Reasons for not using a hydration rucksack

I still like to use a bottle and cage. I had a Camelbak once (1994), but hated it. It was one of the early ones. I hated the way it made my back sweat. I hated the way it rode up and started hitting my helmet on descents. I didn’t like the look of it, and I thought it was uncool. Not to mention all that faffing about keeping it clean.Hydration packs have come a long way since then. Carla has one, and she much prefers it to a bottle. She reckons it’s cleaner, easier to use, and you’re more likely to drink with one. She has convinced my brother, and now he has one. He’s even taken the bottle cage off his bike! Says it spoils the lines.

My brother (Wal) was asking me why I don’t use one. I was joking, but my first two reasons were… what if I needed something to throw at someone? I’d have no bottle, and what if someone was trying to get hold of me? They’d have those straps and things to hold onto making them very difficult to get rid of. While Wal was mildly amused, he thought it said quite a lot about the kind of confrontational person that I am. I disagreed.

Best bike days

Friday, two and a half hours, on my best bike in glorious sunshine. Saturday, three hours on my best bike, glorious sunshine. And, dry trails! Didn’t even need to wash my bike. Combine this with a super riding partner (Carla), a few apre-ride beers, and fish an’ chips, and you have a perfect weekend. Perfect for me anyway.Sunday we were up early, and drove over to Ludlow to help out at the final round of the Pearce Cycles/Specialized Downhill series. It was a great day, and some bloke called Steve Peat showed up and gave everyone a master-class in downhill racing.

Bike washing for beginners

Carla has washed a few bikes in her time. With several seasons cyclo-cross pits under her belt, not to mention some 24hr Mountain Mayhem sessions, the odd MTB race, and Road Stage races. She has washed bikes for professional riders, and more than a couple of national champions. So well qualified as a bike washer then, yes?Anyway, following a few questions lately from novice bikers on the best way to wash a bike, Carla has written a bike washing guide complete with pictures. You can see it here.