Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More bikey goodness!

So as part of a more complete lifestyle change, I've been kitting out my bike a little to make myself as likely as I can possibly be to take it instead of the car.

To begin with, I got mudguards, a rack, and a basket. Basket is excellent as far as carrying my little backpack/handbag thing, or the cross-bar converter thingo if I've driven it to the park and forgotten to take it off before getting from the carpark to the bike track (I also got the converter thingo, in case you hadn't guessed).

So that's recreational riding taken care of. Now, I also need my bike to be something that is useful to me in more domestic circumstances. For instance, if I either want to buy groceries to begin with or remember that I need them in a very sudden and unplanned way as I drive past the shops. Under such circumstances, I'm less inclined to have brought a backpack with me purely as a just-in-case measure. I just don't think in those terms.

So, I got myself a set of fold-out panniers which start off looking like this:

They sit nicely on the rack on the rear of my bike, and don't get in the way while I'm cycling. In the central compartment I have a few protein bars (in case of rides that are unexpectedly long or vigorous), a first aid kit (in case of sudden crash, which is more or less inevitable given that this is me we're talking about), and a puncture repair kit. I can also fit my wallet, phone, and keys in there in case I don't want to carry my handbag thing but don't want to be without keys and ID. And in case I don't want them rattling around the basket on the front of my bike.

When unfolded, the panniers look like this:

Heaps of space for stuff like groceries or a change of clothes (if, for instance, I'm cycling to my Oolon's place).

I am now set to cycle for any reason other than incredibly large distances.

I finally found a water bottle with a cap that covers the mouthpiece and which fits in the cage thing (being a ladies' bike, there isn't a lot of room for large water bottles, but panniers and basket will take care of that on planned long trips) as I'm stupidly paranoid about putting things of questionable cleanliness in my mouth (infer from that what you will), and today I bought a mini pump in case I get a flat tyre. It also has a pressure gauge, which is kind of cool.

I still need a rear light that can be seen past the panniers and some reflective clothing so that I can ride home from Oolon's place after dark, but that will hopefully happen before days get too short. In the mean while, the worst case scenario is that I leave my bike here and ask for a lift home so that I can get to work on time the next day.

So yeah! I have now set my bike up so I have very little excuse for not taking it places :-) Hooray!


  1. The guys in the shop must have loved you! You bought the good quality gear and didn't just op for the cheap shit :)

  2. So much so that he let me take the panniers before I'd paid for them! He just asked tht I call up with my credit card details whenever I'd gotten on to my bank and made sure I had enough on there!!