Monday, July 8, 2019

New Radio Show! And More Of The Rigorous Product Testing For Which I Am Famous!

Firstly, I was on the radio again this morning (I have my own radio show now in case you've been avoiding me lately) and you can listen to it...

...right HERE!

I recommend you do, too, because it's a very exciting time here in New York City and I talk about it all.  Mainly, drivers have been killing cyclist at an alarming rate, and in response the NYPD has announced they'll be cracking down on the most dangerous driver infractions.  In practice, this basically means they've been running Citi Bikers off the road "for [their] safety:"

As well as blasting Vision Zero messages out of parked vans:
So yeah, as you can see, things are going just great on this end.

Secondly, speaking of my radio show, it means that for the first time in awhile I have to commute again just like the rest of you schmucks.  Granted, it's only once a week, but in my defense I've grown weak and soft and could not possibly be expected to commute five days a week at this point in my life.  Indeed, as the World's Greatest Living Cycling Writer (And Broadcaster) I need to be incubated as much as possible with my brain soaking in Palmolive and the comforts of home at arm's length at all times.

Still, my one (1) commuting day does involve riding the nearly 20 miles each way between the Bronx and Brooklyn, and so when a marketing person reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to try some bikey bags I readily accepted.  See, now that I'm a broadcaster, I have to travel with my laptop and a voice recorder just in case and of course my horns and whoopee cushions and other assorted novelty noisemakers so I can make wacky sounds while I'm on the air.

Anyway, the bikey bags in question are from a Canadian company called "Two Wheel Gear."  And the bags I got are this one:

And this one:

Both of which attach to your bicycle rack pannier-style by means of this clip system that works really well:

Basically you hook the black clips onto your rack, then you engage the red clip with your thumb, then you're ready to go.

Anyway, lately I've been commuting on my Milwaukee, but for various reasons I won't bore you with I decided to test the bags with the State Core-Line fixie Bicycling asked me to write about back in May:

At this point in my life I'm just too old and dorky to care about how...well, dorky I may look riding a circa-2007 Fixed Gear Gallery entry come to life.  Anyway, it's a fun bike, it's got eyelets for a rear rack, and sometimes you just need a no-frills bike you can ride in sneakers.  Also, I have to admit that if I see yet another fucking earth tone gravel bike I'm going to puke, so in a way riding a mail-order fixie with white rims is my own personal act of rebellion.

In any case, yesterday I finally got around putting a rack on the State, which was a straightforward affair other than the fact that I had to file down the very bottoms of the rack stays a few millimeters to clear the great big integrated washers on the rear axle nuts.  After mounting both bags on the bike I decided I liked the profile of the briefcase better, and so that's what I used. 

Oh, and naturally it was raining this morning, which meant I got to use the rain cover that comes with the bag:

Here's the bag without the cover:

Now I should say that a bike like this--short wheelbase, lots of toe overlap, etc.--isn't ideal for using with panniers.  If you're going to load a bike up you want some stability.  (I was once ejected from the Ironic Orange Julius Bike after I ran over a plastic water bottle and an overloaded pannier flipped me over onto my side like a runner coming into home plate, and that's a much more stable bike than the State.)  Even so, the State did handle the weight just fine (though I wouldn't attempt to carry much more than I did), and I experienced absolutely no heel strike.  If you're wondering, here's what I had in my bag:

  • Bike repair essentials (tube, patches, tire levers, mini pump, multi tool)
  • Laptop and power cable (I've gone from a MacBook to a Chromebook and I haven't looked back)
  • Phone charger
  • Voice recorder just in case
  • Windbreaker just in case
  • Extra t-shirt just in case
  • U-lock
And I think that about covers it.

Oh, and the clip system was indeed highly convenient, and disengaging the bag was (don't type snap don't type snap) ...a snap:

And, most importantly, it rained pretty much the whole way there and about half the ride back home, and my cheap Chromebook and everything else stayed perfectly dry.

So there you go.

Durability and so forth remains to be seen, and I haven't tried the backpack, but so far the briefcase is promising.

Oh, and I was also wearing the shorts Outlier sent me way back in 2009:

I hadn't worn them years, but this morning I mended a tear in the crotch seam and put them back into service, and I kind of feel like a schmuck for waiting this long because they're pretty comfy.

And they still had sand in the pockets!


Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i came... i listened... i chuckled... and got angry... again

John said...

Dude - if you are going full dork with the yellow rain condom for your saddlebags, you may as well go for the full monty and mount the 8 foot tall safety flag. I think I also have some 'Hi-Viz' ankle garters too I could send you for eval...

Die free said...

I want a pannier that does not have one of those gawdwafal metal frames. My bike looks to chill for that chit.

Anonymous said...

Ever see when Baker and Ponch nabbed the bad dudes on bikes? CBS Vision Zero.

theEel said...


Charles said...

Got to listen for the first time this morning; timely with the gendarmes running the cyclist off the road for his safety. Was flipping back and forth a bit between your program and WNYC because Brian Lehrer was interviewing the head of Transportation Alternatives.

huskerdont said...

I don't quite understand a company making a bag for a laptop etc. and not making it "waterproof."*

*In quotes b/c after the deluge/flooding in DC yesterday, I have to accept that nothing bikey is truly waterproof.

George Krpan said...

Chromebooks rule!

Anonymous said...

Real bykker would use flashy Brooks panniers, just saying...

HDEB said...

If you're going to bring an extra t-shirt just in case, you might as well bring an extra pair of socks and underwear also. never know.

leroy said...

Oh great. Now my dog is trying new lyrics for karaoke night.

"He's testing bike bags
And cycling clothes
He's so ambitious
He even sews.

But don't forget folks
That's what you get folks
For cushions whoopee."

I'd tell him it still needs work, but I don't want to encourage him.

(I put a Banjo Brothers backpack/pannier on my Milwaukee yesterday to get out from under the bike backpack now that the warm weather is here. Seems well-designed.)

Lanterne Rouge said...

Rip Torn, ‘Men in Black,’ ‘Larry Sanders Show’ Star, Dies at 88

Anonymous said...

RIP Elmore Rual Torn Jr.

Anonymous said...


grog said...

Sorry for the loss of your radio/acting coach Rip Torn.
Also for the demise of your writing coach Alfred E Neuman.
Be well.

Chazu said...

The BSNYC/RTMS Sisal Test Rug is now the RTMS Memorial Test Rug?

RIP, Rip Torn

Anonymous said...

Snobbie, just popping in to give my condolences on the passing of Rip. xoxo

paulb said...

They say disease clusters that look like patterns are sometimes random; it's possible to discern patterns in random events and they're still random. This might be the case with these cycling deaths. They were all caused by motor vehicles of course but are there any other circumstances they share? Goes without saying I still want more & better designed protected bike paths and enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Only the dorks will know that you look like a dork.

Ian R Buck said...

Is there any chance there will be a podcast feed for your radio show? I would love to listen to it on a regular basis, but that is only going to happen if I can have them automatically download to my podcast player.