In other news, I’ve got my bike out again. Toronto’s going to be a much better city than Ottawa for bike-as-transportation, except that the elevation profile for my ride from home to work looks like this:
Unfortunate, especially since there are no showers at work. I might end up taking the bus up the steep part with the bike on the bus’s bike rack some days, or just figuring something out to clean up and change at work anyhow. I feel kind of silly because shorts and a T-shirt are fine at FreshBooks, but I don’t really like wearing shorts day-to-day, even in summer.
I do want to get something to carry stuff on the bike instead of my back, though. Even though I’ve got a nearly-new Timbuk2 messenger bag, I’d like to avoid the damp back that comes from cordura-on-cotton. Current plan is to pick up a CETMA 5-rail front rack:
They’re handmade by Lane Cagay in Eugene, OR of cromoly tubing, with a weight limit of over 40 lbs (although the racks can handle a lot more, that’s when steering starts to get a bit wonky, apparently — and here’s why the front). On a lark I checked Craigslist yesterday and it turns out there’s someone with an unused 5-rail for sale just a few blocks north of here, so that’s awfully serendipitous. I figure even if I don’t ride to work daily, just doing all my errands at this end of town on the bike will be a plus compared to walking or bussing it everywhere.
I’ll post photos once I’ve got the rack!
2 responses to “Nice rack.”
I’d say steering will get wonky well below 40lb., especially if you’ve got street car tracks etc. to deal with. For my part, I’ve never found a front rack that I liked, for exactly this reason. Any reason you don’t want to choose rear-mounted panniers?
Full disclosure: I actually prefer the sweaty back to all other options…. 8^)
Partly because I don’t want to have to carry panniers inside with me every time I leave my bike (because they’ll be gone in minutes otherwise), partly because I want the flat carrying capacity (kitty litter! beer!), and partly all those reasons I linked where it says “why the front” :-) And I appreciate the heritage:
But the general answer is that I noticed that a lot of people who spend a lot of time thinking about and doing utility cycling seem to like the load up front.
(And of course nothing prevents me from tossing on a rear rack and a couple of Wald baskets too, later.)