. So you set off on a ride, and you meticulously stuffed everything you can in the various niches of your body and bike, as if setting out to fool the pat-down at Lollapalooza. Perhaps you have appropriately packed a CO2, a Micro Pump, a Pit-stop, tiny tool-kit, and whatever candy you call an energy bar. How many bottles did you fill? Your bike is lovely, really -- lightweight and elegant, or so it had been, but with Three full water bottles it's an SUV, and not a Velo. We all need fuel, but if you can't make it 30 on 22 ounces of amped Electrolyte doped water, then you parade a scorched earth and should consider relocating.
Now where is all that crap crammed. For me, it's as neatly squared away as a new recruits locker, sorted and balanced behind me. Left side pocket has the Vittoria Pit-stop, CO2, and inflator pump, micro-tool, with lever and an Andrew Jackson. Middle Pocket sports a Zpacks ziplock bag with my phone in it, and the clean bag from my shades. Right pocket has my water bottle. Now I've dabbled with more hydration, and in July may consider a second bottle on the bike, but i'm not a fan of load on the bike, big surprise. In the heat off-road, i'd contemplate a Camelback aboard a dirty mountain ride. Practically, everyone knows the joy of drinking foul mud from a bottle stored below the DMZ, and nearly as many real riders know the folly of a bottle launched onto the trail, into the spokes, or off a ledge, and just how much good that water does you when you have neither the bottle nor it's contents.
Road Biking is different. I for one cannot imagine a thick pack pressed against my spinal column along a sunny up and back. I am not disparaging anyone who feels naked without 30 pounds of kit, but if you are riding with me expect a long glance, or finger wag. The jersey now comes in so many permutations that it really seems impossible that you cannot find one which matches your aesthetic. Which brings me to Cargo shorts, Lycra, and the political divide in this country between the apparent City Mouse and the Country Mouse; e.g. cargo-short laden pack mules of the Troy Lee clan, and the Dieteresque, austerity of the matte black Rapha Club. ("touch my monkey, touch it"). Clearly the mountain divide leaves room on both sides of the range for all sorts of we normal folks. Whether you consider lycra silly, and effeminate, or you consider a stuffy diaper-pad liner in your cargo shorts to be the cat's meow, Or whether you ride a bike with the gestalt and fashion gaze of Blue Steel, you cannot reconcile that the bike you once knew and loved looked a crap-ton better and performed better before you hitched a wagon to the back. If you know the airspeed velocity of an un-laden swallow, then you know that a 12 lb road machine cannot carry a 12 oz coconut. I'm no physicist, but i can bet you the smart ones who coach champions would chide away from strapping too much to the winners rig in hopes that they will cross the line first. So let's consider the basic tenets of touring -- First, are we riding 100 miles today in our trek across the Tetons? No? oh, ok then let's leave the seat-bag, handlebar bag, and below the down-tube bottle cage at home. What's that... You are just heading out for a ring route to have coffee and then back, 15-20 each way?, well... then it's likely that the coffee shop will have a faucet and you could re-fill there. Preparedness for the best of we Boy Scouts, means mentally and tacitly planning for contingent outcomes, and adapting, so if you don't know how to true your wheels, or if the spoke heads are buried knee-deep in your arrow rims, then you can leave that tool behind. While you are at it, perhaps consider any other tool or gadget which will not return you any more contentment, and chuck that in the garage. If your ride is with some tools who never let you lead, then you may not need two Goo Packs, and a second energy bar..., anyway if they are towing you, you won't need the first one either.
So what do we generally find in the cargo shorts of the Troy Lee camp? Well, if they are in Boulder, Denver, or Aspen, then we know whats in the right cargo pocket, but what about the left? a Patch Kit, a Tube, a Pump? I think I can speak for most, when I say that until you have fallen on something other than pavement, you don't necessarily know the folly of self-inflicted injury. We were all told to hold a scissors in some mental fashion when traipsing across the room, and we all have considered the worst outcomes, so with that in mind, please consider carefully the objects in your cargo shorts, and then consider falling on your keys, and tool-kit at 20 mph down a ravine or against a log. If that drama sounds smart, then leave that crap behind -- or find the least conspicuous , and least likely striking point with an orifice and shove it there.
Back to the jersey pocket. I have fallen in many cock-a-mamey ways and landed in all sorts of contorted, and befuddling manner jacking my body in ways that I care not to relive, but I have yet to fall upon my jersey pocket and receive an impromptu prostate exam. This is certainly not scientific, but if you have projectiles on your person, and you consider the physics of impact, what do you want with you? This brings me directly to helmet mirrors and the general tenets of the Velominati Rules. RULE 16 The Jersey I don't know how reasonable it is to consider things on your face or head as being a risk to personal injury, but perhaps just prior to leaving the house, consider your range of motion, and whether you could just as simply glance over your shoulder. If the answer is yes, then perhaps the additional grams, and risk to your eye socket, will not be justified., yes? Anyway, I do believe that the rules prevent helmet mirrors, and anything glass on the bike is right out. So, where was I?, oh yes, the various terraces of enjoyable dress-codes from the excruciating extremes to the rest of us. From being a matte black tightly-wound watt commandant with an APP to tell him when to take a drink, Skin-suit and polished carbon fingernails, -- To a sloppy hemp woven Cargo-short clan, with enough kit on their bike and backside to save private Ryan, we should be able to push slightly down the food chain to arrive at a happy place where we depart without so much more than what we carry in our jersey pocket.
If you see someone wearing dual Galaxy S8's shoved up their right and left lycra short legs, and note that they have three empty jersey pockets, is it fair to help them out with advice? Are dual five hundred-dollar Samsung phones sweating against your hairy thigh really the best body armor preventive for road rash?
If their Event logo'd jersey has empty pockets as you pass them, and their two bottle cages sport event scripted water bottles, while their handlebar and seat are lashed with bags, then they cannot be saved. If they later wave you down for a tool, or you see them struggling with a technical by the wayside, and you are required to help, then you are absolutely justified in any advice you wish to administer.
Go light my friends, your bike, and your next injury will thank you.
Blurred coastline passes