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  1. #1
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    riding my bike with the smart alec

    hi folks,

    i've been on my bike with a few different bags over the last week.

    i mostly ride from home to west falls church metro (a couple of miles) and then take the fairfax connector bus to reston town center, which is where i work.

    the fairfax connector buses have a fold down bike rack in the front of the bus where one or two bikes can be secured.

    i've been riding back home rather than taking the bus - about 13 miles in about an hour. i think that i could ride both ways, but i don't want to deal with having to shower at the gym at work.

    i've carried my synapse backpack, the smart alec backpack, and the western flyer (as a backpack) while riding my bike, and all of them have been most comfortable!

    certainly, carrying less weight makes for an easier ride. but even with all the stuff i've carried in the western flyer, i've been quite comfortable.

    i'm excited to commute by bicycle, at least while the weather is as lovely as it has been. let's see how i feel in november when it starts getting colder .

    i've learned that i can reduce the weight of my load by keeping certain things at work. so far, i have kept at work: a pair of sandals i can change into when i get there (i feel thankful that we have a laid back work environment and a water bottle that i keep there. i think i'll also leave my multitool at work tomorrow rather than carrying it back and forth.

    so at this point, i carry in my bag a macbook pro in a cache, an ipad (considering whether i should leave this at home - but it's fun to read on the ipad on the bus , an iphone, my tom bihn organizer wallet, an 11oz package of coconut water to drink when i get to west falls church metro in the morning, various adapters (again, keep what i need at work), an airport express (thinking of leaving this at home), a rhodia pad, writing instruments, lip balm, earphones in a mini padded organizer pouch, and a canon s95 camera in a small padded organizer pouch.

  2. #2
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    maverick,

    I'd guess that of the bags you describe the Synapse would be the most comfortable to carry when biking. I really like the back design of this bag (see mouseover views a, b, and c), and it's very nice to carry even in hot, sticky weather. A really great every day bag with surprising capacity for its small profile.

    moriond

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    maverick,

    I'd guess that of the bags you describe the Synapse would be the most comfortable to carry when biking. I really like the back design of this bag (see mouseover views a, b, and c), and it's very nice to carry even in hot, sticky weather. A really great every day bag with surprising capacity for its small profile.

    moriond
    hey moriond!

    the synapse is definitely the most comfortable, and it will hold most of what i want to carry - just not my lunches. i'm a hobbit - i eat two lunches over the course of the day (though i usually make up for it by not having much of a dinner .

    i'm torn about how to carry my lunch - i am using a glass container that is leak proof (it still goes in a lunch box, just to be safe - i don't want food all over the inside of my bag). it is mostly leak proof, but it is also heavy.

    i don't want to use a plastic container, and the steel containers i've encountered don't do well with liquids - sandwiches and fruit are fine.

    i rode with the smart alec today - it was an awesome ride!

  4. #4
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    I ride my bike to campus most days and carry my smart alec whenever I have my computer with me (which is most days). To split the weight a little bit, I have a panier on my bike where I put some heavier items such as books, papers and other odd pieces. I also have a basket where I often put my little swift, which usually carried my wallet, ipod touch, ipad, various little notebooks, chocolate bars, and other loose ends.

    I also use glass containers and put those in my paniers.
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    hey moriond! i'm torn about how to carry my lunch - i am using a glass container that is leak proof (it still goes in a lunch box, just to be safe - i don't want food all over the inside of my bag). it is mostly leak proof, but it is also heavy.
    Perhaps this would work--Snap Tight makes glass containers in the same size as the typical plastic ones. They are decent and seem to be pretty sturdy. I have put them in the lower pocket of the Synapse as well as on the inside. I have taken soup in a Mason jar inside of a Ziploc freezer bag and it made the trip quit well (no spills or leaks).
    Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!

  6. #6
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    When I was Fat Able Bod, I used to cycle to work too. For similar reasons to Maverick, I used to get my wife to drop me and my Cannondale off about five miles from my office in Edinburgh and I would ride in, put the bike on my shoulder and run up three flights of stairs with the bike, then change in to my suit. After work I would ride home, if the weather wasn't too bad, I'd ride all the way (26 miles - 1 1/2 hours), otherwise just the five miles and meet my wife. In the winter, I'd cycle to the top of the ski slope to meet my kids from their lesson on a Monday night. But one thing, I never missed my ride because of the weather; not once! Sun, rain, wind snow, ice (this is Scotland after all) I just loved cycling! I really miss both that and my Buell M2 motorcycle now (though I've still got the 'Dale).

    As regards bags, I'd never heard of Tom Bihn in those days, but, still I had a plethora to choose from. Probably my favourite was a Karrimor Hot Earth rucsac in brown and orange cordura, very similar in colour to my Cocoa and Cayene Ristrtetto. I bought this in 1983 from 'the Practical Camper' in Sandwich, Kent, England. It had a lifetime guarantee, so I kept the receipt (for 34.95 - about $55). I've still got both the bag and the receipt today, 27 years later. They have both travelled the world and the bag has never let me down, however I've abused it ... I've never been able to claim on the guarantee!

    So why am I telling you about a Karrimor bag on a Tom Bihn site? Well, in those days, their bags were made in a factory in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England, in a very similar way to Tom Bihn bags today. Sadly, that's no longer true. Now they are all made in the far east, and I wouldn't expect them to still look like new in 27 years time. However, having just bought my first Tom Bihn bag, I do believe that it will look like new in 27 years time. It has the same look of handmade construction and tough, high quality cloth and fittings. It's very good to discover that you can still find this sort of quality today ... even if I do have to go half way around the world to get it!


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