Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Part 2 Bags, Bikes & Aero Planes

Bags, Bikes & Aero Planes

So here we are at the airport with a pile of gear. Let’s go from big to small, for the big is the easy one being my bike broken down in its case. Next is the two rear panniers, the trunk bag, the handle bar bag, then the carry-on bag not to exceed one cubit by. (“Lord what’s a cubit?”) And then finally my man purse, yeah I know but with all the funky airline rules in place to nickel and dime you for each and every little thing this falls under the level playing field doctrine. If a woman can carry a purse stuffed with every item for a dinner party for eight then still is allowed a “carry-on bag” well then I am going to carry a man purse each and every time I fly. Level playing field right?
What a pile of stuff I now have lying at my feet. Let alone trying to move it. Once I did use “the bungee cord method” with a wrapped cord trying to hold it all as one piece. Utter fail was that comedy, for as soon as I picked up one bag another bag found away to escape to the floor and I was once again starring at the pile swearing it was all possessed by some demonic curse.
Then one day before a tour as I wandered the local sporting goods store I spied large cheap nylon duffel bags. I had the moment where the light comes on and there is a clear map from problem to solution..okay so I am embellishing this, as the real thought was a Homer like DUH:) I grabbed the largest bag in bright red. This was not going to be a life time quality bag as the thin nylon material wanted for its small size when empty was … thin. At home I assembled all of the above pieces from my travel kit and one by one stuffed then in their new big red one home. I took my bike cable lock and threaded it through all of my gear. If the bag failed somewhere over the Atlantic I still wanted to have everything on the inside of the red bag hooked together.
That was the beauty of that bag was now I was traveling with two bags and no longer got that look of scorn from the airline check in people. I also was able to fold it up and store it in the bottom of one of my pannier. This having it with me on a ride worked well when I had to pull all my gear off the bike for a train ride.
I so far have gotten two trips of use from big red. One more and it will most likely get retired with big red #2 taking its place.

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