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Reply to bike bags - recs needed

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Reply to bike bags - recs needed
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stella from plainfield, IN on 9/3/2019 9:44:02 PM:
Getting ready to head from Pittsburgh to DC in a few weeks - still need to pick up a handlebar bag of some sort (2 of us going - one pulling BOB trailer and one just doing bike bags). Any suggestions? This is our first time doing the route (and our first bike trip) - so will take ANY words of wisdom/suggestions (in addition to handlebar bag recommendations) folks have! One other question - we are hesitant to plan out stops, because want to be flexible on what the weather gives us and how we feel each day to decide how many miles we will get in. Will we regret the "wing-it" approach? Thanks in advance to all who respond!!

 
Rivnuts from Homestead. PA on 9/3/2019 10:38:04 PM:
Take a look at this one. I bought it on eBay. It's design is virtually identical to that of Ortlieb but at much lower cost. RockBros Bicycle Handlebar Bag 14-15L Cycling Extra Large Capacity Bag Black If you are camping, then there is no problem with "winging-it". You just need to know where the various camp sites are located along the trail. If you are staying indoors, you could have some issues. If you choose to wing it, I would recommend you seek out multiple lodging options along the way to insure you can find a room on short notice. Some of the options could be a way off the trail itself. As a former Hoosier born and raised in Decatur Township and having moved to and lived in Pittsburgh for many years now, I've ridden the GAP/C&O several times and will be doing so once again the end of the month. if I can be of any assistance, including guiding your way out of Pittsburgh, or provide any information just drop me a note.

 
Copydoc86 from Clayton, IN on 9/5/2019 5:02:37 PM:
I am from Clayton, Indiana, just down the road from Plainfield, I will be doing the GAP and C&O with my sister-in-law starting on September 12. We have hotel reservations along the way, and train tickets reserved for us and our bikes. I am using panniers, and a trunk bag on a rack on the back wheel.

 
Rivnuts from Homestead. PA on 9/5/2019 6:50:39 PM:
Clayton indeed. I've ridden along portions of SR 39 near Monrovia and through Cartersburg while visiting family in Mooresville and Plainfield. If you'd like a guide out of Pittsburgh or even some of the local sites there, I'd be happy to meet you downtown and ride a ways down the trail to where the trail is straight forward and beyond the urban portions. If you need any local info or details about the train back, just let me know. Regardless, have a great trip. You'll enjoy it even more if you read a little of the histories of the GAP and the C&O before riding them.

 
MPM from Jax Bch FL on 9/7/2019 9:00:31 AM:
Handlebar bag: My favorite handlebar bag is by Jandd, one of the Touring Handle Bar Pack series. It mounts easily on most types of handlebars and has a map case on top. The only disadvantage is that it is not waterproof, but it is way cheaper than the waterproof Ortleib handlebar bags. I use a large ziplock to protect all my essentials inside the Jandd bag. C&O/GAP: I have ridden the C&O/GAP many times, as it is by far my favorite ride (350 miler w/ NO cars!), but you must be prepared for rain. The GAP is very smooth and easy riding, with many small towns and camping opportunities. The C&O is much more of a challenge, as it is rough in many places and is no place for a road bike. There are primitive campsites every few miles and a few nice towns. You should check the website before you go for updates on washouts and other detours.

 
Anonymous on 9/7/2019 9:16:35 AM:
I used the Ortlieb Ultimate 6 S Plus handlebar bag and liked it...I was able to put a mileage chart/itinerary/fact sheet in the transparent sleeve on the top, it was easy to access, held everything I needed and is waterproof (it didn’t rain on our trip so I didn’t get to really test this feature out) . I also had a Revelate Designs mountain feed bag that I LOVE! You can fit a Nalgene sized water bottle in there, but I actually kept things that I would need/want while riding, like my camera/phone, lip balm, sunglasses, snack bars, etc