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  1. #1
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Touring with bananas

    I would like to eat bananas when I tour--buy some at a store and then eat them much later in the day for energy.

    The problem I have is how to carry the bananas without bruising them so badly that they are all black or have lots of soft, mushy parts, neither of which I want.

    I've tried carrying them in the pockets of my biking jerseys but they seemed to get bruised there too. This would certainly happen after several hours.

    What do you do?

    Ray

  2. #2
    Senior Member mudmouse's Avatar
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    The other day while poking around at Wallingford's website, looking at saddles, I stumbled across these:

    http://www.wallbike.com/oddsnends/bananaguard.html

    I don't have a clue if they work, but what fun colors!

    kari
    Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth.
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    Cyclepathology

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    That's what your handlebar bag is for .... bananas and eggs. The fragile foods.

  4. #4
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    I though that's what banana seats are for.

  5. #5
    Senior Member eibeinaka's Avatar
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    I have a couple of bananaguards. They work for most bananas. Maybe one in a hundred is too straight or too bendy to fit.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudmouse
    The other day while poking around at Wallingford's website, looking at saddles, I stumbled across these:

    http://www.wallbike.com/oddsnends/bananaguard.html

    I don't have a clue if they work, but what fun colors!

    kari
    I've got two banana guards (red & yellow), they work great. Plan on some funny looks and smart-ass remarks when your friends first see them, though.

    The only drawback that I can see is that more than one or two of them could start to get expensive, and all those empty banana guards could eat up a fair bit of space in your panniers if you plan on buying bunches of bananas at a time. If you're just going to buy one or two at a time though, a couple of banana guards would be great to bring on a tour.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
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    I'm with Machka, the handlebar bag is good for a few (<3) For a bunch, get them in a paper sack, closed good and put on top of rear rack or pannier. Lay your bungie across the stem area. The bag appears to protect it from the sun which makes them ripen faster.
    Best, John

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    That's what your handlebar bag is for .... bananas and eggs. The fragile foods.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcbryan
    The bag appears to protect it from the sun which makes them ripen faster.
    Best, John
    Actually the bag traps ethylene gas and speeds up the ripening. The gas occurs naturally or can be applied to under-ripened fruit by the producer just before shipment. I always take fruits and veggies out of the bag once I get home unless I'm trying to speed up the ripening of say avocados. A mesh 'onion' bag may be the best way to transport fruit on the bike to prevent the gas ripening effect.

  9. #9
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDave
    A mesh 'onion' bag may be the best way to transport fruit on the bike to prevent the gas ripening effect.
    Or like this:




  10. #10
    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo

    What do you do?

    Ray
    i keep a banana in my pants at all times.
    Compatibility:

    Your exact opposite is the Televangelist.

    Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Capitalist Pig, the Smartass, and the Sociopath.

  11. #11
    Member Zommaz's Avatar
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    I find the soft mushy parts of a banana quite tasty; it's like the flavor really comes out and it's easier to digest, too.

  12. #12
    Macro Geek
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    When carrying a few bananas, I scrunch up a plastic grocery bag and wrap each banana loosely. That gives a lot of protection. Then I keep the bananas at the top of a pannier.

  13. #13
    Senior Member skinny's Avatar
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    Pack them in sand.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eibeinaka
    I have a couple of bananaguards. They work for most bananas. Maybe one in a hundred is too straight or too bendy to fit.
    In Europe we dont suffer from abnormal curvature in our bananas, they must all comply with European regulations specifying min and max radius.



    COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 2257/94

    LAYING DOWN QUALITY STANDARDS FOR BANANAS

    Article 1

    The quality standards applicable to bananas falling within CN code ex 0803, excluding plantains, fig bananas and bananas intended for processing, are laid down in Annex I hereto.

    These standards shall apply to bananas originating in third countries at the stage of release for free circulation, to bananas originating in the Community at the stage of first landing at a Community port, and to bananas delivered fresh to the consumer in the producing region at the stage of leaving the packing shed.

    Article 2

    The standards laid down in Article 1 shall not affect the application, at later stages of marketing, of national rules which:

    - do not impede the free circulation of bananas originating in third countries or other regions of the Community and complying with the standards laid down in this Regulation; and

    - are not incompatible with the standards laid down in this Regulation.

    Article 3

    This Regulation shall enter into force on 1 January 1995.

    REGULATION 2257/94 ANNEX I AMENDED BY REGULATION 386/97

    I. DEFINITION OF PRODUCE

    This standard applies to bananas of the varieties (cultivars) of Musa (AAA) spp, Cavendish and Gros Michel subgroups, referred to in Annex II, for supply fresh to the consumer after preparation and packaging. Plantains, bananas intended for industrial processing and fig bananas are not covered.

    II. QUALITY

    This standard defines the quality requirements to be met by unripened green bananas after preparation and packaging.

    A Minimum requirements

    In all classes, subject to the special provisions for each class and the tolerances allowed, the bananas must be:

    - green and unripened

    - intact

    - firm

    - sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded

    - clean, practically free from visible foreign matter

    - practically free from pests

    - practically free from damage caused by pests

    - with the stalk intact, without bending, fungal damage or dessication

    - with pistils removed

    - free from malformation or abnormal curvature of the fingers

    - practically free from bruises

    - practically free from damage due to low temperatures

    - free from abnormal external moisture

    - free from any foreign smell and/or taste

    In addition, hands and clusters (parts of hands) must include:

    - a sufficient portion of crown of normal colouring, sound and free from fungal contamination

    - a cleanly cut crown, not bevelled or torn, with no stalk fragments

    The physical development and ripeness of the bananas must be such as to enable them to:

    - withstand transport and handling

    - arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination in order to attain an appropriate degree of maturity after ripening

    B Classification

    Bananas are classified into the three classes defined below:

    (i) 'Extra' class

    Bananas in this class must be of superior quality. They must have the characteristics typical of the variety and/or commercial type.

    The fingers must be free from defects, apart from slight superficial blemishes not covering a total of more than 1cm² of the surface of the finger, which must not impair the general appearance of the hand or cluster, its quality, its keeping quality or the presentation of the package.

    (ii) Class I

    Bananas in this class must be of good quality. They must display the characteristics typical of the variety and/or commercial type.

    However, the following slight defects of the fingers are allowed, provided they do not impair the general appearance of each hand or cluster, its quality, its keeping quality or the presentation of the package:

    - slight defects in shape

    - slight skin defects due to rubbing and other slight superficial blemishes not covering a total of more than 2cm² of the surface of the finger

    Under no circumstances may such slight defects affect the flesh of the fruit.

    (iii) Class II

    This class covers bananas which do not qualify for inclusion in the higher classes but satisfy the minimum requirements specified above.

    The following defects of the fingers are allowed, provided the bananas retain their essential characteristics as regards quality, keeping quality and presentation:

    - defects of shape

    - skin defects due to scraping, rubbing or other causes, provided that the total area affected does not cover more than 4cm² of the surface of the finger.

    Under no circumstances may the defects affect the flesh of the fruit.

    III. SIZING

    Sizing is determined by:

    - the length of the fruit expressed in centimetres and measured along the convex face, from the blossom end to the point where the peduncle joins the crown,

    - the grade, i.e. the measurement, in millimetres, of the thickness of a transverse section of the fruit between the lateral faces and the middle, perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis

    The reference fruit for measurement of the length and grade is:

    - the median finger on the outer row of the hand

    - the finger next to the cut sectioning the hand, on the outer row of the cluster.

    The minimum length permitted is 14cm and the minimum grade permitted is 27mm.



    As an exception to the last paragraph, bananas produced in Madeira, the Azores, the Algarve, Crete and Lakonia which are less than 14cm in length may be marketed in the Community but must be classified in Class II.

    IV. TOLERANCES

    Tolerances in respect of quality and size shall be allowed within each package in respect of produce not satisfying the requirements of the class indicated.

    A Quality tolerances

    (i) 'Extra' class

    5% by number or weight of bananas not satisfying the requirements for the 'Extra' Class but meeting those for Class I, or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances for that class.

    (ii) Class I

    10% by number or weight of bananas not satisfying the requirements of Class I but meeting those for Class II, or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances for that class.

    (iii) Class II

    10% by number or weight of bananas satisfying neither the requirements for Class II nor the minimum requirements, with the exception of produce affected by rotting or any other deterioration rendering it unfit for consumption.

    B Size tolerances

    For all classes, 10% by number of bananas not satisfying the sizing characteristics, up to a limit of 1cm for the minimum length of 14cm.

    V. PRESENTATION

    A Uniformity

    The contents of each package must be uniform and consist exclusively of bananas of the same origin, variety and/or commercial type, and quality.

    The visible part of the contents of each package must be representative of the

    entire contents.



    B Packaging

    The bananas must be packed in such a way as to protect the produce properly.

    The materials used inside the package must be new, clean and of a nature such as to avoid causing any external or internal deterioration of the produce. The use of materials such as, in particular, wrapping papers or adhesive labels bearing commercial indications is allowed provided that the printing and labelling is done with a non-toxic ink or glue.

    Packages must be free from any foreign matter.

    C Presentation

    The bananas must be presented in hands or clusters (parts of hands) of at least four fingers.

    Clusters with not more than two missing fingers are allowed, provided that the stalk is not torn but cleanly cut, without damage to the neighbouring fingers.

    Not more than one cluster of three fingers with the same characteristics as the other fruit in the package may be present per row.

    In the producing regions, bananas may be marketed by the stem.

    VI. MARKING

    Each package must bear the following particulars in writing, all on the same side, legibly and indelibly marked and visible from the outside:

    A Identification

    Packer ** Name and address or officially issued and/or ** or recognised conventional mark dispatcher **

    B Nature of produce

    - the word 'Bananas' where the contents are not visible from the outside

    - the name of the variety or commercial type.

    C Origin of the product

    - country of origin and, in case of Community produce:

    - production area

    - (optionally) national, regional or local name

    D Commercial specifications

    - Class

    - net weight

    - size, expressed as minimum length and, optionally, as maximum length

    E Official control mark (optional)

  15. #15
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    Raybo,
    I have the same problem so I just buy two at a time and carry them on top of my rack bag. They still get bruised and only last a day so I try to buy some new ones each day.
    Suntree, Fl.
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  16. #16
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    I keep mine in the rear pockets of my shirt. Only problem is when you fall..cause you get squishy bananna all in your shirt. Doesn't come out easily until you wash it. Oh well..if you like the smell of bananna's it's not a big deal.

  17. #17
    Sloth Box
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDave
    Actually the bag traps ethylene gas and speeds up the ripening. The gas occurs naturally or can be applied to under-ripened fruit by the producer just before shipment. I always take fruits and veggies out of the bag once I get home unless I'm trying to speed up the ripening of say avocados. A mesh 'onion' bag may be the best way to transport fruit on the bike to prevent the gas ripening effect.
    Good point. Ripening bananas give off ethelene, but are also caused to ripen more quickly in the presence of ethelene. With bananas in particular you get a feedback loop in a closed bag where ripening bananas accelerate their own ripening. Also note that ethelene causes (almost?) all fruits to ripen more quickly -- if you have other underripe fruit, stick them in a bag with a banana and they will ripen more quickly. Good trick either on tour or at home.

    Sam

  18. #18
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    I have a friend who uses rubberbands to strap them to his helmet, but that only works on cooler days.

    Heat isn't kind to bananas-- they are hard to tour with.

  19. #19
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo
    What do you do?
    Wrap them in a sleeping bag. It works surprisingly well, and also keeps them cool.

    Down jackets and fleece can also work.

    They can't bounce around in any direction, and they stay remarkably bruise-free.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I use a Delta Cargo Net on the rear rack, and with clothing underneath, I fit the 'nanas in the elastic netting, giving them a comfy ride. No problems so far unless you count the time the birds helped themselves to them while I was showering at Bay Center KOA, WA.

  21. #21
    Mettle to the Pedals Dewbert's Avatar
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    Just get the ones like this and hang them from the handlebars.
    2008 Giant FCR3 (kitted up for touring)
    2006 Giant OCRc2 full-Carbon (for the sheer pleasure of riding)
    2005 Fuji MTB (for the snowy and muddy days)
    2007 Schwinn 7 Speed Alloy Cruiser (For getting to the Dairy Queen in style!)

    http://www.HowILost100Pounds.com

  22. #22
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    In Europe we dont suffer from abnormal curvature in our bananas, they must all comply with European regulations specifying min and max radius.



    COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 2257/94

    LAYING DOWN QUALITY STANDARDS FOR BANANAS

    Article 1

    The quality standards applicable to bananas falling within CN code ex 0803, excluding plantains, fig bananas and bananas intended for processing, are laid down in Annex I hereto.

    These standards shall apply to bananas originating in third countries at the stage of release for free circulation, to bananas originating in the Community at the stage of first landing at a Community port, and to bananas delivered fresh to the consumer in the producing region at the stage of leaving the packing shed.

    Article 2

    The standards laid down in Article 1 shall not affect the application, at later stages of marketing, of national rules which:

    - do not impede the free circulation of bananas originating in third countries or other regions of the Community and complying with the standards laid down in this Regulation; and

    - are not incompatible with the standards laid down in this Regulation.

    Article 3

    This Regulation shall enter into force on 1 January 1995.

    REGULATION 2257/94 ANNEX I AMENDED BY REGULATION 386/97

    I. DEFINITION OF PRODUCE

    This standard applies to bananas of the varieties (cultivars) of Musa (AAA) spp, Cavendish and Gros Michel subgroups, referred to in Annex II, for supply fresh to the consumer after preparation and packaging. Plantains, bananas intended for industrial processing and fig bananas are not covered.

    II. QUALITY

    This standard defines the quality requirements to be met by unripened green bananas after preparation and packaging.

    A Minimum requirements

    In all classes, subject to the special provisions for each class and the tolerances allowed, the bananas must be:

    - green and unripened

    - intact

    - firm

    - sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded

    - clean, practically free from visible foreign matter

    - practically free from pests

    - practically free from damage caused by pests

    - with the stalk intact, without bending, fungal damage or dessication

    - with pistils removed

    - free from malformation or abnormal curvature of the fingers

    - practically free from bruises

    - practically free from damage due to low temperatures

    - free from abnormal external moisture

    - free from any foreign smell and/or taste

    In addition, hands and clusters (parts of hands) must include:

    - a sufficient portion of crown of normal colouring, sound and free from fungal contamination

    - a cleanly cut crown, not bevelled or torn, with no stalk fragments

    The physical development and ripeness of the bananas must be such as to enable them to:

    - withstand transport and handling

    - arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination in order to attain an appropriate degree of maturity after ripening

    B Classification

    Bananas are classified into the three classes defined below:

    (i) 'Extra' class

    Bananas in this class must be of superior quality. They must have the characteristics typical of the variety and/or commercial type.

    The fingers must be free from defects, apart from slight superficial blemishes not covering a total of more than 1cm² of the surface of the finger, which must not impair the general appearance of the hand or cluster, its quality, its keeping quality or the presentation of the package.

    (ii) Class I

    Bananas in this class must be of good quality. They must display the characteristics typical of the variety and/or commercial type.

    However, the following slight defects of the fingers are allowed, provided they do not impair the general appearance of each hand or cluster, its quality, its keeping quality or the presentation of the package:

    - slight defects in shape

    - slight skin defects due to rubbing and other slight superficial blemishes not covering a total of more than 2cm² of the surface of the finger

    Under no circumstances may such slight defects affect the flesh of the fruit.

    (iii) Class II

    This class covers bananas which do not qualify for inclusion in the higher classes but satisfy the minimum requirements specified above.

    The following defects of the fingers are allowed, provided the bananas retain their essential characteristics as regards quality, keeping quality and presentation:

    - defects of shape

    - skin defects due to scraping, rubbing or other causes, provided that the total area affected does not cover more than 4cm² of the surface of the finger.

    Under no circumstances may the defects affect the flesh of the fruit.

    III. SIZING

    Sizing is determined by:

    - the length of the fruit expressed in centimetres and measured along the convex face, from the blossom end to the point where the peduncle joins the crown,

    - the grade, i.e. the measurement, in millimetres, of the thickness of a transverse section of the fruit between the lateral faces and the middle, perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis

    The reference fruit for measurement of the length and grade is:

    - the median finger on the outer row of the hand

    - the finger next to the cut sectioning the hand, on the outer row of the cluster.

    The minimum length permitted is 14cm and the minimum grade permitted is 27mm.



    As an exception to the last paragraph, bananas produced in Madeira, the Azores, the Algarve, Crete and Lakonia which are less than 14cm in length may be marketed in the Community but must be classified in Class II.

    IV. TOLERANCES

    Tolerances in respect of quality and size shall be allowed within each package in respect of produce not satisfying the requirements of the class indicated.

    A Quality tolerances

    (i) 'Extra' class

    5% by number or weight of bananas not satisfying the requirements for the 'Extra' Class but meeting those for Class I, or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances for that class.

    (ii) Class I

    10% by number or weight of bananas not satisfying the requirements of Class I but meeting those for Class II, or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances for that class.

    (iii) Class II

    10% by number or weight of bananas satisfying neither the requirements for Class II nor the minimum requirements, with the exception of produce affected by rotting or any other deterioration rendering it unfit for consumption.

    B Size tolerances

    For all classes, 10% by number of bananas not satisfying the sizing characteristics, up to a limit of 1cm for the minimum length of 14cm.

    V. PRESENTATION

    A Uniformity

    The contents of each package must be uniform and consist exclusively of bananas of the same origin, variety and/or commercial type, and quality.

    The visible part of the contents of each package must be representative of the

    entire contents.



    B Packaging

    The bananas must be packed in such a way as to protect the produce properly.

    The materials used inside the package must be new, clean and of a nature such as to avoid causing any external or internal deterioration of the produce. The use of materials such as, in particular, wrapping papers or adhesive labels bearing commercial indications is allowed provided that the printing and labelling is done with a non-toxic ink or glue.

    Packages must be free from any foreign matter.

    C Presentation

    The bananas must be presented in hands or clusters (parts of hands) of at least four fingers.

    Clusters with not more than two missing fingers are allowed, provided that the stalk is not torn but cleanly cut, without damage to the neighbouring fingers.

    Not more than one cluster of three fingers with the same characteristics as the other fruit in the package may be present per row.

    In the producing regions, bananas may be marketed by the stem.

    VI. MARKING

    Each package must bear the following particulars in writing, all on the same side, legibly and indelibly marked and visible from the outside:

    A Identification

    Packer ** Name and address or officially issued and/or ** or recognised conventional mark dispatcher **

    B Nature of produce

    - the word 'Bananas' where the contents are not visible from the outside

    - the name of the variety or commercial type.

    C Origin of the product

    - country of origin and, in case of Community produce:

    - production area

    - (optionally) national, regional or local name

    D Commercial specifications

    - Class

    - net weight

    - size, expressed as minimum length and, optionally, as maximum length

    E Official control mark (optional)

    Holy crap! With all those regulations they must cost like 20 Euros a gram!

  23. #23
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Like the others have said, protect the bananas in a crush proof box and out of sunlight and harsh heat. I eat bananas almost every day when I tour but I also never buy more than 1 days supply of them, usually 2 pounds worth. I learned the hard way also about them going black.

  24. #24
    Zweckentfremdung enigmagic's Avatar
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    I'd say buy some sort of S hook or fashion a contraption from stiff wire and dangle them below your handlebars to the left or right of the head tube. It would look absolutely silly but I have no doubt the banana bunch could survive road vibration.

    On second thought, perhaps if you have the space to hang them inside a pannier or handlebar bag....

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    you can stuff 4 or 5 of them in a climbers chalkbag hanging off the back of the saddle or attached to the panniers somehow.

    climbers chalkbags. work like a champ. also holds other finger foods, bags of nuts, powergels, bottle of soda, etc. for quick grabbing while on the fly. It's a feedbag.

    I would NEVER store eggs, bananas or other messy, breakable food in your handlebar bag unless you want to risk broken eggs and banana queeze on your camera, cellphone and credit cards. bad idea. find a spot at the top of your food pannier and lay them in lightly -

    if you don't have a climber's chalkbag to carry those bananas.
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    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-16-07 at 12:26 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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