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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 10-31-08, 05:26 PM   #1
ncscott
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What do you pack

This is out of curiosity. I just read another post about needing more space than a large trunk bag and did not want to hijack the thread.
I can fit everything in my trunk bag (homemade). I bring a soft lunch box, my scrubs rolled up, and various small accessories (lights, rain cover, extra warm accessories). I can pack shoes, but usually leave then at work. Lock get left at work too.
Just what are people brining that requires two panniers?
Scott
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Old 10-31-08, 05:54 PM   #2
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Laptop computer at times. I bring clean clothes in at the beginning of the week and the dirty at the end. I have a lot of reference material that I need for my job and if I'm working form home I need to lug it back and forth.
And it's nice to have the panniers for week-end errands.

My rack pack has my spare tube, multi-tool, lock, glasses, batteries, rain gear, extra gloves.
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Old 10-31-08, 07:37 PM   #3
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I wear an old LL Bean Backpack I've had since I was... Oh, 14 or 15. Inside are all my tools, my pump, my phone, my clothes, my water bladder, the various little trinkets I wear. Used to have my laptop too.

I need to look into panniers.
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Old 11-01-08, 12:31 PM   #4
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I currently use a simple backpack, keeps the back warm during winter

What I take that could obviously also be stuffed in panniers:

* Dress shirt (+ tie if needed)
* Clean socks
* Clean underwear
* Clean towel
* USB harddrive with music (for at the job) and of course the cycling stats
* Watch
* Apple, 4 sandwiches packed in plastic bags, slice of cake
* Rainjacket
* Hand moisturizer
* Paper hankies
* Wallet

However, I ride 3 days a week, the clothing I usually bring on the non-cycling days, so I don't have to bring those along in the bag pack. The back pack is usually filled for about 30% with all the other stuff I 'need' at work.
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Old 11-01-08, 12:47 PM   #5
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Just what are people brining that requires two panniers?
I think most people who post on these forums are probably overpacking, but what's overpacking for one is the basics for another. A lot depends on what you have to wear and what gear you have to have in the workplace, and whether there's a viable option to leave it in your workplace vs. lugging it in every day. Another big factor is how self-reliant you need to be on the road: for some commuters, if it breaks, they really have no good or safe option but to fix it right then and there. The key to packing is to understand the difference between, "might really need it in a realistic scenario," "could conceivably use it in some far-fetched scenario," and "don't really need it but would like to have it".
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Old 11-01-08, 01:37 PM   #6
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\
Just what are people brining that requires two panniers?
Scott
Flares....
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Old 11-01-08, 01:54 PM   #7
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Work ID/security card, a thumb drive, sunglasses, spare tube, tire levers, cheap multitool, phone, camera, credit card, PB&J sandwich for breakfast, container of leftovers for lunch. Every 2 weeks or so I'll bring a pair of jeans and 4 or 5 shirts to trade out what I've been wearing for a while. A new towel about as often.
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Old 11-01-08, 01:55 PM   #8
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Well, I commute to school, so there's that.
Normally my bag just has the tool bag and personal items in it, and clothing if necessary.
In short, I've got school supplies, tools, clothing, and personal items.

*Break it down*

School supplies
2 200pg notebooks
misc papers
calculator
folders
sometimes binders
sometimes textbooks, but I leave them there most of the time
pens, pencils
*all this goes in a plastic shopping bag

Clothing

*mostly stuff I wore on the ride but it goes in a drawer at school so I only put it in the bag if the temperature has risen since the cold morning
fleece jacket
hat
gloves
bandanna
clipless shoes (I have chucks that I change into at school)
rain jacket when necessary

Tools
*I have all this in a tool pouch my best friend's mom made for me
patch kit
spare tube
emergency poncho
crescent wrench
multi-tool
PB Superflash (when not clipped into backpack)
Fenix L2D-CE (when not on bike)
computer (when not on bike)
plastic grocery bag to cover seat
Topeak Road Morph G

Personal
iPod
headphones
book I'm reading
Bible
Moleskine
cellular device


My u-lock goes in the pocket in my backpack, which is a Banjo Brothers Medium Commuter.
all of the above goes in the backpack. And there's plenty of room to spare unless I have textbooks and binders.
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Old 11-01-08, 01:59 PM   #9
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Dress shirt
Tie
Suit pants
belt
2 micro-fiber wash cloths
1 camp towel
8 oz spray bottle with water/alcohol/witch hazel shower mix
1 piece of fruit
Undershirt
Underwear
Socks
1 tire tube
1 multi-tool
Keys/credit cards/id/cell phone/emergency bus coupons
Lately, 1 pair of Rain pants
1 waterproof baseball hat
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Old 11-01-08, 02:06 PM   #10
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Just what are people brining that requires two panniers?Scott


For me, it's not the bringing. I use my roll-down panniers frequently to get groceries on the way home, or, if there is good football on tv, to unload the trunk bag to make room for a six-pack.
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Old 11-01-08, 02:07 PM   #11
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Just what are people brining that requires two panniers?
Scott
Groceries. That's the only time I'm carting a 2 pannier load; on the way home from the grocery store.
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Old 11-01-08, 02:12 PM   #12
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spare tube, multitool, CO2 cartridge and the most important is either Pearl izumi Optik vest or REI's Novara Stowable Bike Jacket (at a great price right now - $29.83)

On my 22 mile commute I am always only mile or two from a warm place were someone can pick me up if needed tho
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Old 11-01-08, 02:15 PM   #13
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At a minimum I can fit all my essentials in a small rock climbing bag and with that I can fix damn near anything, call for help, stay fed and hydrated, and have my weather gear.
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Old 11-01-08, 04:59 PM   #14
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Part of the problem for me is that I can have 2-3 layers, plus work shirt, tools etc in there. Usually, the layers are in the bag on the way home, but sometimes on the way in. Calgary weather can do whatever it feels like at any time of the year.

Edit: I can usually still fit a couple days groceries in/on.
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Old 11-01-08, 05:02 PM   #15
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I stuff everything in a backpack. I've never seen panniers on the bicycles at the racks I frequent. As for what I carry in the pack? Usually notebooks, folders, and a few books. Now and then I take the laptop. It's allegedly only five pounds, but it feels like so much more.
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Old 11-01-08, 05:23 PM   #16
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so glad this wasn't another thread about what kind of firearm people carry on their bike.

my every day bag has a spare small head light, blinkie, spare tube, tool kit (multi-tool with allen keys and chain tool, tire levers, spoke wrenches). During the winter and in inclement weather I have my rain jacket, pants, shoe covers and gloves. I sometimes have books and work related material that I carry, which can occasionally be substantial but normally is not much stuff.

Naturally I have my NYC Krypto lock and cable plus my pump.
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Old 11-01-08, 05:27 PM   #17
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^ Oh yeah, my Ulock and P7 are also always in the backpack, as well as 2-3 different pairs of gloves.
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Old 11-01-08, 06:49 PM   #18
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Just what are people brining that requires two panniers?
In the morning, my clothes and lunch are in the left pannier. In the afternoon, the winter riding clothes that I don't need in the afternoon get added to the left pannier. The laptop and rain gear are in the right one. Panniers are not usually full, but I certainly need more than will fit in a trunk rack.
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Old 11-01-08, 07:38 PM   #19
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I stuff everything in a backpack. I've never seen panniers on the bicycles at the racks I frequent. As for what I carry in the pack? Usually notebooks, folders, and a few books. Now and then I take the laptop. It's allegedly only five pounds, but it feels like so much more.
Well, obviously you'd remove the panniers rather than to leave them out to be stolen........

Mostly clothes. This time of year my ride in is in the 20's, ride home in the 60's. So I've got a jacket and an extra layer or two, tights or jogging pants, toe covers, hat, gloves and clear classes all of which need to be carried as I'd die from the heat riding home otherwise.

Then there's leftovers in tupperwear and I do a combo thing so I bring a book and a magazine or three for reading in he train. And various other things as people have mentioned. Tube 9all my patches and tools go under my seat, Clif bars, iPod, PalmPilot, change, notebook, a little camera, etc. etc.

Basically 1 pannier in the summer, two the rest of the year. Like kk4df said, they're not full but certainly WAY more than would fit in a little trunk bag.

Chris

edit: oh, and of course an AK-47 in case I get brushed or looked ay wrong......
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Old 11-01-08, 07:49 PM   #20
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i've wanted to make this list for awhile now... here goes:

== bike ==
kona smoke 2-9 (2008.5)
topeak explorer rack with mtx trunk
helmet
take-a-look mirror
gloves/clothes/shoes (diff. with wx)
oh, and me

== bike security ==
kryptonite u-lock
kryptonite 4 foot cable (front tire)


== light ==
dorcey 120 lumen LED with home-made mount
planet bike beamer 1 (backup... very weak backup.)
planet bike super flash
planet bike blinky
bag of extra batteries 7 aaa 4 aa
slow moving vehicle reflector


== food ==
two hammer gel packs
one granola bar
one clif bar
one lego gummies (my son's. well, mine now)
pack of chewing gum


== aid ==
coghlans trek I first aid kit
- instant guide to first aid
- one cohesive gauze 1x 10 yds.
- four gauze pads 3x 3, 2 butterfly closures
- six fabric bandages 1x 3
- one knuckle fabric bandage
- two povidone-iodine pads
- three antiseptic towelettes
- one needle
- one moleskin 2x3
- five mini-strips
red cross CPR kit
- two sets of gloves
- three antiseptic towelettes
- cpr mask
emergency space blanket
aspirin (key-chain container)
travel pack of tissues
pocket mirror
lip balm
medic tape
glow stick


== mech. ==
spare tube
park tools patch kit
leatherman juice multi-tool kf4
three hex 4/5/6
three park tire levers
three co2 cartridges (16g)
innovations air chuck mini inflator
planet bike peace pipe (backup air)
two bungie cords 36"
tire pressure gauge


== vision ==
clear safety glasses
sun glasses
cat crap
micro fiber cloth
spare glasses (prescription - in case)


== change ==
work shirt
socks
surefire E2D flash-light
benchmade pocket knife 10200 ambush pardue (love this knife)
peper-spray (always ready)
keys (house/bike lock/mail)


== misc. ==
digital camera (old pns 5mg pix)
cell phone
various maps
ink pen
sticky notes
business cards
$16.50 cash (16 coin dollars 2 quarters)
$20 bus pass
two plastic bags (target - nice reusable bags)
two handkerchiefs

panniers are seven-eights empty. 'love the trunk!

i use the right pannier for clothes and kryptonite cable.
the left for the plastic target bags (it's zipped up)


i'm sure i've missed something ... and i'm positive i weigh in at just under a ton.

the panniers come in handy when picking up grocery, and beer runs.

Last edited by 777arty; 11-01-08 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:37 PM   #21
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I think I was the one that made the remark that inspired this thread. When I first started commuting on my bike, I got a trunk bag. It is enough most of the time. I typically pack a change of clothes (not including shoes), personal stuff (wallet, badge, phone, keys), bike lock and a lunch. No problem for the trunk bag. If I need to I can attach the pants to the top of the bag with the built-in bungee cords.

However, as the weather gets colder/wetter, and I'm riding to work before light, add in reflective fredvest, maybe even rain gear, extra layers of clothes to keep warm, gloves, etc. I wear them to work but usually dress much more lightly for the return trip so all that stuff has to get packed on the bike. Usually, a single pannier does the trick; it holds a lot more than my trunk bag, and they are built to be more expandable than a trunk bag is. But since I have a pair, I use one side for clothes & bike lock and the other for lunch/personal stuff. Also, if I have to take anything extra, it's easy-peasy with panniers, but next to impossible with the trunk bag.

I prefer the panniers, not only because they hold more, but because they sit lower. The bike feels better ballanced. Also, the blinkie I have that I clip onto the trunk bag, well the loop on the trunk bag allows the light to sag down and not point straight back. If I use panniers I can attach the blinkie to my saddle bag where it sits in a straighter position (that is not visible if I use my trunk bag).

So there ya go. Probably more than you wanted to know.
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Old 11-01-08, 10:04 PM   #22
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Just what are people brining that requires two panniers?
If I need two panniers, it's usually to carry lots of extra winter clothing so I can change into something dry when necessary, change my layers to adapt to conditions, and/or avoid going hypothermic if I have a breakdown. Hauling home a week's worth of dirty laundry could also fill two panniers. In the winter, one item I always carry is a rolled-up super-duty contractor-sized garbage bag to serve as an impromptu winter shelter, if it comes to that.

On long winter rides, I also like to take a full Thermos of piping-hot coffee... it's amusing to stop in a snowstorm in the dark on a smaller 2-lane highway, sit down on a guardrail, and bust out your coffee and sandwich. The cars slow down... maybe he needs help... looking... looking... OMG HE'S SIPPING HOT COFFEE AND EATING A SANDWICH! *car accelerates away from crazy bike dude*


I like my commutes challenging!

At the moment, I'm managing with one pannier and a mid-sized trunk bag, however. No snow here yet.

Quote:
I prefer the panniers, not only because they hold more, but because they sit lower. The bike feels better ballanced.
I'll second that, especially on front lowrider racks. In snow, it seems like they stabilize the front wheel against getting kicked around by ruts, etc.

Last edited by mechBgon; 11-01-08 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 10:16 PM   #23
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I have to carry a buttload of art supplies this quarter cause I'm taking a 2-D design class (for a video production major...)

here's what I have to pack for a typical school day:
- bristol board
- tracing paper
- two plastic bags full of various small art supplies (eraser, pencils, micron pen, india ink, pallette, paintbrushes, etc.)
- notebook
- sketchbook
- frame pump
- spare tube
- tire levers
- multi-tool
- public speaking textbook (yes I'm taking a public speaking class for a video production major too... prerequisites...)
- LED armband (now that it's getting dark early)
- USB thumb drive (in pants pocket)
- keys, proxy card, wallet, cell phone (in pants pockets)
- water bottle (in bottle cage)

for future semesters, same thing minus the bristol board/sketchbook/tracing paper/bags of art supplies, and plus a 200GB external HD since I'll be taking actual video production courses soon.

Last edited by o-dog; 11-01-08 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 11:14 PM   #24
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I have to eat large amounts of fruits and veggies.
My food for the entire day can take up a bit of space. However, as of late I have been able to cram it all into one pannier. That will change as things cool off again.
Also, the medical supplies I was carrying back and forth to work for a couple months took up quite a bit of space.
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Old 11-02-08, 08:01 AM   #25
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Actually, ncscott, if I coulda bought a single pannier, I probably would have. But since I have two, I spread the load between them.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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