Rider’s Lens #003: Bikepacking Comics by Panthea Read

In our third installment of Rider’s Lens, we present Panthea Read and the first ever (that we know of) bikepacking comics. Read her thoughts on process, and check out her four new comic strips.

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“Comics—simplified, short, and succinct—are my preferred process for working through inner thoughts and turmoil.

I like how they reduce an abstract experience down to the tangible facts, making it relatable (and hopefully enjoyable) for other people. Bikepacking trips with Skyler provide plenty of content, so bikepacking comics seemed like a natural progression. My favorite part of making them is always the planning: picking out the essential storyline for a chosen topic and discarding the filler fluff. My least favorite part would have to be drawing bikes… bikes are hard, especially bikepacking bikes—Skyler and I wouldn’t get very far in our travels if we were tasked with riding the squished forks and wonky wheels that I draw for us.

“Morning Coffee”

Bikepacking Comics

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  • Bikepacking Comics

For drawing tools I like to use landscape sketchbooks (their rectangular shape is perfect for layouts), mechanical drafting pencils for initial sketches, chunky erasures for undoing wheel wonk, and micron pens of varying thicknesses for inking and shading. Another essential tool is Skyler’s photography—I use his images as references, most often for bikes. Color is a new addition, I’ve been playing around most recently with watercolors and watercolor pencils though sometimes I like prismacolor markers.” — Panthea Read

“The Grand Canyon”

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  • Bikepacking Comics

“Bikepacking Pets”

Bikepacking Comics

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Bikepacking Comics

“Mental Clutter”

  • Bikepacking Comics
  • Bikepacking Comics

Follow Panthea’s travels alongside Skyler Des Roches at OffRoute.ca.

And, if you know somebody making photography, drawings, or anything else creative while out riding, let us know.

  • mikeetheviking

    YES! lmfao “mental clutter”

  • Joe Newton

    Nailed it!

  • Rob Grey

    these are very enjoyable. mental clutter, classic.

  • cdahread

    These are really wonder full. The monster wakes up , the owl flies in on mustache Monday , the cats’ eyes pervade everything else on the page…but slowly, …..so in your face you might not see them !


  • john Gellard

    Imaginative. Lively. Informative. Enjoyable. Keep making them.

  • Danaca

    Wonderful! Hilarious! I can relate to the pre coffee monster!
    Love it!! Looking forward to seeing more!

  • Chris Nicoletti

    I met a bikepacker in Zambia last year that was traveling around Africa with her family. She had a hilarious series of comics about her trip around Africa, but I believe she had documented previous trips in the same way in Spain and perhaps one other. You and your readers should absolutely check out: http://unclippedadventure.com/wp/ They are hilarious… especially the the one that explains what happens to your body when you get malaria, found here: http://unclippedadventure.com/wp/chapter-15-things-not-to-say-at-the-border/

  • Those are nice! Thanks for sharing…

  • Kevin Sellers

    Thats funny stuff! Good thinking bringing the bikes down the Grand!

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