Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bikes and bags

Oh boy! This is a VERY old post, something I wrote some time last summer and forgot at the bottom of the pile. Well here it is...


Finding a way to elegantly carry our stuff around is every urban's cyclist worst nightmare.
Once past the initial fumbling with the bicycle's setup and options, one soon realises that some sort of device is needed to carry our loads. Regular lady's purses are fine when small, but past a certain size, they flap around or keep sliding to the front, threatening your balance on top of being plain annoying.

Yet, a quick look at what bike shops feature will have fast convinced anyone that such accessories are really for dorks (and yes, these are all mine!):

- Ugly panniers (Voyager)

Hideous trunk bags (Louis Garneau)

Ok, honestly, they're not that bad, proof is, I purchased them. Just not appropriate for urban cycling. Once you're off the bike, they do not have any elegant contraption allowing you to carry them around that is not uncomfortable or awkward.

Fast forward a few years and I come across this one (Axiom):

Its base is sturdy, made of some sort of rubber, and it does have a strap so you can carry it on your shoulder. However, it's kind of heavy, it attaches with a hooking system that's pretty basic, it will hang sadly at your bike's side and will flap once you pick up speed or hit a curve. Perfect for going to the market, doing the groceries and running errands.
Nicer, but still not "it".

Finally, on day,  in a fit of rebellion over the lack of choice, I decided to embark on a Graal quest for an appropriate bicycle bag.


  1. I bought flowery Dutch bags - for 10 euros at a general-goods shop, Blokker - last time I was in Amsterdam. Probably because they are flowery and "girly", they were never stolen when new, and now they are a bit bedraggled so I no longer fear their theft. They live on the bicycle and are never taken off. They are made of a kind of fabric-reinforced plastic, a bit like eco-shopping bags, but a heavier guage and stronger, and are of course waterproof (necessary in rainy Amsterdam).

    As for Montréal, one can find more urbane cycle bags at La Maison des cyclistes on Rachel (intersection with Brébeuf cycle path). Of course they are a lot pricier than my cheapo Dutch bags. I've also seen nice ones at a retro-style bicycle shop on Mont-Royal West, across from Jeanne-Mance Park. Dumoulin on Jean-Talon might also have some options.


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