Wednesday, July 1, 2009
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
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