Sunday, July 26, 2009

TCB Reviews: Grace Lichtenstein, Senior Cyclists

Grace Lichtenstein - cyclist, blogger and former NYT journo recently reviewed the TCB on her blog:

Thank you Grace! You summed it up to a T(CB).

One aspect she didn't mention was its Made-in-Americaness, for which I am very proud. Here's why (for

I'm starting to receive emails from spambots telling me that someone in China will make similar bags for $1.28 per one hundred - about 20 times cheaper than I get them made. Tempting? Not at all.

I may never get rich but I'm glad to be stimulating the local economy.

Grace wows 'em at the Hudson Guild

All about the TCB

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Traffic Cone Bag (TM) - "Happy Hour" Security feature

Here's another cool feature of the minimalist TCB design: SECURITY.

MOVIE: Lindsay Lauder talks about the TCB security feature in the Escape New York Movie (at about 1:55 min in)

By unclipping one or both of the snaphooks, you can secure the bag to the leg or arm of your chair, so prevent swipe-and-grabs in bars or restaurants. Or, perhaps it enables you to keep the bag off the ground rather than swimming in spilled tequila and peanut shells (but at least it's washable). The same snaphooks are what enable you to sling it to the handlebars or elsewhere of your bike, stroller, wheelchair ...

Speaking of security, remember you can wear the bag with the black pocket against your back, thus protecting your stuff. 

STRAPS TOO SHORT? The bag is designed to be minimal, one size fits most - with no unnecessary clips or adjustments. If you're big across the chest and you find the straps a bit short, you can add an extender like a carabiner or two between the snap hook an the D-ring. One size fits most, but easily modified by readily available fittings - is the key to simplicity.

Comment on your TCB please!

Order a TCB from me here.

Night visibility: New loop for blinky light

I just returned from a Bike Friday speaking tour in Georgia, where a number of my TCB's were bought by local commuters.

From Sorella Cycling Club member Gwyneth Lodge, who hosted my Cuba talk:

I have loved the bag so far! I haven't actually used it on a bike yet, but have been carrying it around anyway as a cute casual bag. My city bike/bar bike is a fixed gear, and I just rode fixed for the first time last night at the velodrome. I'm confident I can handle fixed on the streets now, so I'll be back to my usual riding around town. That's what I really needed the bag for.

A new little feature for the June 2009 run: a little elastic loop to hold a blinky light. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but in this day and age of overfeaturing (like supersizing only in features, not calories), my aim is to keep things as minimal and as simple as possible. Everything you need, and nothing you don't.

The light I like to use with this bag is the one that's usually clipped onto the tool bag hanging off my bike seat. It's a Planet Bike SuperFlash, which has a brilliant strobe-like flash and is probably the most effective compact tail light on the market for the price (around $25). Clipped onto the loop, it lights up the whole bag like a sheet of orange. Of course if I really want to stay alive or when riding more serious distances at night, I use my DiNotte system that lights up the whole ROAD, but this is adequate for just getting about town - plus you can easily take the light with you.

Of course you can also use the optional Lightweights too - I have a small starter sets that you can buy with the bag. See the TCB page for more about that.

Minimalism is what I'm all about. I'm not a fan of bags with unnecessary bulk, zips, closures, patchwork, pockets you lose movie tickets in, unless I'm in the mood for bling then I'd probably go splurge on a Marc Jacobs beaded bowling ball bag. I don't particularly care that it's not made of recycled materials - I want a little bag that does the job I need - looks good with a suit or shorts, compressible, can tuck it under my arm, sling it over the bike, doesn't clash with anything. If a tool fits the purpose, you'll use it to death and save the environment anyway by not creating landfill because you won't be buying three different things that kind of do the one thing you want.

Thanks to Caroline Fu for pulling an overnighter to get these finished for my Georgia trip. "The bag is deceptive" she says. "it looks simple, but it takes a long time to sew because you have to finish it really nicely, and because it's a minimalist design, you can't hide bad stitching and alignment in patterns or folds." Read Caroline's story, and if you like her meticulous sewing on your TCB, give her a call and let her know. She's a lone rangerette, she'll be delighted: (212) 278-8830

Comment on your TCB please!
Order a TCB from me here.