tried, tested, loved & not so much

Cannondale T2000 (2006) with Arkel handlebar bag (large), overlooking the mouth of the Minnamurra River (to the north), NSW, Australia.

Over the years I have tried, worn out, and enjoyed (or not so much) quite a lot of different gear.

Tools I have started working on my own Park Tool 'Big Blue wall' with a medium term aim of being able to perform most repairs and servicing of my bikes (and for friends).

Tent My current tent for bikepacking is a Tarptent Bowfin (1P), which i picked up second hand of another rider.

When riding with a companion, or trips using the car, I have a Marmot Limelight (2P). I am quite happy with this as a tent. Twin vestibule (one larger than the other) and large doors. On my list is a Big Agnes Sugarloaf Camp as a basecamp option for extended out and back trips ancd otehr adventures.

Jones Bikes I have a set of Truss Fork Packs, which I like quite a bit. I rodered theseand the frame bag (below) with teh frameset in 2017.

Revelate Designs I have a two Revelate frame bags, one each for my Pugsley (Surly branded) and Jones LWB (Jones branded). Primarily for use on the Jones, I also have a Saltyroll and Harness, Egress Pocket, MagTank 2000, Terrpain (14L) and Mountain Feedbag.

I previously had a Gas Tank and Jerry Can which I could not get to work the way I wanted. I am still playing with the Mountain Feedbag, and not sure it is for me either.

Bob Ibex & CELLO case In May 2007 I replaced the Big Tow with a Bob Ibex. The impetus for this was moving (home) from Canada to Australia, and wanting to take my F400 with me. Josh Lipton of Wandertec had created a CELLO case that would fit both a trailer and bike, and in consultation with him I traded the Big Tow for the Ibex as it was compatible with his design. I went with the Ibex, as I thought it would be more suited to trail touring — my experiences with a rigid trailer was that they had a tendency to bounce on uneven terrain.

The CELLO works well as a case, and it has travelled from Canada to Australia 3 times (twice by plane, once by boat) and twice from Australia to Canada (plane) — read my review.

Arkel panniers I purchased my firest Arkel pannier, a tail rider trunk bag, back in 2006. I found it immensly useful companion to a trailer, allowing segregation of specific items for ease of access. In many ways, I used it like a handlebar bag for an MTB. I subsequently picked a Randonneur seat post rack to match thie.

In 2007 I sourced a Briefcase for community work. This is a long pannier (front to back), requiring a longer wheel base bike and the rear rack set far back for those with big feet. In 2010 I added a single GT-18, followed by a set of GT-54s, Handlebar Bar bag (large) and second GT 18 in 2011.

I stuck with Arkel as they were made in Canada, of exceptional quality. I consider these a lifetime purchase.

Yakima Big Tow In 2006 I acquired a pre-loved Yakima Big Tow trailer for cycle touring — I came very close to choosing a set of Arkel Extreme Mountain (XM-45) panniers (my Cannondale F400 did not have mounts for a front rack, and skewer mount racks were not available at the time). I used this on a few tours, before replacing with a Bob Ibex suspection trailer.