07 July, 2017

Porteur Packing

By Scott

(All you need for a weekend away)

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I've been on more multi use trails the last while. This past long weekend, my wife and I took advantage of what looked like good weather and the extended weekend to head up to north central PA to ride the Pine Creek rail trail. It's a very scenic rail trail that runs for the majority of it's 62 mile length alongside the Pine Creek in a lovely valley. We wanted to do it in 3 days round trip - a short day on Saturday, as we had travel up from MD to the start in Jersey Shore PA, a mid length day on Sunday to Wellsboro, and then a long downhill day on Monday back to Jersey Shore. We were using motels along the route, so we cut our cycle clothing down to two shirts and two shorts each, plus one outfit - shorts and a collared shirt for me, a nice dress for my wife - for off the bike. We kept the toiletry kit down to a minimum and carried sandals for walking around.  We put our gear into an old Ortlieb rack bag (designed for motor cycles) that we bought about 20 years back for sea kayaking and I strapped it to the front porteur rack of the Polyvalent prototype I was riding. The side straps went around the side rails of the rack, like our Porteur bag does. I even stuffed a 2 litre bottle of water between the bag and the back rack rail, just so we would have extra water on hand during the ride.  A bungee over the top of it, ensured that it stayed in place on even the roughest part of the trail.

(Yep, bell attached around the quill part of the stem adapter)

One of the pluses of porteur packing is that when you are carrying so little, checking the room before you leave, to ensure you have not left anything, is easy. We put our clothes into a stuff sack each, so it was easy to keep track of whose was what (black shorts have a tendency to look very similar). But otherwise, it was dead easy to throw the chargers for the phone, sandals and the toiletry kit just loose into the bag and bring it all into the motel room.

Is porteur packing overkill? My wife asked me this last night over supper. I said no. The wide platform of the rack is great for using what ever bag you have. Due to the lack of rain over the three days, I could have gotten away with just a cheap nylon bag. But the rack works with something like the Porteur bag if you want to have a bag that fits it exactly. The handling was fine. I figure we had about 15 pounds or so in the bag plus 4 pounds of water  and the Polyvalent had neutral handling throughout the trip. 

So for trips like ours, where motels are involved (substitute hostels if you want, it's all up to individual preference and geography), I really liked using a single bag. It made moving gear from the bike to the room easier, the larger opening was great to put stuff into and the handling never felt uneasy. 


leaf slayer said...

Hey, what's the story on the bike? The color is great. Love the cage mounts on the fork.

VeloOrange said...

@ leaf slayer

Check out the details about the Polyvalent on the blog here


Alex Wirth said...

We did this trail earlier in the season...def going back! Cool place for sure and a family friendly experience...

Anonymous said...

A very fine build but the noir seat post clashes with all the rest of the silver components. I understand it is a prototype but the rusty color went out with the avocado shag carpeting of the 1970's.

VeloOrange said...

Old School Porteur packing here

Nick said...

I'm absolutely dying to build up a new Polyvalent. What are they odds that they'll be available by this fall?

Beau said...

Don't listen to Anon. That color rocks. Those earthy shades are back in a big way. Check out the Stinner website. They have some great 70's looking paint jobs on display. A silver seatpost would be a good idea though.

GFR said...

Agreed that it is a lovely color. That burnt orange is perfect for a 650b urban porteur.