Lake Placid New York

Lake Placid New York
Fall Ride 2010-Keene Valley, NY

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Pack Mule

When my kids were young they were always asking me if I had a tissue, band aid, piece of gum, pen, a quarter (that went to dollar(s) as they got older), and anything else I could stuff in my handbag. (They still give my mother a hard time because that woman carries everything in her her handbag and it's all labeled!) My kids would also ask if I could "hold this" or "carry this" and it would end up in my handbag. My usual response to them, when asked to drag their stuff around was, "What do I look like? A pack mule??" This would usually elicit a look that said, "what's a pack mule??"

When my husband and I used to ride two up, poor Blaise would get about 1/2 of one of the saddlebags while my stuff would take up the other saddlebag and the tour trunk. For him, 1/2 the saddle bag was good because all he ever carried was a hoodie. Me- I had to have a hoodie and extra shoes so I could change out of my riding boots, my handbag, maybe a tee shirt if it got too warm for whatever I was wearing, extra gloves, scarf etc. you get the point- I turned that poor machine into my own pack mule and really, that is what saddlebags are for!

I've used the same pair of Tour Master Cruiser saddlebags on all three of my bikes. They aren't very big but I do stuff them with all sorts of things. When we started doing longer rides this year I added a Tour Master roll bag to my luggage rack. My poor Cortech tank bag is usually straining at the zippers.

So what the heck am I packing on my poor bike these days? Go ahead and name it! Really, I have some fairly odd stuff packed away on the s50 but it's all useful. Like gloves- 4 pairs of gloves as of today. One pair is summer mesh, which could be put away in the wardrobe in the garage but then they get lost. I then have one pair of leather gloves with a Thinsulate lining for cooler weather riding, a textile pair of heavier gloves that are waterproof and a pair of glove liners. Then I have a pair of FroggsToggs pants for rainy days, a balaklava, an extra pair of socks, a long sleeve thermal shirt, nylon mittens to cover gloves that aren't waterproof, nylon booties, to cover my boots in the rain. That's just the stuff in the roll bag on the luggage rack!

I also carry a charger for my bluetooth headset, an extra phone charger, a first aid kit, a cloth and lens cleaner for my helmet shield, a tire gauge, mini-mag flashlight, pens and paper, triple a batteries. Those things are always in my saddlebags. The poor tank bag is usually stuffed with a small handbag, mp3 player, bluetooth dongle and my cell phone. Oh and a small Leatherman tool and a footie to go under the kickstand. Plus each bag has a rain cover.

Blaise insists that I will be on something with integrated luggage on it in the very near future. I'm not convinced but I'm also the one that bought two motorcycles this year! So my poor little pack mule seems to be holding up under the weight of all my stuff- for now. Of course, when I run out of room on my bike I usually commandeer one of Blaise's saddlebags. It's not fair that only one of the bikes is a pack mule!

I wonder if I could put a hitch on the s50 and get one of those cute little trailers................

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