15 August 2008

A peek inside my bag

contents of my bike bag
Here is my bike bag. Made by Carradice, it's a purpose-built bike bag. So shoot me. It's extremely practical, and extraordinarily well thought-out. It's not the most beautiful bag I own but its virtues are such that I love it.

In it I carry too many things:
  • U lock
  • plastic shopping bag - to cover my Brooks saddle if it's wet, or I'm parking in a suspect locale
  • tire pump
  • set of Alan wrenches - I think I'll stop carrying these, since this bike doesn't use them
  • small screwdriver - I think I'll stop carrying this
  • tire irons
  • tire gauge
  • spare 27" Schrader tube
  • adjustable wrench
  • Brooks wrench - I definitely will stop carrying this
  • bungee cord - I used to have two of these...
  • lock de-icer for my home bike shed - this might be stored 'till winter!
  • headlight - clips onto the bike
  • Sam Browne belt - my husband bought this from RUSA for Paris-Brest-Paris. It's the dorkiest thing anywhere, but I wear it gladly late on Friday night in any inclement conditions. I just think about how happy I was that he made it through that tough ride and got safely home to me
  • reflective gloves - my sister gave me these for Christmas to improve my visibility

Not pictured, because I forgot to replenish them: latex gloves, at least one pair, maybe two, for use when handling greasy bike bits. They're great to toss and go.

I have all this and still room to haul home groceries, or whatever needs hauling each day.

Stay tuned for guest bag posts...


Tom said...

charlotte- you really should carry an extra tube- or at least a patch kit.

Charlotte said...

Oh, duh, see that behind the tire irons?
Extra tube. I forgot to include it.

This entire entry was posted late because it's been a hell of a week this week. Sorry, I'll correct the post now.

Shannon said...

Hi Charlotte -
If you like your reflective gloves, could you post the brand? As someone who just started bike commuting this year, I'm interested to hear how you manage Boston winters. I'm originally from Boston, but I'm living in much warmer climates now. Thanks!

2whls3spds said...

Nice Bag! I love the Carradice bags, own several of them. Looks like about the same stuff that is carried in mine. Stuff varies by season and bike.


m e l i g r o s a said...

so awesome you carry tools. I never take my allen tools or leatherman out of my purse even, comes in handy at all times.
That safety belt is rad! I'm buying one from this weird website that has it in blue, and they have them in many colo.s They are indeed needed during late nite rides

Denny, Alaska said...

Charlotte, I include a Power Bar (yuck, but long shelf life) for that time when I may be far from home and decide for no good reason to "bonk." I usually swap it out every six months or so.

Oh, and I always carry a camera!

Tom said...

Ummm.... yep there it is. I was watching your words more than the photo.

Charlotte said...

Meli - I really like the belt because it folds down so small that I can always have it with me.

On the nights that I need it I don't care that it's dorky.

Charlotte said...

Denny, that makes sense. In my sport bicycle bag I do the same. For my city bike I'd rather just stop and get a fresh scone somewhere.

Is there a Powerbar-type thing you particularly like? I wish there were a granola bar-Snickers fusion with the chocolate on the inside so it doesn't melt all over everything. I want more glucose than a granola bar...

Charlotte said...

Hey Shannon,
The gloves are good, not great. They're made by Illuminite.

I like that they have the terry thumbs like all sporting gloves, and they're good and stretchy so I can put them over more wind-proof gloves in the winter. If you don't flash them with a bright light they just look like ordinary black gloves.

The aspect I don't like about them is that they're slippery and my hands slide down my porteur handlebars. If you have straight handlebars this wouldn't be a problem. Let me know if you're interested, I can take more photos or whatever!

Pierre Phaneuf said...

Wow, that's quite a bit of stuff! I only have a tire gauge on my foot pump (I just go on feel when I don't have one handy), and I never carry my tools, spare tube or pump in the city (on a longer ride, we arrange that there's one of each within the group). When I expect to ride in the dark, I plop in my HighLite Combo.

Charlotte said...

I have old rims and new tires. It seems the tires are meant to hook onto the rims, but the rims are not hooked. As such I have to be careful to run at a lower tire pressure than normal. I once had the correct tire pressure and had an explosive flat while I wasn't riding. The bike was in the shed at work and the explosion summoned the fire department. I didn't want to make that mistake again! $2 and on ounce prevents that.

I used to rely on my husband's tools (and keys) on a longer ride, but then we realized I couldn't really be independent, so now I carry basic tools no matter what.

Pierre Phaneuf said...

You've got all 27" wheels and tires? I know that 700c almost fits right, but is a bit off, so maybe you've got a mismatch? Anyway, with old bikes, I'm not that much of an expert, maybe that's the way you'll have to live with it, then! In that case, I suppose that a bunch of tire-related equipment is indeed in order.

Personally, I think I'd try to get that in order, getting newer (not necessarily new!) wheels, at the worst. This sounds rather annoying.

I once had a small tear in the sidewall of my tire, and the tube was kind of "bubbling out". My (fully clawed!) cat found this rather curious, and it blew in her face in an explosive manner. I thought it was a gunshot! The poor cat had to be taken to the vet, and is a lot less curious about the tires now, although she still likes to sleep on the back rack. :-)

Charlotte said...

My husband has promised to build me new wheels, I'm still hoping to get a dynohub for the front wheel, so I haven't gone for it yet. This is not a forever thing, and it's really not a hassle as the stuff is small and light.
I am quite sure that the tires match the rims! I understand that in the olden days (when these rims were new) people just generally ran a lower tire pressure.

Patrick said...

One thing that I always keep on me when I ride are unscented baby wipes. Riding on a hot day can get a little sweaty. The wipes will help keep you clean without smelling weird.

Fuzz2050 said...

Keep the Allen wrench set, and add in a patch kit. Maybe some bandages. And another innertube. Then again I like to be prepared, I get a little obsessive that way.

Charlotte said...

I realized that this bike has no bolts which take the Allen wrenches!

I realized this morning that I forgot to replenish the latex gloves that I usually carry to keep my hands clean when changing a tube. I've got to edit it to add that...