“Summer is here” was the announcement of the Philipine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) last March 11 2008. They said it arrived a bit late with summer usually arriving the middle of February. So one of the things I did after they said that the mercury was rising was to prepare for the heat for my two wheeled commute.

So what’s in my GIVI Topbox and the glove compartment of my Vespa? I just removed the rain gear which is an OGK, it is composed of a jacket, pants and booties that I can wear over my regular commute clothing. I added an extra balaclava which means I now carry 2 of them. The Manila humidity really will make one perspire profusely. A fresh balaclava really makes the start of a commute much pleasant than having to wear one that is already soaking wet. Inside a mesh bag is a rolled up Lacoste sport shirt, a sleeveless inner shirt, a couple of hand towels and a couple of face towels. My latest addition for the summer is a chamois that is really very absorbent. A small bottle of Eau De Toilette and a small bottle of Astringosol mouthwash. A couple of large Ziplock bags for any soiled clothing. A reusable cloth bag to save the environment. An Icon MilSpec orange vest. A book to read in case I need to cool off in a coffee shop. Sometimes a doctors bag and some surgical instruments. A Don Juan Urquijo Corona to indulge in. When I commute to work on my Vespa I wear my office clothes then just freshen up when I get to the office. Sometimes on a hot day I wear a sport shirt then change to my Long Sleeves and Tie at the office.

My glove box carries my tools and photocopies of my certificate of registration and official receipt of registration, bungee cords and a chain lock. Not much change actually for the summer.

What’s in my hydration backpack? I use an early model Hydrapak by Blackburn before both companies parted ways. It is basically a clone and 1/3 the price of a Camelback Mule. For the summer I removed the chain lock as it is quite heavy. I also removed a rain jacket. So what’s inside? For first aid I have a small sachet of povidone iodine solution for cleaning scrapes, a small sachet of povidone iodine ointment to dress wounds, a packet of sterile gauze, and a sterile bandana to wrap the whole injured site. A Topeak XS mini tool, Park Tool tire levers, patch kit, spare tube and a Zefal minipump. Some Zipties and a small roll of duct tape. I carry a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade when I ride. I use the bladder for long trips as I find cleaning the bladder to my obsessive compulsive standards quite tedious to do on a regular basis. I have a Umbra Bungee card holder to store my moolah, ATM and ID card. I also have a Don Juan Urquijo Corona to indulge in. When I commute to work on my bike, my change of clothing is in the office.