Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The What's Old Is New File: Bikepacking

Harry Libby: 19th Century Bikepacker
Yesterday I posted an image of my proposed bikepacking set up for a future endeavor I have in mind. Well, over the weekend this image I have posted here was showing up across several Facebook posts and I thought about how what is old is new again.

Thought bikepacking was a new fangled "rackless" version of touring? Check out Harry Libby, circa 1896, on his fixed gear safety. This image, as near as I can tell, was originally published in a tome on bicycles from the 19th Century entitled "The World Awheel". This book covered the feats and the industry titans of the bicycling world during the latter years of the 19th Century.

From what I can gather, Mr. Libby, of Lodi, California,  rode this machine from New York City to San Francisco . In the process it is claimed he set a new long distance record, whatever that was. That isn't so interesting to me as the set up he used. Note the now considered "new" trappings such as his frame bag, (which appears to be made from leather in this case), a sleep roll on the handle bars, and what appears to be a small box attached to the top tube. A nice, wide brimmed hat would keep the sun off his face, and the long sleeves and long pants would no doubt afford protection from the elements, flora and fauna, and satisfy Victorian moral standards of the day! Of course, the side arm says enough on its own without comment from me.

So, just when you think you're doing the "new fangled thing", along comes something like this. Maybe there is something to learn from this man's set up, although I won't be considering the pistol angle of his gear for myself!

1 comment:

Steve Fuller said...

Nice to see that he has a nice sensible gear ratio on his rig too. :)