Review – BTR Waterproof Bicycle Handlebar Bike Bag

Keep it simple. That would be a good strapline for the BTR Waterproof Bicycle Handlebar Bag. This compact handlebar bag is designed to be a completely waterproof capsule that easily attaches to the handlebars of any road or mountain bike — to safely house your valuables and ride essentials.

For bikepacking trips, gravel adventures, and long road rides a small waterproof handlebar bag is a great idea — read my post 'What Is in Your Gravel Adventure Handlebar Bag?' to see what comes in mine. The BTR Waterproof Handlebar Bag is as simple, but as effective as they come; with an exceptionally fair price tag too.

The design is straightforward. The bag is 20 centimetres wide and made from durable waterproof fabric, with a classic roll-top closure to ensure that even the worst weather conditions cannot infiltrate the interior.

The bag attaches to the handlebars with three hook-and-loop (Velcro style) straps; two over the handlebars, and an extra strap that can go around the headtube of…

Bikepacking Tips – Brewing in the Wild : 5 Adventure Coffee Tips

Lightweight bicycle touring and bikepacking is a unique way to discover new countries and meet new people. It comes with its own challenges though; a personal challenge I often encounter is the need to find quality 'fuel' in the form of good food and drink.

At home, I strive to make the perfect cup of coffee to kick-start my day's adventures. Camping in back-and-beyond locations does make that more of a challenge. It is still possible though, and with my experience of trying to create a good coffee in many wild locations, these are my five top tips…

1. Water Storage Water quality is a key component of good coffee. When you are touring or bikepacking I suggest making at least one of your water bottles a stainless steel carrier.

Plastic bicycle bottles are easier to drink from on-the-go, but they will leave water tainted—especially if you are collecting it the night before a camp. I recommend the Elite Deboyo Stainless Steel Vacuum Thermal Bottle—as it can also be used as …

Fuelled by Oats – The Natural Energy Super-Food for Endurance Cyclists

If tasked to select one true super-fuel, I would undoubtedly pick the humble oat. The ancient wholegrain has fuelled more rides and more adventures than I can possibly count. Whether in the form of porridge, muesli, flapjack, or oatcakes; oats really are the ultimate endurance fuel.

In Praise of Porridge When I think back to past challenges, there is one common factor... porridge. It was porridge I ate at 4am when I started the 'St Boniface Down Everesting'. Porridge was my fuel of choice at midnight, in the pouring rain, midway through the 300-mile Trafalgar Way ride. Even in the south of France, on the final day of the #7Countries7Passes, it was porridge that kick-started the epic ride.

Porridge is the without question the king of breakfasts.

Wholegrain oats are the key to porridge's 'super-fuel' status. Oats are high in soluble fibre, which helps fill you up and release energy slowly. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, and they are a source of beta-g…

Good Reads – 'Mountains : Epic Cycling Climbs' by Michael Blann

I have always had a love of mountains. I grew up by the coast but take me into the majestic land of peaks and valleys and I suddenly feel at home. 'Mountains' by Michael Blann is the only book I have discovered that seems to be able to articulate this deep-seated emotional connection through print; it is a literal and pictographic window into the hidden beauty of the mountains of Europe.

Good Reads – 'Really Wild Cycling' by Chris Sidwells

As someone that loves off-the-beaten-track adventures, just the title of Chris Sidwell's new book got me excited. 'Really Wild Cycling' is a pocket handbook to extraordinary 'road less travelled' cycling adventures around the United Kingdom. From Devon Tors to Yorkshire Moors; from the South Downs Way to the Pennine Way; the little book has everything from one day rides to multi-day epics, and something from almost every county across the land.

The rides each have their own collection of pages—with graded difficulty, elevation profiles, OS map references, and an annotated pocket map. Colour photography helps to show the variety of landscapes that you can expect to find on one of the adventures.

Chris has adopted a personal approach with this guidebook. Each ride narrative supplies insight into everything from tea stops to local history; giving context and knowledge to be processed and enjoyed as you ride. The photography is also clearly genuine 'first-hand' m…