Book Club: Panniers & Peanut Butter

This is the first entry in the RTBL Book Club — to help you get your head out of the interwebz and into a book. Seriously, reading a book from cover to cover seems like a lost art these days. All that said, my first featured book is something readily available on the internet.

Aside from my passion for riding in circles, I also love to ride for long distances. Right now is the perfect time for bike touring or bike camping here in Southern California. So it’s good timing for Russ Roca and Laura Crawford to drop their touring gear guide, Panniers And Peanut Butter.

Over a year ago, Russ and Laura left their home in Long Beach to embark on a grand bicycle adventure. They’ve been travelling across the United States on a couple of loaded Surly Long Haul Truckers ever since while keeping all of us updated with their blog, The Path Less Pedaled — which I have been following with great envy since day one.

Having been living on bicycles for so long, Russ and Laura have been able to narrow down a keen wisdom as to what gear works and what doesn’t. Panniers And Peanut Butter is an accumulation of their experiences and knowledge born out of a deep passion for their chosen method of travel plus an eagerness to make sure you have a great experience on your travels too.

It harkens back to the bike touring guides of the mid-70’s — a few of which I’ve been able to collect on my bookshelf. Only a couple things remain the same over the years (like the Trangia stove) so it is nice to have an updated gear list with equipment readily available in the here and now. From the bike to the tent to the wardrobe, the 75-page book is full of tips and recommendations for both shorter trips and extended tours. Most importantly, for those of us who might just be getting into bike touring, a guide like this helps out with the most important aspect of preparing for a journey: bringing only what you need.

Panniers And Peanut Butter is available in PDF format. If you are at all into bike touring or even thinking about the possibility, I highly recommend reading it and also reading Russ and Laura’s blog, The Path Less Pedaled. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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