The Equinox: Changing Light and New Adventures
Exploring the world by bike creates an immediate connection to earth’s light. Often we navigate the calendar year, planning our bikepacking adventures with a close awareness of sunrise and sunset. The arrival of Equinox, on September 23rd, brings a natural opportunity to reflect on this relationship. The days are lengthening for some and shortening for others, but on this date riders in the Southern and Northern experience roughly similar amounts of light. For a moment, the global cycling community is in balance. Here, we explore an appreciation for these events, and a commitment to the spirit of adventure in the changing seasons.
Connection to light
For cyclists, light is both a practical tool and profound source of inspiration. It provides clarity for navigation, acting as a way marker in the distance or illuminating the technical details of a trail. But it can set the emotional mood of a journey too: the comfort of the first morning glow during an early commute, or the apprehension of a fading sun after a long day of pedalling hard. With every experience, we can feel a connection, intimately tied to the rhythms and availability of the natural world.
Riding at night can be an intimidating idea, but darkness often allows us to experience our surroundings differently. If it is solitary, there is a certain peace to be found in the silence. And if it’s a clear sky, then it’s easy to look at the stars, feel a sense of awe and forget about any worries.
Still, with the arrival of morning often comes a feeling of relaxation. A childlike state that recognises safety in the sunrise. The day is new, optimism is bubbling away in the stove-top coffee and there is riding ahead.
The Equinox marks a delicate moment in time, when riders in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres share roughly the same number of daylight hours. We are reminded of the wider transitions at play and that that the seasons are changing; adventures will continue but they will need to be adapted.
Shared Experience : Preparing for the Next Adventure
In the Northern Hemisphere, riders face the challenges of autumnal conditions and winter drawing closer.
The days begin to shorten and the weather turns colder. Staying warm and dry is likely to mean carrying more layers, and therefore expanding the storage capacity of a setup. A modular approach to bikepacking is a sensible way to accommodate these shifting needs. Rather than hastily looking towards a larger Saddle Pack, there are several ways to build capacity more gradually.
As a starting point, Top Tube Packs can be the perfect location to store ride essentials – phones, bank cards, snacks and chargers – creating extra space in clothing pockets. If a Handlebar Pack is already part of the setup, an Accessory Pocket is an obvious addition for storing items that might be needed at a moment’s notice. Food pouches are another under-utilised pack for carrying items that don’t need to be kept dry and accessed on the go.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the promise of longer hours can inspire the first multi-day bikepacking adventure of the year. A chance to dust off gear, put together a larger setup and set off for a longer adventure. Alternatively, warmer temperatures and a return to less compromising conditions might mean longer, single days and the chance to pack lighter.
On-body storage provides a solution to both scenarios. The Backcountry Hydration Backpack is single option that can be suitable for all lengths of ride. For longer rides it can be the answer to carrying your light-weight sleep system, or the extra clothes that you need for several days away. Whilst for shorter rides, the Racing Hydration Vest encourages a minimalist approach to storing water and carrying only essentials.
The transition in seasons can require some additional thought to prepare for adventures. Yet there is comfort in the cyclical nature of this process, and each year presents the opportunity to become more familiar with the change. Daylight is lengthening for some and shortening for others, but the equinox marks a moment to re-connect with the environment within which we ride and remain committed to getting out on the bike.