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Scrambled Eggs Compliments of My Backpack

May 21, 2008

When I (N.) first started looking for bike to commute with I wanted one those brightly colored beach bicycles. You know the ones with baskets on their front and matching colored fenders? 

They aren’t the most practical commuter bikes since most of them are one-speed but they look cool right? Well, they do to me and honestly I’m not trying to win any races or take any technical switchbacks on my bike so I don’t really need a very complicated bike. In fact I think I would prefer the cruiser so people would know right off the bat I’m lazy and unmotivated. I cruise as much as possible on my bike, it’s heavy, has the huge nobby tires, and I have yet to master the art of shifting gears. People there is a reason my car is an automatic! But my bike still gets me from point a to point b (in a rather more sedate color profile then I would prefer) and I ride it whereas a lot of bikes will sit in a garage collecting dust. I don’t complain about the weight or size because if the ride is a little harder then that just means I get a better work out from it. 

What brings this up? I’ve been commuting by bike for a couple months now and J. just started recently (he mountain biked for years though so his bike is more expensive and his skill is greater). But whenever it came time to run errands together we would still hop in the car and it just seemed time to start riding together to do these things the same way we would if we were alone. Our first trip was to the grocery store and I alternated between telling him to get the car and wishing I had that big front rack on those beach cruisers or at least a back rack and panniers. What we had was two backpacks neither of which was actually designed for biking. Mine was okay since it is a small day hiking back. It curves against my back and it is designed to distribute the weight so I don’t get sore shoulders but J.’s was designed for maximum cargo load above all else so he was not a happy camper by the end of the ride (especially since he took the bulk of the groceries). 

When we got home we were sweaty and tired but the eggs had survived (although owing to road construction they may be slightly scrambled on the inside) and we felt accomplished. Of course we rewarded ourselves by spending a couple hours vegging on the couch :). 

Oh and my goal to not add a lot of stuff to my bike is not going well. I have a bike computer now (we unearthed it from our garage along with an actual bike lock), a water bottle rack and new water bottle, in addition to the front headlight, saddlebag, back blinkie, battery pack, and bike pump that I already have. Compared to J.’s bike mine is HEAVY. That’s without the rear rack and panniers I want to get eventually- backpacks are for the birds! I also had to purchase “an upper reflective garment” to wear while biking. My company put out a new policy and if we don’t comply and something happens we could be denied insurance coverage. Too bad my company wouldn’t pay for the $75 bike jacket/vest that I had to purchase to stay in compliance. 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2008 1:39 pm

    That’s crazy that you had to shell out money for a vest to stay insured! How odd!

  2. May 21, 2008 4:21 pm

    I think you should go out and buy a can of the craziest, brightest, neon pink spray paint you can find and spray away that currently sedate color of your bike’s!!
    Grocery shopping by bicycle…you are a braver person (and more energetic!!) than I!!
    🙂

  3. May 22, 2008 12:18 am

    I do own one of those beach cruisers. 🙂 Mine is bright red and has a cute wicker basket on the front (and tows a trailer for my kids or groceries in the back). I know that it is kind of lame to not have gears and all but I’m like you. I think I’d die if I had to drive a stick and same goes for bars. Honestly, I’m lucky to get to where I’m going without complicating things. 🙂

  4. Heilbron permalink
    June 20, 2008 11:10 am

    I found this post because I am trying to design a backpack specifically designed for people who go to the market by bike! PLEASE write back and tell me what the ultimate bike+market bag would be like for you…where would the padding be? What would be straps be like? What kind of closure at the top? How personalized would you like it? I make a ton of reusable grocery bags and also backpacks and am looking to combine the two. Most of my biking friends use teir messenger bags when they go to the store, but the unstable weight would tip me over!

    I know that this post is from a long time ago…but I sure hoe you get this reply. You could really help me make something really useful and cool. I’d love for you to try out a prototype, too, if you were willing.

    Thanks so ever much in advance!
    Yours very sincerely,

    Heilbron Rushing-Cooper
    Richmond, VA

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