The sign nailed to a post next to a small house on the banks of the Vlava River was written in Czech, but I believe it said, "Push this button, and a guy will stick his head out of the window over there and say he has to finish breakfast, then, he'll charge you twenty-five Kopecks to ferry you across the river." I believe this to be so because when I pressed the button, that's exactly what happened.
But that's a story for another time.
What I want to talk about today is the Ortlieb Rack Pack. It's that big red duffle bag looking thing on the back of my bike in the photo above. I bought it before I left Seattle last May for my bike trip around the world.
The Ortlieb Rack Pack worked really well. It hooks into the Ortlieb back rollers with clips, but you can remove it and use the shoulder strap to carry it around, too. I used it to stow my valuables; my Sherpa solar system, iPad, and some other stuff I'd just as soon not talk about here.
When I'd stop at a grocery store, I'd disconnect the Rack Pack and take it inside with me so that those things that I just couldn't afford to get swiped were always safe. And, like all other Ortlieb gear, it's totally waterproof. Once, in a gully washer outside Dickinson, North Dakota, it rained so hard that I was sure everything inside my Rack Pack had gotten drenched, but when I unrolled it and looked inside, all my stuff was bone dry.
I loaded it down like crazy and all that extra weight really added to low-speed instability. There were a couple of times when the front wheel would crab and no matter how hard I fought it, over I'd go. But that's not the Rack Pack's fault.
When I re-start my around the world trip in February, I'm going to leave a lot of that crap at home, but the Rack Pack is going with me. It's a keeper.