Friday, April 13, 2012

New gear

Lily is great for road trips thanks to her basket and pannier. I can (over)pack whatever I might need for a longish ride such as snacks, extra beverages, an assortment of gloves, extra jacket, speakers for the iPod, etc. Even the larger pump can fit in either the basket or pannier. Circe doesn't have that storage capacity. Even her seat post bag -- the Detours medium Guppy -- is smaller than Lily's.

I love its wee flowers.
I've crammed a spare tube, CO2 cartridge, tire levers, multitool, handi-wipe package, a tiny amount of emergency cash, and a couple of band-aids in the Guppy and that sucker is PACKED. I might be able to wedge my house and bike lock keys in there, but no way could I stow my phone or snacks.

Detours Mighty meh.
My first solution was a Detours Mighty Midge stem bag, but I was never completely happy with it. I couldn't fit much in the way of snacks in there and it wound up getting pretty full with phone, cash, ID, and keys. Plus there was no good place to stash my handkerchief. Despite trying to use and love the bag, the final straw was when it fell out of the mount no less than three times during the solo portion of my training ride last weekend. Thank goodness I was stopped each time. When Scott arrived at the park, I ripped the bag off my bike at threw it at the backseat of my truck in disgust.

However, that wasn't the only bag on my bike. Oh no. I also had a Bell handlebar bag which DID contain gloves, headband, PB&J, banana, camera, and the contents of the stem bag after it was removed. It, however, also had drawbacks. It unzips in the front and, if not opened carefully, will dump its contents into an unseemly pile in front of the bike. It also doesn't play nice with the brake and gear cables and I was nervous that the velcro straps would come undone since they were so tenuously clasped in order to make room for the cables. It was close, but not right.

I'm hopeful that the Detours Metro is the final solution to my portage problem.

My aesthetic needs are satisfied.
It's roomy without being overwhelming. It has multiple openings for stashing items of different sizes and shapes. And it matches my saddle bag and the colorway of my bike. (Shush.)

The cover flips up to reveal mesh pockets and a deep front pocket.

Headband and bag strap, check. Windbreaker, check. There's room left over in the deep pocket for extra gloves, sport drink powder packs, and a marmoset or a small lemur. When its cover is flipped open like this, the inside of the cover has a clear pocket which could hold a route sheet, but I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving the cover open like that. On the other hand, the marmoset might like feeling the wind in its fur.

Can't go anywhere without my HoneyStinger waffles.

The top zips open to reveal deep storage which will easily accommodate a sandwich, banana, waffles, and my camera. The zippered inner pocket will easily hold my phone, ID cards, and cash, and the key ring will do what key rings are supposed to do.

No attachment anxiety here.
The attachment mechanism does a fairly good job of playing nicely with the cables and keeps the bag pushed out from the handlebars enough that I can wrap my fingers around the flat portion when I want to give my hands a rest and/or sit uprightish for a bit. The bag is removable from the bike by pulling on the ring on the back of the bag. Be careful of jostling the small mammal in the front pocket.

The hubs and I are taking a training ride tomorrow and I will report back on how well (or not) this bag performs on a modified Arlington Triangle route.

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