An Online Artist's Coop for Artists who Paint on Location
I think any painting rig that you could fit in a backpack would work for biking. If you're talking about mountain biking on steep terrain, you'd have to get used to the different balance that a 20 lb pack would give you, and you'd step off the bike a lot earlier on climbs.
I've got an Open Box M pochade box, and all my gear except my canvas carrier fits in a backpack. The canvas carrier (corrugated plastic, made by Champion Artmate) straps to the outside of the backpack. You'll have to limit yourself to smaller panels (I prefer 8x10s when hiking to locations).
If you are talking about more "civilized" biking, you can fit an awful lot in paniers or baskets. When I was in art school I commuted by bike to a NY train station, and it was amazing the amount of stuff I could tote on the back!
The problem I found when wanting to combine art and biking was the tendency to remain in motion: once I got into the rhythm, it was hard to remember to stop for the art!
Well Jerry, I don't know if I really have an answer but, I am an advid cyclist that plein air paints. Last June, I tried an extended trip to Vancouver Island with all my gear plus clothes, etc. My conclusion is that it's great for around town but not for extended trips. I used Ortleib panniers and I also rode an equipted touring bicycle from REI. I have some of the lightest painting gear out there, Open Box M with a minimum of extra weight. Around town, weight is not an issue. I've included my blog post for your information. Have fun. Al
I recently travelled around the Guilin area in China on a mountain bike with a basket attached to a panier over the rear wheel. I used a 10"X12" Billups pochade which fitted nicely in the basket, carried 5-10 paintings, all my paint for the day, 2 palette knives and clamps to hold the painting to the box lid. In addition I carried a Benro lightweight tripod in a tripod bag with my brushes rolled up inside it in a cane brushcase. The tripod case strapped on the panier with bungee cords, which I also used to tie down the pochade. It all worked well and saved me having to carry a backpack - which is a little unstable on a bike.