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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-01-05, 12:46 PM   #1
notfred
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What is it that you're carrying around while commuting, anyway?

There's a TON of talk on here about people needing racks and panniers and trailers and every other type of cargo-carrying device ever fitted to a bike, just to ride to work.

What is all this stuff that you guys are carrying around? Personally, when I drive to work, I take my wallet, my keys, my cell phone, and that's about it. When I ride, I also taking a change of clothes, so I don't have to wear cycling clothes all day.

What could you possibly need to move back and forth to work everyday that required a trailer?
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Old 09-01-05, 12:52 PM   #2
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Well, I don't use a trailer, but I do use a rear pannier (one side only) and either a trunk bag or messenger bag. Here's what I usually have with me:

In pannier:
Tool kit, spare tube, pump, etc.
Small first aid kit

In messenger bag:
Laptop computer
a book
change of clothes
cell phone
wallet, keys, badge to get in building, etc.

Very often I have a 40oz of beer in there by the time I get home too.
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Old 09-01-05, 12:52 PM   #3
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i guess the trailers/panniers are for briefcases, lunchbags, clothes and groceries.
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Old 09-01-05, 12:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notfred
There's a TON of talk on here about people needing racks and panniers and trailers and every other type of cargo-carrying device ever fitted to a bike, just to ride to work...

What could you possibly need to move back and forth to work everyday that required a trailer?
Not all commutes are to work, or to work exclusively. My current commute, which I do every day, sometimes twice a day, involves taking my two kids to school and daycare. My weekly average is on the order of 50 miles per week. I'm not sure how I'd do this without the trailer.

When I was commuting during college and grad school I had books, supplies for studio, food for the day, change of clothes, and coffee, always lots of coffee. I used grocery bag panniers, and filled them most days.
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Old 09-01-05, 12:57 PM   #5
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For me its a change of clothes, towel and toiletries to shower at work, all in a Carradice bag with room to spare for occasional books, fruit or snacks. I keep a pair of shoes in my office to wear at work. Spare tube and tools fit in a small wedge pack.
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Old 09-01-05, 01:00 PM   #6
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I carry a shirt, a pair of pants, a change of underwear, electrical tape, duct tape, two tubes, three tire levers, a CO2 cartridge, a Leatherman, A specialized EMT tool, and my lunch. Extra batteries for my lights.

I used to carry my shoes, but I saved alot of room by leaving them at work.
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Old 09-01-05, 01:06 PM   #7
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Backpack:
Sunglasses, when it's dark, or
Clear safety glasses when it's light,
2 Nanners and an apple, or a plastic tub full of grapes,
Cable lock for stops on the way home,
Book for the train,
Small towel, because I'm a hoopy frood, and I know where my towel is at,
Digital camera, just because,
Cell phone,
Pump.

Wedge bag:
Ritchey CPR tool,
Crank Brothers tool,
spare 29er tube,
tire lever,
red blinkie.

Pocket:
Keys
Wallet
Pocketknife
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Old 09-01-05, 01:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoa
Well, I don't use a trailer, but I do use a rear pannier (one side only) and either a trunk bag or messenger bag. Here's what I usually have with me:

In pannier:
Tool kit, spare tube, pump, etc.
Small first aid kit

In messenger bag:
Laptop computer
a book
change of clothes
cell phone
wallet, keys, badge to get in building, etc.

Very often I have a 40oz of beer in there by the time I get home too.
That's why I have the panniers mostly: change of clothes on the way to work / beer or eats on the way home. I love stopping at the grocer on the way home, its always a pain dealing with all that traffic at 5:00 with a car but on a bike its zipp up on the sidewalk to the door, u-lock to the railing, bee-line to the beer aisle and out through the automated checkout, i'm unlocking my bike while someone who came in by car at the same time is still negotiating for a parking spot.

I've also picked up take out for my wife and I on the way home but that's tricky to get in the pannier without spilling (hint: order nothing with sauces, and absolutely no soup).

My own personal feeling: The big advantage of riding a bike to work is its alot easier to put places.
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Old 09-01-05, 01:35 PM   #9
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Wedge Pack (Jandd):
>Spare Tube
>Multi Tool
>Patch Kit
>CO2 Inflator
>2 CO2 Cartridges
>Air Gauge
>Small Crescent Wrench

Pannier (Kirtland): (mounted on left side)
>Rain Jacket
>Wallet
>Cell Phone
>Headlights and Frame Mounted NiMH Battery Pack
>2 Blinky Tail lights
>Gloves
>Krypto Cable (combo) Lock
>Pen
>Quarters
>Wire "zip" Ties
>Clear or Sun Glasses (Night/Day time riding)

I Squeeze in my Lunch somewhere...

I have a Frame Mounted Water Bottle Holder with a Mini Blackburn Pump Attached to it.
(Full Water Bottle of course)
Old Blackburn Rear Rack
Rear Fender is an old Zefal Fender
Front has a Grunge Guard from PlanetBike?
CatEye Astrale 8 on the handlebar.
oh yeah... and a Incredibell

When I know I have to do Errands, I throw on the Right side Pannier as well... Like today after work, am going to the LBS to pick up a NEW Chain, Front Chain Rings with Crank Arms, and a Rear Cassette.

Oh and once in a while I throw in a DayTimer.

The new tires I put on help me gain 2-4 mph Continental Town & Country (Inverted Treads, almost like slicks)

Last edited by Walkafire; 09-01-05 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 09-01-05, 01:57 PM   #10
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My normal daily cargo (still using a backpack but looking at panniers for the touring bike)
  • International relations
    Comparative political systems
    Colonial and Revolutionary America books (3 different ones)
    Con Law I book
    3 legal binders
    1 5 subject notebook
    change of socks
    pants
    sandals
    underwear
    2 t-shirts
    1 rain coat
    laptop
    lights
    2 co2 carts
    2 inner tubes
    patch kit
    first aid kit
    cell phone
    wallet
    keys

On days where I can drop off my college stuff before sprinting the other direction 10 miles via bike I only carry:
  • pants
    sandals
    shirt
    underclothes
    lights
    2 co2 carts
    2 inner tubes
    patch kit
    first aid kit
    cell phone
    wallet
    keys

On days when I'm off and have no school and have the luxury of not having at least 3 legal briefs, an abstract or 2 journal entries to work on (normally 2-3 pages each) I ride with only my camelback and wallet/keys/cell inside the pocket (classic)
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Old 09-01-05, 02:08 PM   #11
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For me it's a bum pack with wallet, keys etc, patch kit, tools etc and food. Once a week its the bum pack plus a week's worth of clothes on the rear rack. Can't understand the other stuff everyone seems to be packing all the time.
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Old 09-01-05, 02:10 PM   #12
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Let's see...
wallet/keys/badge/token card/phone/PDA
Clothing (shirt/pants/undies/socks/towel) and toiletries (small)
Jacket (yeah, the rainy season went on forever this year, so I left it in there)
U-Lock
Cargo net for the top of the rack
mp3 player and wall adapter
Sometimes I need an extra pair of shoes, sometimes I'm carrying groceries, sometimes I carry lunch or a laptop or books... you know... "stuff"

In the wedge bag goes the usual repair hardware.

One time I carried a gas can to/from a gas station for a gardener with a dead truck.

Sure, it could all go into a backpack, but I'd rather have it on the bike instead.
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Old 09-01-05, 02:12 PM   #13
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Just a change of clothes and my lunch, but, I gotta admit, my lunch can be pretty big sometimes. Snacks, too.
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Old 09-01-05, 02:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notfred
There's a TON of talk on here about people needing racks and panniers and trailers and every other type of cargo-carrying device ever fitted to a bike, just to ride to work.

What is all this stuff that you guys are carrying around? Personally, when I drive to work, I take my wallet, my keys, my cell phone, and that's about it. When I ride, I also taking a change of clothes, so I don't have to wear cycling clothes all day.

What could you possibly need to move back and forth to work everyday that required a trailer?
In my panniers are my clothes, my towel and my shower kit. I also carry the same stuff as you: "my wallet, my keys, my cell phone." Plus a jacket in case the weather changes from morning to evening. So I really have the exact same stuff you would have during a drive: Work clothes and daily gear.

Now my commuting bike is different from my other bike. My commuting bike has lots of lighting, thus batteries. I also carry extra water.

Why one would need a trailer is beyond me, unless they are taking in several days worth of clothing or transporting computor etc...
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Old 09-01-05, 02:17 PM   #15
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Change of clothes, lunch, standard flat repair stuff, rain gear. Sometimes my laptop too if I've needed to take it home for the night/weekend. For 12 miles each way, even just the weight of clothes, rain gear and lunch on my back gets annoying, hence the panniers. Also gives me the space to be able to stop and grab a few things at the shops on the way home.

Shoes, belt & deodorant stay at the office.
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Old 09-01-05, 02:20 PM   #16
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I carry only my laptop, a shirt, and some underwear and socks, in a Chrome messenger bag. I absolutely despise carrying shoes, so I leave some pants and shoes in my office. My saddle bag contains all the normal cycling necessities like spare tubes, CO2, etc.

- Warren
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Old 09-01-05, 02:35 PM   #17
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i carry everything on my bike. we don't have assigned cubicles at work so you really never know if you're going to be sitting at the same desk the next day.

i carry:
clothes in one pannier
shoes in the other pannier
backpack strapped to the top of the rack with my laptop and papers
camelback with water and tools
bag of wet wipes
deoderant

all in all, its about 45 lbs of stuff but i really fly down the road when its just me and my bike
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Old 09-01-05, 02:45 PM   #18
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Permanently mounted on the bike:
Pump
Seat bag with enough tools to fix a flat, tighten a bolt, etc.
Headlight, tail light, battery
Classic milk crate, for grocery pickup on the way home

In a backpack (possibly messenger bag in the future):
Covered clipboard with various documents I might take to/from work
Lunch
Shirt and pants to put on at work (in summer I ride in shorts and Tshirt)
Rain jacket, rain pants, rain gloves, waterproof cover for backpack
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Old 09-01-05, 02:55 PM   #19
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under seat - tools etc

messenger bag or trunk - clothes (pants/shoes stay in my office), book, mp3 player and book for light rail ride, sunglasses (leave for work at 445 AM) misc other items depending on what I have going on, wallet, phone, garage door opener

(note - when i drive i still take my messenger bag with all the same stuff)
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Old 09-01-05, 03:15 PM   #20
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Sporting my new rear pannier baskets, (my kids call them granny baskets).

Most days it's nothing more than my change of clothes, tool kit, extra batteries, extra water bottle, travel mug of coffee and my man-purse.
On the days my wife calls and says, "Can you pick up such and such from the store?" I've still got room for milk and eggs in there.
I play soccer in a Friday night, adult league. I head to my games straight from work, so I have to bring my goalie kit and shoes with me.
Some nights I go geocaching which can involve a lot of bushwhacking through greenbriar and poison ivy. Those nights I've got my hiking boots, trail gaiters, headlamp, snake hook and sometimes an ammo can.

So there are lots of uses for most any bike mounted container.
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Old 09-01-05, 03:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steev
For me it's a bum pack with wallet, keys etc, patch kit, tools etc and food. Once a week its the bum pack plus a week's worth of clothes on the rear rack. Can't understand the other stuff everyone seems to be packing all the time.
What don't you understand?

I work 14 hour shifts... I have to be ready for all types of weather, Colorado's weather changes sooooo fast. This Winter I will wear more in the mornings and put it in the Panniers on the rides home in the evenings. Gotta have the lights!

I basically need everything I carry to get me from Point A to Point B and back... I haven't drove my vehicle since mid June.

What the heck is a Bum Pack?

Last edited by Walkafire; 09-01-05 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-01-05, 03:37 PM   #22
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Besides my usual bike tools, I carry enough change for the register and some replenishment goods and supplies, enough to fill my large seat bag (on a fixed gear), messer bag, and/or panniers (commuter bike).

Last edited by roadfix; 09-01-05 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 09-01-05, 03:54 PM   #23
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I generally carry a small tool kit with enough to fix a flat in it.

In my back pack, I carry, folders with kids' assignments, shirt, wallet, make-up, spare tube, water (although, I'm digging the beer idea), PDA, ipod (don't listen to it while riding), brush, and cell phone.

At work I keep deodorant, powder, and shoes.

How do you attach a milk crate to a rack? I'm not being a smarta** I seriously want to know. I like that idea.

N2C
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Old 09-01-05, 04:21 PM   #24
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Backpack bungeed to the rack:

Patch kit
Wallet
Clothes
Textbooks
Shoes
Jacket (if weather requires)
Spoon
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Old 09-01-05, 04:23 PM   #25
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Pannier 1: 2 liter water bottles, lunch container, untensils, books, writing tablet
Pannier 2: Pants, shirt, underwear, sock, belt, towel
Outside Pocket 1: tire change kit, Allen wrench, lock and chain
Outside Pocket 2: wallet, cell, keys, pens
Messenger Bag: Laptop

I subtract what isn't necessary, and have room to stash stuff I might acquire during the day.
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