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Double Bagging: Why 2 Traffic Cone Bags are better than one

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Watching your back in Lebanon: Following 120 women cyclists on a mission of peace

This week's TCB sighting hails from a bike seat in Lebanon - where 120 adventurous women cyclists visited Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps, bringing a message of peace. As you can see, two of the riders, Colleen McGuire and Carol Murry wore their Traffic Cone Bags - least they could find each other in that big peloton!

According to the FollowTheWomen website, the ride is the brainchild of 2001 European Woman of the Year, Detta Regan. In April 2004 she gathered together 270 women from all over the world, including America, Palestine, Britain and Iraq, to ride bicycles for over 300 kilometres through Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to campaign for peace and an end to violence in the region.

According to Colleen, this year's edition was organized by Beirut By Bike which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in business.

"Its director, Jawad Sbeity, enabled us to meet with common people who expressed enormous gratitude that we came to visit their country. Lebanese mother…

Citibike: Is that a helmet in your Traffic Cone Bag?

With the Citibike bikeshare program taking New York by storm, I've discovered a new use for the Traffic Cone Bag: carrying your helmet AND stayin' alive!

Despite being a DFNC (double folder no car) gal I have joined the Citibike program, as I described in detail on my Galfromdownunder Upover blog. What's not to love about a ride-it-and-ditch-it personal cab for just $95155/year?'

But what to do about helmets? Some places are renting them out - does a lice protector come with that? The problem is, helmet rental stations are not situated at the bike stations, but somewhere else, compromising that "convenience" factor.

Carrying a helmet isn't convenient either, which is why many Citibikers have been riding without them. I confess I've ridden bareheaded a number of times while scurrying across town. Downunder, the mandatory helmet law is killing the Melbourne Bikeshare scheme.

So if you decide to wear a helmet, the Traffic Cone Bag will not only make you…

Small Traffic Cone Bag: Little bag, big capacity

The Small Traffic Cone Bag can neatly stow three 1-liter cartons of my favorite poison: Zico Coconut water from Trader Joe's

In a previous post, Double Bagging: Why two Traffic Cone Bags are better than one I talked about how handy it is to carry two TCB's, one inside the other, for those unplanned side trips to the grocery store.

The other day I ran out to teach my yoga class with just my small Traffic Cone Bag, in its svelte little-black-dress mode from my soiree the night before. After class, I remembered I was out of my favorite hydration medium, coconut water.

Of course, like many Trader Joe's shoppers I go in there for 1 thing and come out with ten, including three rounds of samples in my belly. And I have to walk five long blocks home, so to protect one's rotator cuff one should distribute groceries as evenly as possible, and avoid carrying one ginormous heavy bag on one shoulder, which can lead to back twinges like I experienced in 2009.

The small Traffic Cone …

Pick Pockets can't pick this!

Today a friend was pick-pocketed in the subway - her stylish, backpack-style purse was zipped opened and her wallet taken, "first time in 25 years living in NYC." 
Putting stuff in zippered compartments on your back is asking to be robbed.
 The Traffic Cone Bag, worn with the black pocket against your back and closed tight, is security by design - light fingers can't get at your stuff without slashing it with a knife.
More about TCB's clever security-by-design

TCB: How small does it go?

How small does the TCB roll up? Above, you can see the Gal (13") and Guy (15") versions rolled up next to a standard small Kleen Kanteen water bottle.

Not ultra small, but not so big either. Small, ultralight bags that squash into a matchbox do exist for race day and hardcore roadie rides, but the TCB is meant as a hybrid.

From League of American Bicyclists Education Director Preston Tyree:

The TCB is for hard core city riding. Highly visible getting to the City Council meeting with my camera,  iPad and keyboard inside and then turns inside out for the presentation to the Council Members so I don’t look any dorkier than usual. I have a blinky on the hook that looks like a reflector but turns on to light up. Wide straps are good when I load it down with camera and iPad.

 Preston, we love you stylish and dorky, but we think someone beat you to it!

Here's Ciclismo Classico grand dame Lauren Hefferon wearing it on a commute in Boston:

 You know you want one!

TCB: Making the straps a leeeeetle bit longer

A simple carabiner from any dollar store add length the straps. Buy a quality one from a camping store for extra strength. 
In the spirit of K.I.S.S. I've tried to keep the straps of the TCB's One Size Fits Most.  And indeed they do. When the bag is laid flat and the top is opened completely, the strap lengths are cut as follows:

Small TCB:  54" (or about 13" exposed length)
Large TCB:  56" (or about 14" exposed length)

It's better that they're a bit shorter than longer, because it's a real pain to make them shorter later (the join and strap anchoring stitches have to be in just the right place, ends cauterized with a flame and stitched etc etc - all by hand).

But if you want to make them longer, it's simple. Buy an inexpensive, stylish black carabiner like the ones sold at the store I worked at*. Or you can get a real el cheapo kind from $2 stores.

You simply insert the carabiner between the D-ring and snap hook at the bottom corner of each…