Last September I bought myself a bike. I live in a college town rife with bike lanes, and I can park at one place of work, so biking onto campus makes a lot of sense.
But I am not an efficient cyclist, and my back gets really sweaty before leaving my neighborhood if I’m wearing a backpack. So after doing some research on how and what attaches to the back of normal bikes. I determined that a rack was essential, but that i couldn’t afford any reasonable bags after the cost of bike and rack.
After much internet searching, I decided to use some scrap fabric and cardboard and just make some. They were… Useful. Not fantastic, but they certainly worked. They were a basic bag shape without a lid, one for each side of the bike, and connected by a couple inches of fabric over the top the rack. I had turned the top edges under to prolong its life, but forgot to put in buttonholes to thread bungee cables through, so it was slightly torn, which only got worse over time. To stiffen the cotton fabric so it didn’t get caught my wheels, I used some cardboard, effectively making these super bad in the rain.
But I used this version for probably 6 months. Somewhat because I was too lazy to do it again, and somewhat because I didn’t have the right fabric.
In April I finally gave up looking for cute fabrics and settled on some black water resistant utility fabric.
This time I altered the bag pattern a little so that the bag bottom slanted upwards, and I added flaps to help cover the contents. I also added pockets to the back so I can add stiffener like a sheet of acrylic. I’m still working fitting that acrylic into the pockets, but i think it’ll fit if i shave off an inch.
I’m finding the bags a little difficult squeeze things in, but they’re secure, water resistant, and easy to retrieve things from when reach my destination.
Out of the same fabric, I made a cover for bike seat, and does its job even its not pretty. I’m learning not leave it on when I ride bike, though, as it often is more slippery than the actual seat, but it has helped when I had wore a skirt from a rather slippery fabric.
Alright then. That’s all I’ve got to say on this subject right now. Reasonably effective, highly useful, probably will get remade if I end up in a bike friendly town post-degree!