I am a fan of rack trunks for my longer rides and on our tandem. They are great for carrying the extras you might need when you're out for more than just a workout, or have gear for a change in the weather. But sometimes you need a bit more space, and you don't want to go all out with full panniers. A great example is carrying a change of clothes or bringing home a few extra groceries.
Arkel has come up with a new solution with their Tailrider Expedition Rack Trunk ($189.99), now available at Bicycle Garage Indy. What makes the Expedition unique are the two waterproof side panniers that connect to the rack trunk body with QR buckles. This allows you to add capacity on one or both sides, for moderate loads ( 10-12 lbs in each bag) for day trips and errands. The side bags can stored in the large side pockets, or left home if you don't expect to need them.
The Expedition is ideal for minimalist "credit card: touring, where you can check-in to your lodging, drop off your side bag luggage and then go exploring with just the main rack trunk still on your bike.
Arkel quality is legendary, and the Expedition's tough cordura nylon will take plenty of abuse. The main compartment includes mesh pockets and a removable divider, and is foam lined to protect a camera or other electronics. The bag also has a built-in rain cover, D-rings for an optional shoulder strap, and a band for a clip-on tail light. On top of the bag, the combination compression straps and carry handle are very handy for tying down a wet jacket away from the rest of your gear.
My personal Expedition is normally at home on my touring bike, and I will add the side bags for commuting, where I can drop in a change of clothes and a pair of shoes . And without the side bags, I have used it for carrying all the gear for a century tour like the spring Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV). TOSRV is famous for unpredictable weather, and the Tailrider lets you pack for almost anything.
Find a full selection of bicycle packs from Arkel, Bontrager and others at all three Bicycle Garage Indy locations: Bicycle Garage Indy North (Indianapolis, Dean Rd at 82nd St.), South (just west of I-65 on County Line Rd, Greenwood), and BGI Downtown, in the Indy Bike Hub YMCA at City Market.