Cycling D.I.Y and how not to be a drag

In cycling there are a lot of nicknames, for the person who always has chain grease on his calf, for the guy who passes you at the red light only to slow down or the dude wearing shorts that are too old and too sheer, but one of the worst has got to be reserved for the person that doesn’t carry their own tool kit. (OK, it’s a toss up—no tool kit or the guy who always assumes a woman riding alone wants company. Now that Strava’s got what they’re calling “fly-by activity” I can see exactly who it was that didn’t, ahem, just “fly by”).


Like most outdoor activities, a little DIY goes a long way on a bike. So get a tool kit. Learn how to fix a flat tire (they kind of go together), and don’t toss your CO2 canisters into the landscape.
Carry all the food and water you are going to need, plus money for coffee (and if you do forget the $, buy the round the next time) and always take a pull in the front. (This is awful scary the first time. It feels like you’re a little person trying to bust out of the Earth’s atmosphere for a closer look at the moon, and you think everyone is shaming you for something, when all they are is grateful for your effort. It’s kind of like making dinner for a chef. They’re so glad not to be doing the work that all you have to do is make something. But don’t just open a can, you do have to try your best).

And seriously here’s one of the important ones: if a friend of yours has been collecting Thomson bags for quite some time, and offers them to you, you go all the way and make something totally awesome for him. Who knows, with something like this, maybe he’ll win his next race.



It helps if part of your company description is “We make cool stuff for cool people.”


It also helps if you pick a project that matches your cat’s coat on the outside, and her temperament on the inside.



Don’t forget pockets and adjustable straps. And no gear bag is worth anything unless you can fit two helmets inside.






Thanks to the Grainline Portside Travel Set pattern (it’s been modified only slightly, we used two buckles instead of D rings, and added the shoulder strap cover), and also to the customers who didn’t take their Thomson seat post bags home with them.

Casualties: 1


Happy campers: 1


If sewing an entire bag is too much work, try a simple cycling cap instead. They seem to multiply like bunnies in our neighborhood.