My experience at riding through hot dry country is next to nil, and since I’m planning to see parts of the southwestern US on this trip I figured I’d better bone up on it. I started by reading numerous articles written by people who either live there or have ridden though those states during the summer. There seems to be a general consensus wherein all are agreed that it’s best to consume lots of water and if possible, wear an anti-hydration vest of some sort. They go on to advise you to ride in the mornings and evenings, avoiding if possible the torrid heat of the afternoon. I like their thinking, siestas come to mind…
Taking heed of their advice and that of my buds with experience in such matters I decided to fit a water bottle to the Ninja. Big deal, eh? Before I get inundated with cries of "Hey LL, so and so makes a bladder set up that will fit into your tank bag." Maybe it's the hose thing bladders use that I'm not attracted to, I don't know, but I kind of like swigging my water from a bottle. Anyway I'm going with the bottle for now, maybe later I'll take a look at bladders. Eeww, just the word "bladder" is sort of, uh, unappealing...
Anyway you’ll appreciate that finding a place to mount a bottle proved to be a bit challenging, given that available space has become a premium. My thinking is if it’s within easy reach I’ll be more likely to use it and subsequently not fall off my bike from heat stroke. The tank bag seemed an easy choice as the FAMSA folks had already installed a metal bracket for the carrying strap. Since I’m not using the bracket for that purpose it was a logical spot to mount a bottle.
REI sells a ton of bicycle water bottles and mounting brackets so it was easy to find a setup that worked for me. I selected an adjustable Topeak mount that can accommodate a range of bottle sizes and I also opted for a 21 oz Camelbak bottle with a built-in insulated cover. My choices were made a lot easier thanks to the number of people who submit their feed-back ratings and comments on stuff like this. I love reading what end-users have to say, it’s a good deal for people like me who don't know zip about water bottles and brackets.
Mounting the setup on the tank bag was simplicity itself given the convenience of the FAMSA strap bracket. I fabricated a small rectangular plate that attaches to the strap bracket and then attached the Topeak mount to it using aircraft locking hardware. It turned out nice and the bottle stays put even when the bag is tilted over to the side for refueling.
Oh, and guess what else? The Topeak also holds my insulated coffee mug for those days when it's not so hot. Dang, am I a happy camper or what? Life just keeps getting better.