Got a couple of nice gifts for the bike…

I don’t think that title quite works grammatically. What I meant to say is that someone sent me a couple of nice gifts to be used on the bike.

These weird-looking panniers, which stick up in the back high enough that the old man will never be able to Riker-maneuver his sole remaining leg over them – but it has to be that way because…

…they fold down, you see, and in theory will hold a ton of groceries. The awkward part is that they replace saddlebags that are already half full of things I’m not comfortable going without, like water and a spare tube (bulky, with these fat tires) and a big intimidating chain and lock and other sundries that won’t fit in the tool bag. So where do they go, I asked myself.

Turns out that the second gift kind of made an answer to that question non-negotiable…

Now, this is cool and addresses a problem I’ve wrestled with ever since the bike arrived four seasons ago. It’s a handheld electric tire pump with enough power to actually inflate a fat tire. This is serious: a CO2 cartridge won’t do it, a little hand pump won’t do it before the heat death of the universe. My only practical method of inflating a bike tire has always been the electric inflator in the back of the Jeep. Not convenient to the side of a remote dirt road when I’m on the bike. I have never had to replace a tube on the side of the road yet but I have limped the bike home with a puncture at least three times just having been lucky. It’s been on my mind: my luck isn’t usually that consistently good. So I really wanted one of these things, and the gift was remarkably timely here at the beginning of the warm season when I’m playing hopefully with the bike every day and praying for the rain to stop.

But it did create yet another storage issue…

…it wouldn’t fit in my conventional underseat tool bag. Bother!

So now I had enough theoretical storage space to evacuate Ukraine but it was all folded up, so there was no place to actually store all the stuff I usually (and very much want to) carry with me! Huh!


With those folding panniers sticking up like that the top of the cargo rack – which I normally use to actually carry cargo – becomes kind of useless. So – I can’t believe I’m really asking this – could I get a(nother) cargo bag sized to fit the top of the rack? Turns out that yes, I can. So I sent away for one before I talked myself out of it.

This is starting to feel a little silly. Sure hope it all works when I’m through.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Got a couple of nice gifts for the bike…

  1. Ben says:

    The danger when you newly have something on the back of your bike that’s too high to throw a leg over, is that you will forget when you are trying to dismount. You start to jump off the bike, but your leg gets caught in mid-swing. And suddenly you are on the ground with your bike on top. Not particularly dangerous, but very undignified!

    Ask me how I know.

  2. B says:

    Have you used (or considered using) Tire Slime? It is pretty good for stopping small leaks that are caused by things like thorns and such.
    Put it in the tire (tube) and forget it.
    Might be an option for you.

  3. paul b says:

    Slime can cause other issues. They make some tough tires and tubes that could help.

    Something I need to think about when I get mine back out of storage.

  4. kentucky says:

    Next step . . . ultra-lightweight trailer! 😉

  5. Joel says:

    B: I did fill the tubes with Slime last summer and hope that will solve my thorn problems. But I don’t assume it will.

  6. Ben says:

    You haven’t yet ran out of places to carry cargo on that bike. Front panniers are possible, plus Rad sells front baskets.

  7. Malatrope says:

    …and bags that attach where a fuel tank would be on a motorcycle. It does eventually get very unwieldy though.

  8. Chris says:

    Joel – You may have already thought of this but keep in mind the more weight you add, the more battery drain due to that additional weight. Unfortunately I don’t know to what extent that will occur. Based on the data you already posted you may be OK

  9. Anonymous says:

    and all that stuff makes it more attractive for the vermin to beat your head in for all of it….

To the stake with the heretic!