Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get a hold of me

When it comes to carrying and strapping things, there is no doubt that us as a cycling bunch, are extremely creative by nature. What has been the latest repurpose or holding-down method you have tried? When I was in college, my biggest challenges were carrying tubes, rulers (think 60+in.) and odd objects art students are known to get creative with. On wheels. I didn't have a basket in the beast I used to ride while in school many years ago, but I did have a little rear rack for a short time that came super handy. Bungee cords did the trick. Somehow I made it work.

Ade the other day showed us how she makes the most use of those belts.
I don't recall if she had blogged this photo yet or not, but here it is. That belt is quite handsome.


The other day, trolling around Etsy I found this beautiful corset-like bottle holder [link]

Last year I invested in a little velcro-attached cage (the one holding the white water bottle) for my road bike, which I hardly ride. When I take my road bike I miss my basket tremendously, but it is nice to just carry the minumum. Coffee still needs to be with me, so here this photo (below). This is in Marin near Pt. Reyes shows the velcro-attached cage which is used for water, the other is for my insulated coffee kanteen. Prioritize.

Meanwhile, on Frenchie, the basket accomodates to all kinds of cargo. I keep bungee cords in my bag or sometimes around the basket, making sure they are on TIGHT. Those bungee cords could get lose, and when you least know it, could be a pretty bad situation in your wheels. Eeek. They also come in handy when holding down bigger grocery bags or other larger things when running errands. I bought an unexpensive pack of about 8 of them in various lengths and color/sizes or so at a local mom+pop hardware store.

Bike beer basket y bag of nonnoms

Our friend Patrick in Portland has extreme precious cargo here:
Grocery panda
Grocery Panda by Patrick B.
Asides the adorable view of AnaBee reading her book while running errands, I found very clever the small details around it all. Note the old inner tube wrapped around the handlebars, working as a sunglass holder. Patrick says: "i originally wrapped this inner tube around the handlebars so I'd have a tube handy for tying things down. but i mostly use it to hold sunglasses or my gloves-- very convenient!" Super! =)

Steady steel steeds
 "Steady steel steeds"
And here these beautiful bikes which belong to the local pretty ladies, our own Calitexican and LMG (orange rivendell) roaming all over the Bay, keep everything nicely kept in their baskets for any cargo, work and play.

It is known, that us city ladies here at CYLRAB are huge fans of belts, bungee cords and nets in our baskets. 
What do you use to hold your stuff around your bike? Baskets, racks, panniers, or in a backpack or messenger bag? And what has been the most DIY or creative tie-down methods. Do tell =)


  1. On my handlebars I have a coffee cup holder (substitutes for a pop can holder too) which is useful to stuff gloves or glasses in. I also have a small pouch that mountain climbers use to put powder/flour (?) in. I attach it to my handlebars when I'm riding the bike that does not have a front carrier. Its small, padded, has a soft lining and sits open, so I can put my camera in there and easily grab it if I need it. There is also a side zip pocket to put your keys and money in. I love bungee cords, best invention since the wheel, but I also worry about them getting caught up in the spokes. I always check their "ends" to make sure they haven't lost their shape.

  2. My daily commute uses Caltrain and two bikes at each end. One of the bikes has lived out in the open at a train station for a year and half now. The only problem I've had is a bungee cord (used to strap various things to a rack) being stolen off the bike. I replaced it with an old tube which works perfectly, and hasn't been of interest to any thieves yet.

  3. paddy/ right?! those bungee cords are like hyper little kids, you always have keep tabs on them, all the time =)
    isnt it great though, how we always try to re-purpose bags or tubes/cords for bike ez-bility!?

    Tom/ wow, that is pretty much a good test! here in the SF caltrain station I have yet to try the warm planet space, have you tried it? I suspect you use other stops around caltrain, feel free to send in photos! =)

  4. ok, i have my caltrain and bike stuff storage stories but for now one question: all 3 ladies, reesie, calitexican and lisa marie ride bikes with no handlebar tape. why?

  5. eric: this is an old pic. i had just gotten those handlebars and was trying them out before committing. i ended up being ok w/ them and getting grips.

    lmg also was waiting to commit and ended up getting other bars that she meticulously taped.

  6. I used to use a Bungee Chord to keep the Kryptonite Lock on the Rear Carrier but it was fiddly. So now I have discovered I dont need the Bungee after all,I can just Lock the U Bend through the side of the Carrier/Rack.

    Modern Handlebars are sometimes to thick to attach Light Brackets and Bell Brackets so you have to Jury Rig them onto the Bike with Elastic Bands sometimes. I normally end up using longer Screws and cutting the sharp points off to put on Bells.

    I have started a collection of Light Brackets from Old Lights in case I might need them.

    On my new Surly LHT the Bracket on my new Bell wont fit on the Handlebar because the Screws are to short. So I will have to get long screws and cut off the point. Why dont Manufacturers allow for this and give two extra long screws. Cateye the Light People are terrible for making inadequate stupid little Brackets for Handlebars, I am forever getting trouble with their stuff.

  7. I have a FANTASTIC set of flat elastic rack straps- four straps with a metal ferrule on each end which fastens to each side of the rear axle (threads on under the axle nut). They're absolutely wonderful! I'll never go back to bungees, after too many close calls with spokes and just plain lost straps.

    There's a toggle at the axle connection if you ever want to loop them through something, but I can carry most loads with just the four straps. They never come loose, can't get caught in the spokes, and are just the right blend of stretchy and strong.

    I've been known to make a temporary rear basket for CSA pickup days out of a cardboard box, with a pair of slits cut in the bottom and the straps threaded through instead of over the top.

    My front basket (repurposed trout creel) has a handy top hole for dropping in keys, sunglasses (or fish), and while small, is just big enough for a thin-ish shell and a scarf.

  8. well I think I can carry most loads with just the four straps. They never come loose, can't get caught in the spokes, and are just the right blend of stretchy and strong.