Ride with tea!
Wouldn’t it be nice, especially over winter, to be able to take a nice cup of tea* with you on a bike ride? A source of refreshment, caffeine, antioxidants and sugar that tastes so much better than energy drinks**.
You can of course take a thermos with you, but this is not only heavy (requiring a bag to carry it) it also means stopping to drink it. Its nice to stop and enjoy a view for sure, but generally I prefer to keep going, especially as stopping can mean getting cold.
So, what I was looking for was the equivalent of a normal plastic water bottle (or ‘bidon’ if you’re poncey), that can be stored in a bottle cage and squeezed into my mush on the go, but will also keep my tea drinkably hot. Until recently, the closest I’d found was the Biologic Vacuum Flask, which is designed for a bike’s bottle cage, but doesn’t fulfill the squeezy requirement:
I also had doubts about whether a metal flask in a metal bottle cage on a metal frame would just be too rattly.
I was about to seriously start thinking about trying to make my own (see: Kickstarter), when I found the Camelbak Podium Big Chill via Matt Hamm. I use Camelbak Podium’s already, they have a great spout system, and you get no nasty plastic taste in the water. I hadn’t come across the ‘Big Chill’ though, which has an insulated wall for keeping water cool. In the description was the key text:
Also keeps warm beverages warm during cool weather rides
My tests so far have been great – I’ve kept tea hot for more than an hour and half, longer than I expected for plastic bottle! It doesn’t have all the elegance of a china cup, but it works!
*Or coffee if you’re that way inclined
**OK, it doesn’t have all the benefits of a proper energy drink, but it does taste better