I just had to write a quick post to thank the Tom Bihn artwork people for the masterpiece they created on my Western Flyer box.
Below is an image of the cat I requested on the box, juxtaposed with my own white cat, Sidney, who has taken a definite shine to the new bag. He was equally impressed by the cat image, as was the UPS delivery man.
He has delivered two Tom Bihn products to me: the Co-Pilot and now my cardinal Western Flyer.
I experienced a certain amount of excitement in tracking its progress from its Seattle home to my own part of England, and with the aid of mapping software I was able to establish this was a journey of precisely 4565.215 miles. Wow.
I actually grabbed a screenshot of the various transit stops and because I probably have too much time on my hands I found myself checking them out on Google earth. So after all this anticipation its arrival was quite an event and I quickly tore into the box (although I was careful to preserve the cat for posterity).
My Western Flyer is red. A very deep, ecclesiastical hue. Not just any old red but the stuff of bishops and popes. Double wow. And such a relief as I thought I might end up with a garish someone cut my throat kind of red, but it really is very stately and quite dignified.
And why not a red bag? I found a lengthy thread on bag colours here in the forum a little while age (sorry can’t find the link) where the various benefits of more subdued colours were mooted and there appeared to be a consensus towards less lively colours. (I had no idea, for instance, that navy is the bag for business, second only to…..black, of course.) Well, I think a smattering of vivid tone goes quite a long way towards expressing one’s individuality, most likely in the same manner as eyebrow piercings and personal tattoos. I have all of those so no one is going to care if I have a red bag too. And really, if they are so intensely perturbed about the colour of my bag then I wouldn’t hesitate to advise them to seek a good therapist. Is it actually possible that my career (and life in general) is going to come to such a drastic halt just because I have a red bag? My world is going to fall apart, the skies open and the ground swallow me whole?
Obviously, I will go travelling with my red bag and absolutely nothing will happen. No, I won’t be mugged, and if I were it would not be due to my red bag. It would happen because there are nasty people in the world. I will not become a victim of vigilant airport staff just because my bag is red. That would only happen because my bag was clearly too heavy, too big or glaringly over-packed.
I have also heard the Western Flyer described as too large for a briefcase and “kind of funky”, although I have no idea what funky actually means in that context. To me it is just the right size to use as a technical bag for occasions when I have to carry my Macbook, projector, speakers, documents and teaching materials. I have the backpack straps version and after seeing it in person I’d be very comfortable with using it as a backpack. I even think of it affectionately as my Superman backpack, blasting me off into the cosmos whenever the need should arise.
So far I’ve only had a chance to take a look at the bag and practice packing a few things for my leisure trip to Oban, Scotland in April. I found that using the large packing cube designed for the bag I can easily fit a very heavy long cardigan, wool jumper, leggings, jeans and thermals into the rear compartment. This leaves plenty of space for other items such as raincoat, shoes, and toiletries. I think the bag is an excellent choice for a 3-4 day trip which doesn’t require technical equipment. I’m also planning to take my Co-Pilot to carry my compact cameras, ipad mini, kindle, phones, chargers and flask.
I have included a few images of the bag but it is quite difficult to capture its precise state of red!
Hopefully I’ll find time on my trip to take some photos of the bag when it is fully packed and in use.
Best wishes from England.
Cher and Sidney