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From Carryology.

I’ve used both, hated both and loved both.  I’ve traveled with two messengers for a weekend trip and hiked with one, and I’ve cycled with very heavy backpacks that almost took me down with crosswinds.

I get a sweaty back; so I was carrying a messenger bag this summer and fall.  But usually I hate adjusting them (even with the cross-strap) and the Messenger Bag Should Sloop (where you’re just bent from those things). I used to like that carrying a messenger bag identified me as “a cyclist.”  But, for one, that’s not really true.  Just as everyone with a backpack is not a backpacker, traveler or vagabond, not everyone with a messenger bag is a cyclist.  Secondly, I don’t want to be identified by my favorite mode of transportation.  I do also walk and take transit a lot.  Plus, well, if we want everyone to cycle, the cyclist/non-cyclist distinction is counterproductive.

I do notice that I over-pack with backpacks.  Right now I have 17 pens and four Moleskines on me.  No kidding.  Add work papers, dissertation drafts, a 40 oz water bottle, lunchtime book and other junk, and it’s a lot more weight on my back.  Sweating is not usually a worry this time of year, but I think my high-riding daypack can get in the way of my helmet a little.

Lately, I’ve been throwing my stuff into an old totebag and strapping it to my rack.  I do feel like a sucker with a bag on and an empty rack.  I call it my Bike Bindle.  I’ll have to do a post about that.

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phonefanny1009
A [terrible cell phone] picture of me with my sweet fanny pack. Read about former Baltimore resident Rantwick’s fanny pack.  You know, it beat a messenger bag for not sliding all over the place or hurting my shoulder or both.  And it beat a backpack for not making me sweat.  I caught a lot of guff for it, though, which I think is funny.  It smelled like campfire for a while, but it’s largely gone away.  I used it to carry my camera (etc.) to Sunday Streets this weekend, on foot.  Now that makes me a geek, probably.  I’m too tired to wax philosophical about this blue nylon tonight.

t2_pride
If you read Timbuk2’s blog, you probably saw this very cool bag a few months ago.  Lots of people asked them to make/sell it.  And now they are.  Display your pride/support of everyone’s right to share their life with who they want to. Available here (only in Small size).  They are also working on panniers.  They said this a year ago, but now they have pictures of them being tested!


A long time ago, I bought a fake German bread bag.  It’s a cool little canvas bag, the kind that makes people make fun of you for carrying a man purse from the comfort of their frikkin carseats.  I liked it but never really used it because I have a cool vintage map case from my Dad’s time in the Army.  I looked at the loops this winter, and I thought it might work as a mini pannier, to carry stuff like a multi-tool, tube, patch kit, Moleskine, etc.  Turned out to work great, so I bought Mule and ElRo each one for Christmas, though theirs were the real deal, complete with awesome canvas smell.  You can find them anywhere, and the knock-off I own was like $10.  It won’t break the bank, and you don’t need hardware.  A vintage one is probably better, but this is what I had. Above is the bag.

This is what it will hold, with room to spare.

This is my rack (huh huh).  Just a normal, $30 rack.

First, this is how we will attach it.  The belt loops go on the top rail of the rack.

Pull the webbing straps as tightly as you can. If you have long enough straps and want your bag to bounce less, you can wrap the straps around the supports of your rack a few times.

If you have some electrical tape around, you can dampen possible metal-on-metal action from your buckle slamming your rack. I did, and it worked very well.

If your straps are long, make sure to tuck them back into the buckle so that they don’t find their way into your spokes.

The view from the other side will look like this.

When you are finished looping both straps, you’re done!

You now have a little trunk on your bike that has way more class and kicks way more ass than a $200 pannier or a butt wedge pack.

If you have a light with a clip, there are usually tabs for clipping on the sides you can use. I have two blinkies now, and the one on my seatstay got blocked by this bag, though the side of the bag is a better spot for seeing me and not running me over.

I can provide larger images if you can’t see what’s going on. Sorry for the flash photography. My blood sugar was low, and my hands were shaking. I had to get the photos before I packed up and rode. It’s very dusty now, which is, you know, awesome. It’s nice to keep the sweat off my back and my supplies onboard.

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