This bag was too big for the Eagle, and a minor mishaps left me wondering what to do with it. Final product, though prototype-ishly produced.
2010 shared with me a very nice ride across Iowa, where I met many, many fine people. This year, I will be riding with them again, namely along side my fellow Wheelmen, Rick Stumpff (the first picture, below, is of Rick and me during last year’s RAGBRAI), and my dad! It will be a great experience to be allowed to do this with my dad – how much someone can look back on times like these, and be so grateful for the allowance of such a trip. I’ll be riding my Spillane Eagle the whole week, Rick (I assume!) will be on his Spillane Whitney, and my dad will be on his post-WWII Motoconfort (Motobecane) tourer. To get us to where we can meet up with our friend, Monsieur Stumpff, my dad and I will be driving a 1963 Corvette back to Missouri, where we will join the team, and drive up to Iowa for the start. The complication in driving a Corvette, while hauling both a penny farthing and vintage touring bike were left to my grandfather, who still to this day awe-strikes me with his ability. As you can see below, we will be making Missouri in the 63, with very few issues!
Part of my preparation for RAGBRAI included coming up with a way to carry my water / goods, without having to fill up my jersey pockets (I hate things on my back if I can help it). My first attempt at a bag utilized a new design and stitch process than I’ve used in the past, and I must say, I was very pleased with the outcome. That said, it was very much a prototype, with a few mistakes in stamping the holes, and the bag turned out to be too tall for the Eagle; when riding it, someone with long legs / tall knees hits the bottom of the bag. Additionally, because the bag is so tall, if it is not stuffed full, it shapes a little strange on the eagle, due to only having one single support rod in the back (the downtube of the bike itself).
I ventured into a shorter bag, hoping the outcome would be half as good as the first. Much to my pleasure, it was, and then some. I think this bag is even more stylish on both the Eagle and touring bikes (or rather, bikes with racks). On a modern bike, it looks like a nice sized tool bag, uniquely sized and shaped – I was very pleased.
As well, when I put both bags on a touring bike, they look great together. I could easily see making two of the bigger ones, and two of the smaller and doing a fully loaded tour on them. Once RAGBRAI is complete, and I am back in the safety (and heat) of my own state, I will craft a few extras of these, and sell them to those interested.
After hosting some wonderful folks from warmshowers.net and riding with them from Phoenix to just east of Globe, I started looking for a more suitable touring bike for the times I don’t feel like slowly trucking along (or standing out like a mammoth sore thumb) on an ordinary. Lucky me, I stumbled across this beautiful Bertin, imported from Wingene, Belgium. The price included a huge box of parts dating 1960 and older, a book with wood-engraved pictures of bicycles dating 1850-1950, two 60s/70s Carradice bags and the Brooks saddle bag pictured (including the quick release and the seat post rack – if one doesn’t have a rear rack). A neat feature to the bike (besides the obvious) is the integrated rear rack. A few things on this bike is a half mystery, but I love it for its quirks like that. The chainguard alone made the purchase worth it.
If you like bikes, and I certainly do, you will probably enjoy these two videos taken by my good friend Alexander Hongo. I had intended to leave Eugene yesterday, so I packed my panniers and got them on the bike. Turns out, I was sick when I woke up, so I stayed another day. Here is some footage of me riding through Eugene on my Kennedy, fully loaded. One features coasting on an ordinary cycle, the other has me pedaling at 20 miles per hour with ~30 pounds of gear (fully loaded). Enjoy!