Bike luggage – an update for you. Panniers.

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Well as you know from my previous post:Bike luggage – or carrying stuff on your bike, I am now enjoying the life as a leisure cyclist commuting on a traffic-free route. Part of that has been my change in how I use the bike, a change in attitude towards having luggage or things strapped to my bike.

Previously I was cycling on the road in rush hour traffic, so I had very strong opinions about cycling and almost all of them were about making sure I was safe and not doing anything which could increase the risk for me. This meant that I was unwilling to carry very much on the bike and would instead get the train if I had things to carry. I found this frustrating as I’d rather be cycling.

Well now that I’m on a traffic free route for almost the entire journey, I’ve become much more relaxed about the idea and even more than that, I found myself lusting after some lovely brown, canvas, briefcase style panniers.  I had already gone down the route of putting a rack on my bike but had only ever bungeed things to the top of it, like a box of home baking.  Now however I was imagining how nice it would be to cycle without a bag on my back – to get to meetings and not be a sweat soaked beast. So I jumped in and bought myself a very handsome pannier bag, it’s dutch from a company called New Loox.

I was quite excited and couldn’t wait to get it home and try it out but alas disappointment. Being a dutch bag, it’s very much styled to go on the big, luggage carrying dutch style bikes and unfortunately on my road bike there was just no way to carry it without it interfering with pedaling. Very sad.

The issue seems to be that it only has two clips to hang the bag from the rack, it doesn’t have any way of altering how or what position the bag hangs in.

So back to the drawing board.

A bit of internet research and chat with some of the ladies on the women’s cycle forum on facebook and I am now the proud owner of an Ortlieb office bag.

It’s not the nice canvas, briefcase style bag I was after but it’s 100% waterproof which is a good thing and most importantly I can cycle happily without it interfering at all.

It’s quite a big bag, but not overly big so as it feels weird on the bike and it does hold quite a lot, although it’s just pretty much one big space in the bag. There are compartments but they aren’t great.

My one gripe might be that I have to completely open the bag up to  get my keys, it would be nice to have a pocket on the front but if that’s the only gripe I have then I’d say I’ve found a winner.

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