Camera adventure

Motorcycle Accessories We Can’t Live Without

There are problems you don’t think about until they arise.

The benefits of blackout coverage often only become apparent when you shiver on the hard shoulder at 10 p.m. Backing up your hard drive suddenly becomes a great idea immediately after the black screen of death appears. The sunscreen is only retained once you’ve taken on the color of a perfectly boiled lobster.

Bicycle touring is no different. When you’re on the road, you often think about the things you should have packed or the accessories you should have bought. Items that would have made your life easier or your trip a little better.

A list of these items could be endless, but on our last rides we’ve used the kit from Californian brand Peak Design. They specialize in transportation solutions, camera gear, and other travel accessories, and we’re pretty impressed.

Not so good vibes

This is a problem that has scolded many new bikers, especially new tourers. You drive to a new location using Google Maps on your phone to guide you. You drive through stunning landscapes or landmarks and detach your phone from the cheap handlebar mount you bought from the stores without thinking too much.

But when you open the camera app, even if your hand is steady as a rock, the screen looks like you’re trying to snap a photo of jelly during an earthquake. That’s because tethering a smartphone to a vibrating motorcycle for hours on end can ruin the camera’s sensitive auto-stabilization tech, rendering it useless and your photo a blurry mess.

That’s why Peak Design has gone out of their way to solve the problem with their Bar Mount (£79.95) and Everyday Case (£32.95).

First there’s the sleek and stylish case (with designs to fit iPhone, Samsung and Google phones), which won’t look out of place off your bike like bulky alternatives. But it gets really smart when it snaps onto the stand.

There are plenty of rubber spacers designed to absorb vibrations rumbling through the handlebars, saving your phone from a shaky end.

Serious Snappers Need Serious Gear

Camera-cube

If you’re into photography, you’ll be carrying something much larger and more expensive than your phone. Yes, your iPhone will do for showing off to your friends on Instagram (follow us, by the way), but if you, like us at ABR, take the photo seriously, that won’t be enough.

Therefore, you will need something suitable to carry your camera, lenses, cables and memory cards. For this type of carry-on, we found the Peak Design Camera Cube a great addition to our luggage.

It fits neatly inside your bike’s top case and keeps your DSLR and ancillary gear organized and protected in a series of flexible compartments.

Made from a weather resistant nylon canvas shell and high density foam, the Camera Cube protected our gear every time we used it and comes in small (£49.95), medium (69 £.95) and plus sizes (£89.95).

Wrap it up, wrap it up in

peak-design-packaging-cube

Sure, you can just throw your clothes in your panniers or top case and then forget about them, but I wouldn’t recommend that. During a long journey, loose objects tend to move around, making them difficult to find and risking damage.

When it comes to packaging, as Philip Schofield might say, it’s hard to beat the Cube. In this case, the Peak Design Packing Cube.

ABR’s own James Oxley had one in his top box as he drove down the Fosse Way for the final issue and was particularly impressed with the two compartments to separate clean and dirty clothes.

Even more inventive, the Cube is made from an ingenious self-healing, weather-resistant material that automatically repairs small punctures and abrasions if damaged. How does this magic work? Well, the molecules in nylon are designed to stick together along the line of breakage, which means that after a small snag or tear, the fabric sticks together to “heal” the break.

The Peak Design Packing Cube comes in small (£29.95), medium (£39.95) and shoe case (£24.95) and are all easily compressible when not in use.

As a bonus, the folks at Peak Design are so confident that all of their products come with a lifetime warranty.