I’ve had a couple of question sent in via email and Facebook asking how I attach my spotting scope to my bike. I had Non Birding Bill take a few photos to show what I do. This is for my Swarovski ATM80 mm scope, Nikon D40 and Swarovski 8×32 ELs. The set up that I’m going to show is primarily for traveling to a location and then walking around to observe and digiscope.
I have a Swarovski backpack (that is at least 5 years old) but any good outdoor backpack should work. This one has fasteners that hold my scope firmly in place and is fairly weather resistant. I’ve had it since 2006 and use it on a daily basis. It has become my mobile office. Anyway, if you have a good weather-proof backpack, that should work. I also store my Niko D40 in here.
I have a basket that’s attached to the back of my bike. I put the backpack in the basket and I slide one of the tripod legs through the straps on the pack. I secure the tripod for the spotting scope to the back of my bike with bungee chords. My reason to sliding the tripod legs through the backpack straps is to make it difficult for someone to just grab my backpack from my basket if I were stopped at a traffic signal.
When I get to my birding destination, I simply lock up my bike, undo the bungee chords, take my scope out of the pack and attach it to my tripod and go birding.
I wear my binocular harness while ridingon my bike. It allows for me to comfortably wear my binos while I ride my bike. I keep my spotting scope stored on the back of my bike. I’m sure this isn’t the only way to do it, but for those curious, it is possible to tote a scope, tripod and camera with you on your bike. I’m not worried about damage, Swarovskis are good, sturdy scopes and meant to take on wear and tear in the outdoors. It helps that they are waterproof and come with a lifetime warranty (though if the the glass on the eyepiece is scratched, I’ll have to pay a minimal fee to get that repaired). Otherwise, I feel safe with it on my bike.
This is just my method that I have come up with via trail and error. If you have tips for toting scopes and cameras on a bike, feel free to share in the comments.