The Hill Topper gets suited up!

I have some pretty epic plans for bike camping this summer (maybe too epic, we shall see) so I wanted to outfit the HT with racks and bags.

I was able to score some SWEET panniers at the Swift Industries “seconds” sale last weekend. They’re so pretty! The sale was a bit crazy! When we first arrived there was no line, but the wind was gusting 30-40 mph so we headed to a coffee shop in Pioneer Square. By the time we got back there was a line! I was able to grab a set of big rear bags for the back that I would’ve been happy with, but then a friend traded me for some that were a different color & gave me a front bag she didn’t want. It was kismet!

This week I dropped the bike at G&O for racks. I opted for a pretty standard rear rack (holds 50 kilos!) and basic front rack. The Straggler can be hard to add racks to, but they made it work! I like that the baby will be a bit further back to give him more space.

I’m hoping that the bags will fit down under the foot rests and then to use the front bag for easy access items.

I was looking to find a used Yepp seat in black, but opted for the newer version once I learned how easily it attaches! And it’s so light! I think it can go on any rack that can hold the weight, so it’s good for switching around bikes with Mike or visiting with friends! But of course color matching is a very important consideration, so I ordered it in the all black version. Hopefully it’ll be in next week!

I rode back to G&O with Lynne today while everyone else was at swim class. It’s a good thing I did because on the way over my gears were skipping. I had them shorten my derailleur cable to keep it from interfering with the bags.

The verdict is still out on if the left bag will interfere with the rear brake at all (fully loaded) but I’m goin to try to rig up a shim for the rack to hold the bag a bit further away if that’s the case.

On the way home we stopped off at R&E to check out their annual party and bid on some bikes! Woo!

Chilly Hilly is tomorrow! Going to fill up my bags with ALL THE SNACKS!

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