As y'all know, my kid sister is going to college (university, higher edjumacation) at the end of the month. She's got the campus bike, now she needs to carry her books and whatever else she'll need. I personally hate heavy things on my back when trying to ride any distance. Trips across campus are no more than a mile but getting back home will be quite a bit further.
In thinking about what she needs in a bag I decided to modify an ordinary backpack from the thrift store into a rack-mounted book backpack. To do this I mounted two heavy-duty clips to the back of the bag, but up above the shoulder area. They're stoutly sewn on with lengths of climbing harness nylon. I've worn the backpack around my apartment and the hooks don't rub. I then modified the shoulder straps so that their tails are wound up in velcro, like Camelbak does. This leaves the straps adjustable but keeps the tails from getting caught in the wheels. I added one subtle strip of 3M Scotchlite reflective tape that will reflect behind her as she keeps the bag on the non-drive left-hand side of the bike. (S, are you catching these instructions?)
To get it off the bike with weight in it she'll want to hold the handle against the rack and with the other hand un-clip each clip. She can then use the backpack portion of it.
You can see here how hers is wider and lower than the wearpoints that my bag has made on my rack. My bag clips to the stay on the rack which keeps it from sliding back. I think this backpack may need that but I haven't added it because her rack is different from mine and I'm not quite sure where to put the lower attachment. Mom, I think this is going to fall to you, since you have access to the actual bike.
OK, so this backpack is olive drab, pretty masculine. I think we need to pretty it up a bit. I think a girly motif might be just the dichotomous element to give the bag some interest, besides also being a possible opening to conversations with the boys in class. Our mother has an embroidery company so I was thinking of asking her to embroider a design on that flap that covers the front. I wish someone would digitize a nice design for a good townie with fenders and baskets. What about a road bike embroidered in pink or butter yellow where this one is red? There's a mountain bike too. Yes, I am hoping she meets someone who likes bikes.
Internet world - what would be something cute on the backpack that would invite opportunities to chat?