Atlanta Multisports Magazine Issue No 3 - Page 106

These days I always carry the essentials for an afternoon's summer riding, even if only going for a laid-back, casual session. Back at the waterfront my tyre wasn't going to inflate itself and the local bike shop was closed. I pushed my bike alongside hundreds of gently swaying white masts until eventually, in the far reaches of the quays I noticed a rough, old bicycle crumpled against a bench and found a salty Frenchman, aloft upon a ladder, fighting with the mast of his boat. More importantly he had a repair kit and some tools. After coaxing him onto dry land with the promise of a bottle of Medoc in return for his help he set about fixing the puncture himself. I guess it was lucky that I was dressed like a pirate. Even if you choose not to invest in modern, de-rigueur, air-cooled mountain bike fashions, before you hit the hills, you will need a dedicated, bike specific backpack that is both light and ergonomically designed. Choose a pack that creates airflow, includes a helmet attachment, zip closures, reflective graphics, sternum and waist straps to stop needless bounce as you fly down the mountain and an isolated compartment for your hydration reservoir. Some of the more popular mountain bike specific back pack marques are Deuter, Camelbak, Osprey and Ergon. Form and agility are as equally important as function so best practice is to source your essentials first and "fit" them whilst at your retailer! At the moment the Camelbak website has a useful on-line hydration calculator which can help you calculate the size of the water reservoir you need. Everything in the list below will fit very snugly inside a pack with a 4 litre volume (note the hydration pack listed is only 1.5 litres). If you pack efficiently you will just about find room for a gourmet bacon and avocado sandwich.