[ Pokhara, Nepal ]
At this point in my life, I’ve cycled well over 25,000 miles throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. That’s 40,000 kilometers. It’s not as much as some, but it represents far more time in the saddle than most people will ever experience.
I started doing this nearly fifteen years ago, deciding to outfit two bicycles for touring—my shiny new Trek 5200 carbon frame racing bike, and an old REI Novara mountain bike. I knew little about bicycles, and nothing about bike touring, yet I was determined to slap some gear on these puppies and take to the open road. I quickly learned that mountain and racing bikes were the worst choices for the job; both designed, intentionally, without means to attach and support the sort of racks required for touring rugged terrain with heavy, fully-loaded panniers.
In my ignorance, I had stumbled upon the same limitations which led a guy named Channing Hammond to found a small company in his native Santa Babara, California. That company was Old Man Mountain.
As it turned out, Channing was producing highly innovative, critically acclaimed racks designed to work with both of my trusty machines. Score! I immediately ordered two sets—Sherpas for my Novara, a Lowrider and a Sherpa for my Trek—and started, uhhhh, racking up the miles.
Over the intervening 25K miles, I learned that Old Man Moutain gear isn’t only cleverly designed, it’s also bombproof—beautifully made by someone who clearly takes pride in his work. Imagine my delight, then, when Channing agreed to help me outfit my current bike—a used Trek 4 Series purchased here in Nepal—with a set of Old Man Mountain Pioneers. These heavy-duty behemoths (each with a ~50lb load capacity) will be the work horses of my pending China-Gobi Desert-Mongolia tour—where the most innocuous gear failure can have serious consequences.
For any of you considering two-wheeled touring—whether in the developing world, along back country trails, or along the well-paved highways of Europe or North America—do yourself a favor: check out Old Man Mountain’s racks when outfitting your bike. You simply can’t get better equipment.
And to Channing: thank you for all my years and miles of trouble-free touring, and for those yet to come!
Old Man Mountain information, photos, and pricing: [REAR racks] [FRONT racks]