14 April 2016

Taking Them With You

What do you like to take with you when you ride?

There are, of course, the things we must take with us.  For most cyclists, they include keys for the house (a, possibly, a bike lock), identification, some cash and, perhaps, a credit or ATM card.  Many of us would also include a couple of small tools (or a multitool), tire levers and a spare inner tube--and, depending on the conditions in which we're riding, a bottle or two of water and an extra layer of clothing or a rain jacket.  And a banana or energy bar.

Then there are those things we want to take. Often, that includes a camera (or something that can be used to take photos).  I also like to have something to write with and write on or, if I am leaving home for more than a day or two, a notebook--or my tablet.  And, when I have taken multiday tour, I usually had a book or two in my panniers. 

Now, if I had my druthers, I'd take Max and Marley with me.  Neither they, nor any other cat I've had, were crazy about being carried in a basket or bag, or about posing on my handlebar stem.  Plus, their tastes seem not to run to bananas, Clif bars and Gatorade.

Oh, there's one other thing I like to have with me, whenever I can, on my bike:  flowers.  Yes, even when I was the "before" photo (i.e., before I became my siblings' transistor), I would tuck a bud I'd plucked into a vent in my helmet or between crossed cables or on any other nook or cranny.  Although my favorites are lilacs and cherry blossoms, I'm not picky about what kind of flower I wear on myself or my bike: They all make me happy.

Over the past few years, creative and enterprising people have come up with accessories for carrying six-packs, bottles of wine, pizzas and all sorts of other things.  So, I should not have been surprised to see these:


Atlanta-based artist/designer Coleen Jordan likes to have flowers with her wherever she goes.  That motivated her to design the vases in these photos, as well as necklaces, badges and other jewelry that contain tiny living plants.  They are available from her shop, Wearable Planter, on Etsy.



  1. When I go for a ride (as distinguished from running an errand), I take almost nothing. Nothing to separate me and the bike. A spare inner tube and tire levers in a bundle the size of my fist under the saddle (or a tubular), water in the bottle on the frame, an atm card, period. My vintage road bikes have frame pumps. I would not consider doing anything else on a ride but ride and listen to my body.

    But I have also cut back on luggage on trips. Two years ago I flew to the US from Europe and carried everything in a medium sized rucksack that went as a cabin a carry-on. And for a two month stay. (Created confusion at airports:"Where is your luggage? What?") And for the last year or so I have carried out a big bag of useless stuff to a local flea market every other month or so. Cutting back. Going minimalist I guess.

    The bottom line: you don't have to equip yourself as if you were on an expedition to Baffin Island. There is no need to live under the illusion that one needs to be self sufficient in a modern society. Nobody is in any case.


    Ps: I have been known to stop at a food store in the deep country side and buy one banana with an atm card, taking the bike into the store. No lock...

  2. Leo--Oddly enough, I often carry less with me on longer rides than on local ones. I have had experiences like yours in airports, in which checkers asked where my luggage was.