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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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Places I have been
(
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


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 Written on the road as I travel around the world on my bicycle


*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.


Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


See My Videos Here



(see all 3 book)

RED/BLACK

Best Ortlieb Bicycle Touring Handlebar Bags sold in the USA and Canada including Waterproof Map Case, Camera Bag Insert, Panniers and GPS Holders.

Ortlieb at REI    -   Ortlieb at CycloCamping   see also  Front and Rear Bike Touring Racks

Start here:  bicycle touring panniers   commuting bags - my experience with Ortlieb - luggage racks - equipment index -  sponsorship

 

I could not bicycle tour without by Ortlieb Handle Bar Bag.  It is the perfect off-bike camera bag because it can hang out in the rain all day.  Once attached to my handlebars I have access to my camera just in case something interesting comes along. I can pull over and take a picture in a few seconds.

I always have a local map in my map case which keeps documents and papers dry and visible.  But the thing I love best about this handlebar bag is with the camera insert. I can keep things organized in pockets and keep my smart phone and amplified speakers (see picture) handy so I can turn it off or adjust the volume while cycling.  I also keep a small shortwave radio to keep up with world news.  Add in a bunch of scraps of paper with notes written down and lip balm and you have the dashboard of my life.

 

My Next Handlebar bag (if my old one ever gets lost)
Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag

I have an older (no longer available) version of this bag but with all the extra features I am very tempted to upgrade anyway.  This is the bag with my camera, Blue Tooth Speaker and wallet so you can bet it is coming off the bike and with me into stores and campground offices to keep important stuff with me. 

 Built tough with waterproof protection from the elements, the top-notch Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag features a transparent lid for use with smartphones or electronic navigation devices.

 

  • - Made of coated nylon, the pack is rated to protect against splashes from all directions
    - Features a lockable mounting system and lockable lid closure, keys included
    - Touch screen of your devices can be operated through the lid of the bag
    - Internal zip pocket, key clip and removable internal dividers help keep contents secure and organized
    - Includes shoulder strap, inner pocket, internal dividers, lockable mounting kit, 2 keys
    - Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag is designed to fit handlebars with a diameter up to 31.8mm
    - Compatible with Rixen & Kaul KLICKfix system (not included); not for use with carbon handlebars
    - Reflector on front of bag; large front mesh pocket

Shop for Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag


Ortlieb Ultimate 6 S Plus Handlebar Bag

 If you are traveling light or are a smaller rider you may want less weight on the handlebars    This bag is smaller, lighter but smarter because you can ride all day without fatigue from wrestling with poorly weighted heavy steering all day

Shop for  Ortlieb Ultimate 6 S Plus Handlebar Bag


Ortlieb Ultimate Map Case

Mapcase for all Ortlieb Ultimate (L or M) Handlebar Bags with removable mapcase feature. New version: won't turn yellow over time.  The Ortlieb Ultimate map case is a waterproof, universal map case with a roll-top closure. It affixes to your Ultimate handlebar bag or can be worn around your neck for ease of use while hiking.

Shop for Ortlieb Ultimate Map Case



Ortlieb GPS Cover / Case for Handlebar Bag - Horizontal Model

Details Have your GPS or PDA within the field of vision, and still know it is protected from moisture, dirt and dust. The ORTLIEB GPS cover is also a contemporary transport solution on the bike for your mobile phone or communicator.

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bags and Accessories

 
 
 
 

Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Plus Handlebar Bag

RED/BLACKGRAPHITE/BLACK

Shop for Ortlieb Ultimate  HERE!

Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Plus Handlebar Bag

Map, sunglasses, papers and energy bars - all within reach in your handle bar bag. The Ultimate5 models are made of heavy duty fabric and are still lightweight. They are easily mounted and taken off, and can be converted into a shoulder bag within seconds.

The lockable mounting set protects them from theft. An extension adapter for handle bars with extreme bends is available as accessory. Stay on the right track! A mapcase or GPS cover can be fixed onto the lid of the Ultimate5 Plus and Clasic. Both products are part of the Ultimate accessory program. The handle bar bags have stiffeners to keep them standing and feature a rigid lid.

The integrated valuables pocket helps organize small items. Both models feature a 3M Scotchlite reflector for safety in the dark. Maximum allowable weight is 3kg/105oz. Designed for a handle bar diameter of max. 31,8mm/1.25 in. Includes two outer mesh pockets with zippers, and an internal divider.

Handlebar bag with lid closure, including lockable mounting set, for handle bars with diameters up to 31,8mm, PU-coated Cordura®, 2 outer mesh pockets with zip, inner pocket, internal dividers, shoulder strap, reflector.

Optional accessories: map case, GPS cover, internal dividers and camera insert. Bag fits onto KLICKfix mounting by Rixen&Kaul.

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bag HERE!


Ortlieb Ultimate 6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag

BLACK

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bag   HERE!

Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag: Map, sunglasses, papers and energy bars - all within reach in your handle bar bag. The Ultimate5 models are made of heavy duty fabric and are still lightweight.

They are easily mounted and taken off, and can be converted into a shoulder bag within seconds. The lockable mounting set protects them from theft. An extension adapter for handle bars with extreme bends is available as accessory. Stay on the right track!

A mapcase or GPS cover can be fixed onto the lid of the Ultimate5 Plus and Classic. Both products are part of the Ultimate accessory program. The handle bar bags have stiffeners to keep them standing and feature a rigid lid.

The integrated valuables pocket helps organize small items. Both models feature a 3M Scotchlite reflector for safety in the dark. Maximum allowable weight is 3kg/105oz. Designed for a handle bar diameter of max. 31,8mm/1.25 in.

Optional accessories: map case, GPS cover, internal dividers and camera insert. Bag fits onto KLICKfix mounting by Rixen&Kaul.

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bags and Accessories HERE!


Ortlieb GPS Cover / Case for Handlebar Bag

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bags and Accessories HERE!

Ortlieb GPS Cover / Case for Handlebar Bag - Horizontal Mode

Have your GPS or PDA within the field of vision, and still know it is protected from moisture, dirt and dust. The ORTLIEB GPS cover is also a contemporary transport solution on the bike for your mobile phone or communicator. It can be fixed, by means of push buttons, to all handle bar bag models Ultimate2-5, except those with roll closure and the Compact versions. The contents can be operated without any problem through the UV resistant, transparent PU foil. New in 2008: version in horizontal format.

The GPS cover is supplied with a Neck cord

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bags and Accessories HERE!


Ortlieb Ultimate Map Case

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bags and Accessories HERE!

Ortlieb Ultimate Map Case

Mapcase for all Ortlieb Ultimate (L or M) Handlebar Bags with removable mapcase feature. New version: won't turn yellow over time.


 

My favorite big rear Panniers
Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Rear Panniers

If you are going to be living out of just a few bags you need big. durable and rain proof ones.  I have used these bags for years and still can not find anything better on the market.

These spacious bags are some of the largest around for extended trips.

  • Polyurethane-coated Cordura® nylon makes panniers durable and waterproof

  • Zippered outside mesh pockets hold wet gear or allow easy-access to essential gear

  • Large reflectors make you visible to motorists in poor light

  • Contents are held secure with two buckle closures and compression straps

  • Convenient handle on top for easy carrying

  • QL2 mounting system makes mounting and un-mounting panniers a snap

Click to Purchase Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Rear Panniers


Most common Front Panniers
Ortlieb Front Roller

My travel partners usually carry less than me and use these bags on the front for quicker steering with a lighter load

Waterproof panniers with a unique roll-top closure. Symmetrical shape allows more leg room. Not only ideal for use on long cycle tours; they are also suitable for everyday use as a shopping bag or shoulder bag. Can be used with the carrying system as a daypack.

Absolutely waterproof, special 3D welding constructed bicycle panniers--for front rack mounting, small bag rear rack mounting or children's bikes

  • 3D welding is a special overlapping technique that uses no thread or adhesives

  • Roll-over style closures keep water out and are able to expand with your load

  • Attaches with the Ortlieb QLR-System: a strong, fast, quick-releasing system that locks tightly into place; easy unlocked by lifting up on the handle

  • QLR-hooks are replaceable and adjustable; will fit racks with tube diameter of up to 10 mm; 14 mm hooks available separately; will fit low-rider racks

  • Made of heavy-duty, double polyurethane coated polyester

Click to Purchase Ortlieb Front Roller Panniers


Larger Front (my pick) or Smaller Rear Panniers
Ortlieb Backroller

I am always thinking outside of the box but on my long trip packing light was not an option for me so I used these traditional rear bags on my front low rifer rack on a bike with smaller wheels.

Waterproof panniers with a unique roll-top closure and constructed of an exclusive Cordura material that is completely watertight and welded. Utilizes Ortlieb's QL 2 Mounting System. Its symmetrical shape allows more leg room. Not only ideal for use on long cycle tours; they are also suitable for everyday use as a shopping bag or shoulder bag. Can be used with the carrying system as a daypack.

Made of durable Cordura(R) nylon with polyester; coated with PVC for water resistance

With 3D welded seams, these panniers will keep your gear dry on rainy rides. Constructed with welded seams for strength. Designed with an easy access, roll-top closure. Replaceable, adjustable, quick-release security catches mount panniers quickly and easily on racks--also removed easily. Lifting on pannier carrying strap automatically releases the QL1 system security catches, while releasing the strap causes latches to lock in place. Please note: This item is sold as a pair.

  • Constructed with welded seams for strength

  • Designed with an easy access, roll-top closure

  • Replaceable, adjustable, quick-release security catches mount panniers quickly and easily on racks--also removed easily

  • Lifting on pannier carrying strap automatically releases the QLR-system security catches, while releasing the strap causes latches to lock in place

Click to Purchase Ortlieb Backroller


Convert a saddle bag to a backpack
Ortlieb Panniers Backpack System

You will be surprised how often you use this. 

The Ortlieb Pannier Carrying system turns selected Ortlieb panniers (sold separately) into a backpack, so you don't have to bring a separate backpack along.

  • Foam construction offers carrying comfort

  • Quickly converts a pannier into a backpack; rolls up small for easy transport when not in use

  • Padded ventilated back support is made from fold-resistant foam

  • Adjustable, anatomically-shaped straps feature reflective yarn; equipped with a chest strap and carrying handle

  • Fits Ortlieb bike panniers: BackRoller, FrontRoller, BikePacker, BikeShopper, all sold separately; also fits SportPacker and BikeTourer, not included

Shop for Ortlieb Panniers Backpack System


I keep my emergency tools ready to use
Ortlieb Micro Seat Bag

When I get a flat tire or need a quick adjustment having these tools available in a waterproof seat bag, not buried at the bottom of a pannier, is a great idea.  If you are tired of looking like you are having a travelers yard sale with all your gear dumped on the side of the road just because you need a tube and lire levers put them in a seat bag.

Waterproof and ultra light, the Ortlieb Micro Seat Bag with rolltop closure secures on-the-bike essentials with watertight, low-profile design.

Click to Purchase Ortlieb Micro Seat Bag


Good choice if you don't like a roll top system
Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus Panniers

I have used these in the past. At first I wasn't sure about the flap closure but ended up appreciating it. I would have no problem using these again.

Features 3M Scotchlite™ reflectors to increase your visibility in poor light. Made to mount on low-rider front racks or rear racks, these feature snug-fitting lids that allow for higher load capacity. Outer mesh pockets are spacious and feature zippers to hold contents secure. QL2 suspension system holds bags secure and is easy to load and unload. Surrounding compression straps allow size of panniers to be altered. These panniers are the perfect size for your daily commute, or to strap on to children's bikes.

Click to Purchase Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus Panniers

 

 


The bikes below are sold online and shipped to your address.  Online bikes are a very good value but hard to find so I have rounded up my favorites.
Shop All Touring Bicycles Here

   
This is the type of bike I have done most of my traveling on.  Great for road and off road with an agile geometry and accepts wide or narrow tires.

REI brand Touring and Trekking Bikes

This is the bike I am buying next. I am tall and recently bought a mountain bike with 29er wheels and really like how it rides and would like to try this in my next touring bike.

Salsa Fargo
 

If comfort is your first priority check out these great bikes.  I have never toured this light but I know a ton of cyclist who like this style of bike.

Salsa Marrakes

 

The new breed of off road bike packing and snow bicycle. I have never owned a bike like this but I bet someday I do.

Fat Bikes

 

Seasonal - Surly bikes are not always available on line but they are a great deal. 


Surly LHT touring bicycle

 


 

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles
Panniers
Racks
Saddles
Tires
Lights

Fenders
Tools and Spares

Tents
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Pedals
Handelbars/Grips
Headsets
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag

Lights

Helmet
Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)


Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads


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