Here’s solution to a problem very few people have. Since I’m one of them, though, here it is.
Bike hydration is an issue for me. I can’t wear anything on my shoulders for long. “For long” can mean as few as ten minutes, especially if I’m using my arms, or the item is heavy. On long rides, then, a hydration pack worn on the back won’t work for me. I have a waist pack, but I hate it because it’s so hard to fill and clean. And yet . . . it’s kind of important to have water handy, especially if riding where convenience stores may not abound.
Last year, I bought a Camelback water bottle with a hose and valve. Mine is stainless steel, but this is the idea. On a previous cycle, this went into a bottle cage, and I could sip to my heart’s content without fumbling with the whole bottle. Good enough.
Now that I have Basil, though, this isn’t the best solution. A water bottle cage isn’t ideal on Basil as it widens his profile when folded, and is kind of a pain in the neck if I’m folding him often, as I do. Brompton is developing a waterbottle for their bikes, and I’m sure it will be smashing, but it’s already a year and a half overdue (we call this kind of calendar problem “Brompton Time”). In the meantime . . .
I found this Nathan waist pack at REI. Replacing the Nathan bottle with the Camelbak solved the problem of how to carry water. All that was left was to figure out how to get the hose somewhere useful, where I could reach it without thinking.
Mr. Diarist said “Magnets!” It was a great idea, so I sewed a little pouch, popped a magnet inside, and attached it to my mesh vest.
Then I made a similar pouch, added an elastic band to it, and slipped it over the hose.
The tab connects with the magnet on the shoulder of the vest.
Here’s the back view. The water bottle holster is worn slightly to the side.
(Yes, I’ve used it once, and it’s got grease on it. How did that happen? You have to really work to get grease on anything when riding a Brompton!)
I can grab the valve easily. It’s possible that the dangling hose might be irritating, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m not going fast enough for it to go flying. If I cared, I could add another magnet to control the end, and then just pop it to use it when drinking.
No weight on my shoulders, easy access to water, and, best of all from my point of view, a metal bottle that can be refilled at any faucet or drinking fountain, without a lot of floppy drama. Win-win-win!
(I’d really like Brompton to work this out, though. Their solution purportedly involves magnets, too, but just one small one which will hold the water bottle directly on Basil’s frame, with no cage. I’m on their waiting list — times nearly a year now, I think. No doubt it will be worth the wait, but, in the meantime, summer’s a-comin’.)