Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baggage. We All Have It.

One of the common challenges of a life lived without a car (or with only occasional car) is how to carry your stuff with you. I, for one, am consistently amazed at what I bring with me places (not to mention how much all that crap weighs!). Equally amazing, to me, is how one cargo solution that works today will be utterly wrong the next. This means that I, being a little obsessive about having the right tool for the job, have a few options for carrying crap around the landscape.

I will start with the most recent solution (it is the easiest to find pictures of). Carrying a camera all the time can get kind of complicated. I don't have the talent with my point and shoot that Meli does, and I end up carrying much bigger cameras. Wearing them all the time can become tiring and I hate how fussy camera bags are (especially if I have to carry them around when off the bicycle). So I did this-


I use a bag that holds my lenses and wallet and decided to come up with a way to make it into a pannier (I hate having my camera bounce around in the basket). I use these really cool clips to turn my bag into something that can be secured to the rack.


These clips could be used with a variety of bags and purses. In the future, this will be super helpful as I will be removing the front rack from the Bat once I am no longer carrying Declan everywhere. I could use this set up with any of my Coach bags, my Timbuk2 purse, my backpack... just about anything. Those clips hold 25 pounds each, so I am good to go! The rack keeps the bag out of the spokes and the whole thing is easily removable and isn't as awkward as carrying around a big pannier when not pedaling.

That is enough about baggage for today. I will write about my other options at another time. You, of course, are waiting with baited breath.


  1. Those clips are awesome! I have a bag-into-pannier project in the works, and those might just make it the easiest project ever.

  2. I have a few different Bags for carrying Stuff. You can never find a Bag or Panniers that does all,everything is a compromise.I have two Old Karrimor Panniers that are medium sized and I have two big Ortlieb Carriers that can hold loads.

    I have just got recently a Yamasaka 475 Bag which is not Japanese but actually Dutch. It is a Bag that goes on top of the Rear Carrier ,a Soft Cordura Nylon Saddle style of Bag.

    It has loads of Pockets and it can be Enlarged to form a small Pannier Bags,but really it is a Day Bag. You can Stuff Food like Bananas or Sandwiches in the extra space and when you consume the Food you can Collapse the Bag Smaller and it becomes more Aerodynamic.

    When I have the New Bag I sometimes wish I had taken the Bigger Bags and visa versa but it is great if you want to cut down on Wind Resistance if you are only on a Spin out the Countryside.

    I usually carry a Compact Camera with a short Zoom in a little Bag hanging out of the Handlebars always ready to hand. I dont have to turn around to get it out of a Saddlebag. It is not a Dear Camera but it takes very good Photo's and it has a close Focus as well. I am not to worried if it gets smashed up.

  3. Oooo . . . I'm off to find me some clips!

  4. Wow, what a smart solution! I might copy that...

  5. Brilliant!! I hope is ok if I repost on my blog.

  6. Great bag. Reminds me of one my wife has, same heavy duty material with leather straps. It was originally a fishing tackle bag from England or Scotland I believe, but never used as such. Given to her by her father, it has lasted forever.

  7. jonn b- it is from Bill Adler. I got it on super sale (I would have never paid the original price for it!) for $25. I am sure I will beat it into the ground : )