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Old 10-13-23, 06:39 AM
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Back to Bigger Bag...

Fall is here, with its days of wide ranging temperatures, followed by winter, and the need to layer. For 28 years I commuted with a string of ever-larger backpacks on my rear rack. They could carry not only the layers of bike clothes for any weather and temperature situation, but also extra sock and underwear, a clean polo shirt, small towel and deodorant, and toiletries for freshening up when biking to restaurants and such, and also the layers of clothing needed at the office. There was the rain ponchos and capes, plastic bags and gloves for any occasion, lights, batteries, bag lunch...everything but shoes, which I kept at the office.

I was becoming a mobile hoarder.

When COVID hit I began 18-months of self-employment, working from home..no need for the big bag.

About a year and a half ago I began a new bike-able office job. I started out with the big ready-for-anything backpack, which I had kept intact for those 18 months for just this occasion. But now I was 60, and had two bikes without racks. And then I got COVID and later had a hernia. I was off the bike for a few weeks and when I returned to commuting I found the big bag a little difficult. So I grabbed a smaller back pack and packed only clothes and gear needed. It was a little tight with the layers over the winter, but then spring came and it was a joy to bike with a smaller lighter bag! I left all the extra stuff in the big bag so I could find it.

And now that fall has returned I have started layering again on and off the bike. For the last two days the pack was getting full...not too heavy, but crowded and uncomfortable to wear. And not as water resistant as its predecessors. Also, I have haven't been sick in a year and have been riding more consistently. I feel stronger and my commute times are down.

So last night I emptied the big bag by transferring the unused contents to its immediate big predecessor sitting unused in a corner of the closet as a contingency in case the main bag broke. (It has happened, or maybe I am a hoarder after all.)

I transferred the fewer essentials from the smaller back to the now empty big bag and it is far less crowded. The small weight penalty of the larger-sturdier, more water resistant bag is once again unnoticeable thanks to my improved health and newfound robustness.

In fact, today, I'll be carrying dress shoes to the office to go with my outfit because I will have room for them along with the layers.

And of, course I'll still have the smaller back pack for occasions when I want to go "light". Actually, thanks to my work-at-home-just-ride-for riding phase I have two smaller bags and a couple of carradice-style bags too.

(Okay...I'm a hoarder.)

Last edited by BobbyG; 10-14-23 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 10-13-23, 08:31 AM
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This post reminds me that I've been meaning to ask on here if anyone successfully converted their backpack to a pannier. I got parts 3D printed at the library (which took them about 10 hours) but I'm nervous that somehow the plastic pieces would be uncomfortable when wearing it as a backpack. All of this is to say, I feel your pain. Literally. Carrying the laptop and all the winter stuff takes a toll...
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Old 10-13-23, 02:17 PM
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I've successfully used this hook kit to convert a smallish bag; it worked great. They also offer a complete kit for bigger bags. HTH.

Originally Posted by jaxy357
This post reminds me that I've been meaning to ask on here if anyone successfully converted their backpack to a pannier. I got parts 3D printed at the library (which took them about 10 hours) but I'm nervous that somehow the plastic pieces would be uncomfortable when wearing it as a backpack. All of this is to say, I feel your pain. Literally. Carrying the laptop and all the winter stuff takes a toll...
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Old 10-14-23, 11:00 AM
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I tend to use casual sweaters and jackets in the morning so I feel you. If I had a longer ride to dress out more fully then I think proper cycling gear would pack smaller
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Old 10-15-23, 06:07 AM
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On a couple bikes I have Carradice saddle bags and no rack, so if I need to carry more, I use a large fanny pack. Between the Carradice Zip Roll and large fanny pack, I can carry extra undershirt, dress shirt, lunch, base layer, and have room to stick my sweater in the fanny pack on the ride home when it's warmer. If I ride the Miyata with the Nelson bag, I can carry just about everything in there. If I need to pack for rain, my jacket rolls up really small and will fit wherever I stuff it.
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Old 11-20-23, 11:31 AM
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great work
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Old 11-20-23, 02:50 PM
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I love my Carradice!!!! Great bag for anytime.
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