Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Pannier Update

By far, the most widely read and commented upon post in the history of this blog is one in which I fretted about the choice between pannier bags and a messenger bag to tote things to work when I ride my bike. I have often been asked what I decided to do.

The answer is that I did nothing for a long time. I continued to depend on my small but very efficient Topeak RX trunk bag and quick release seat post rack. I was certain I did not want to carry anything on my back. I also resisted putting a more permanent rack on my otherwise zen like flat-bar road bike. That left me in a bind and often created circumstances where I could not ride to work because I had too much to carry.

I finally caved in and put a rack on my bike. It is, after all, now used mostly for commuting and local errands. With a rack, I was able to move up to a Topeak MTX Trunkbag EXP. So far, it has worked out great. I now have enough room to avoid having to stockpile clothes in the office, I can pack a lunch, and still fit a work file and necessary bike tools and suppliers in the bag. So, I am happy. For the future, there is a laptop bag that fits the rack, although not while the trunk bag is in place. I do think I need to get the rain cover, though.

One problem has occurred. Now that I do not leave clothes in the office, packing is much more important. Recently, I arrived at the office and discovered that I had no work shirt. After a bit of debating whether to run to some store and buy a shirt, I spent the whole day in my office in a red cycling shirt and khaki pants. I looked like I worked in the bike department at a Target store.

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