Scientific Fact: Bikes and beer are fun together. At this point in history, there’s no disputing this statement. Trust me—I’ve done extensive research on the matter.
What isn’t fun is transporting that beer on your bike. Have you ever tried to balance a sixer on your handlebars? This is what passes for “transportation issues” in my line of work.
Etsy is full of hip ways to affix your beer to your bike. There are growler pouches, six pack holders, this thing that straps a tall boy to your handlebars. My favorite is a plastic box that fits on a rear rack that holds a dozen cans. I also found a bottle cage that fits a full 32-ounce growler.
The problem with Etsy is that none of those hipster artists will deliver their growler cages or six pack holders deep into the woods at a moment’s notice. It doesn’t sound like a big deal until you’re half way through a brutally long, all day mountain bike ride, standing in front of a gas station with a fresh six pack of beer and having no way to get it to your backcountry campsite.
That’s the predicament I found myself in recently. I took a mid-bikepacking detour to a gas station to buy a sixer to enjoy later in the ride. My backpack was full of gear. I thought about ditching some of the food from my pack to make room for the beer (after all, it’s all calories, right?) but then my wife’s voice popped into my head with her near-constant warning of “make good choices,” so I put the PBJ’s and Ramen back in the pack. One of those recycled bike tube six-pack pouches would’ve been perfect, but we’ve already discussed Etsy’s lack of immediate gratification. Stupid internet.
Luckily, I was using a Revelate Designs Pika Seat Bag, which keeps a lot of weight off my back on overnight bikepacking trips. An added bonus of this kind of bag, is that it gives you a fairly rigid, flat platform to work with. I dug some rope out of my pack and, voila: impromptu six-pack holder.
That night, I enjoyed a few beers deep in the middle of the backcountry. Beer that was transported by two wheels and some half-ass ingenuity, which is the sweetest beer you can drink. Was that beer warm and shaken all to hell? Absolutely. Next step in the evolution of bike/beer transport — a cooler that keeps cans cold and suspended in some sort of shock-absorbing jelly. And that cooler should fit on the back of a seat post. Get to work you Etsy hipster artists.