Thursday, August 12, 2010

Black & Tan

Installment two of this ground breaking series of posts. Others talk about handlebars, I talk about baggage. Today I talk about my canvas stuff. I never really intended to have so much, but here I am with a bunch of it.

Brooks, Acorn, Minnihaha

The small, faded black saddlebag is from Acorn bags. Acorn are hand made bags created by a husband and wife team in Los Angeles and when I first heard about them I wanted a bag for my new Batavus. I couldn't resist handmade in California. It took me three months to successfully order my bag and I have loved it from jump.

Zebra Bat
note my amazing winterizing : )

I used to keep it on the Bat as a handlebar bag for my camera. My newer cameras do not fit in it so it is now a permanent fixture on my mixte. Although the bag faded a bit too fast for my taste, I love how well made it is and how perfect it is on S.A.M. It holds my lights when not in use, my tools and patch kit, my lock keys, a fold up shopping bag and a seat cover. I love that I can keep the flap fastened loosely and slip my hand under it to unzip the pouch to get at my stuff. Super fast, super easy. It is also secured enough that I usually just leave my basic stuff (minus the keys) in it when I am parked.

Even Number

The really big saddlebag above is on my road bike. It, like the panniers in the top photo, were gifts from Hubby the Bike Man after he found them through some discussion forum he is on. They are from the Minnihaha Company. They are mass produced out of the country, but I couldn't afford to have full panniers made in the US for a bicycle that I will only tour on occasionally (he paid less than $30 for each of the bags). The panniers have shoulder straps that make them easy to carry off the bicycle and a simple bungee chord and hook system that works with one hand to get them on and off the rack.

No matter how nice they look, though, having only small buckles for the leather straps makes getting in and out of them, especially the saddlebag which has the buckles under the bag, inconvenient. I always think twice about getting anything out of them. However, this also means that nothing falls out of them easily. For small things like my wallet and keys and cell phone that I need to get to easily I use my Hambone bag.

My Bicycle Takes A Nap

Hambone bags are made by a friend of mine, here in California. Mine is leather and has a detachable purse strap so I can carry it off the bicycle (it looks nice with just about everything). It only works on a diamond frame, so I only use it with the Hoff, but I love it and the fact that I bought it from the maker directly is even better.

One of these days I will do some actual touring and use my canvas bags for their intended purpose. For now, I use them for unpredictable, non-food related shopping days or times when I need dual panniers (which is any day I am carrying too much crap back from the thrift shops : )

Next stop on the baggage line- huge European bags that can smuggle people in them.


  1. Coincidentally I'm looking for a saddlebag- For purposes of comparison, do you know what size Minehaha that is? That looks like the right size for me, but I probably wouldn't go with the Minehaha- I think I need something more functional.

  2. It is the medium sized bag, I believe. Rivendell has some great bags that I would love to own.

  3. that marin century number on yer trunk looks sexy as heellllll. woot woooot :D