Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Improv

Day two commuting on the Volae was great. Still don't have a 'system' or setup for the gear I'm going to carry etc, but really, do you ever get your equipment to the point that you are still fiddling with it some way or another? I've never come close to being there, but I've got a long way to go on my Volae.

Being sick of not being able to carry water yesterday (and as my truck was at work already, I knew I wouldn't be riding home in the heat of the day) I decided I better figure something out. Today I'll be riding to and from work, and this afternoon the weather network is saying it's going to be 32C, and 42C with the humidity factor. That's blinken not to be riding without water for 26 miles.

I picked up a couple of those adjustable pipe clamps and clamped a water bottle cage to the frame just below the seat. Using pieces of an old inner tube between the frame and cage/clamp of course. Thanks Steeker for the idea! This is for now an interm fix. While ordering some bags and accessories online would obviously take several weeks for the stuff to show up after I ordered it, I needed some solutions now. Enter Canadian Tire. I don't really like this store either, but they do have some different things, and here in Strathmore, it's one of the only stores that has 'outdoorsy' kinds of accessories. I found an insulated water bottle holder with a shoulder strap of 8 bucks. Cashed in some Canadian tire money and took it home to see how it would work.
Without any modification or altering of the shoulder strap, this thing fits on the back of my seat really well! I just crossed the strap, adjusted the tension and installed it under the seat cushion. Fit's my 1 liter Nalgene perfectly. The test ride proved well. No flopping around, and seems to have stayed exactly where I installed it after 26 miles. Stink that was easy.
Third thing was an old set of department store panniers I've had kicking around for years. On a whim, I thought, 'what's it going to hurt'? These are the type that have compartments that go on each side of the rack and one on top. With the top one empty it laid down nice and flat, and fit great under the seat cushion. All my clothes fit in there with plenty of room to spare. I ditched the seat bag I temporarily mounted backwards on the handle bar yesterday for tools (you can see it in the picture in the previous post to this).
All of the above fixes are by no means going to stay, but, they certainly are better than plastic bags and drowning yourself in water prior to heading out. Actually, I'm very surprised at how well these three things have worked. I've just bought some time for research, and learning what other have found to work well prior to me ordering up some stuff.

6 comments:

Jeff said...

Guzzling a liter of water before riding sounds crazy. I'd have to have pee breaks every mile if I did that!

Jerome said...

It seems you can build up your holding capacity!! I actually drank two liters in a matter of about 15 minutes, and didn't need to go until I got to work an hour and a half later. I drink about 6 liters on a good day. Maybe it's just a whole bunch of extra weight, who knows. Oh, gotta go.

Anonymous said...

Nice work Jerome, maybe now you do not need to order all of the other bags. BTW, next time you are in Calgary, you can pick up some dry bags from MEC to keep your clothes and wallet dry. My son is using them for his 30k commute on rainy days with a bag cover to keep his college books dry. BTW, you should put a few more blinkies on the rear of the bicycle for such a long high way commute. MEC is selling a great blinke from Planet Bike that has a strobe of 1/2 watt. http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3034.html
I find that 3 lights help the cars gage better the distance to where you are, kind of like a range finder.

B

Jerome said...

Thanks for the tip B. I took your advice and installed another blinkie for this morning’s ride and I will still put more on. Actually, my wife and I are doing some riding in Calgary this weekend so I might just swing by MEC. I'm kind of thinking that these bags and bottle holder's I've got are going to work pretty good for commuting. I will still looking into purpose built bags for when I get into longer rides and maybe even Randonneuring, but for now they are working really well. Thanks again for the advice. Cheers.

Steeker said...

Nice bike ! having lot's of rear lights on the Bent helps, since I have mounted three tail lights I find cars moving over ealier than before, and I think the red flashy light on back of the helmet works super well, I am going to get a white solid/flasher for the front too

Vik said...

Good work setting up your Volae. I haven't got 160kms on my bents the last 3 days - I'm jealous...=-)