Accessories: Carradice Long Flap Saddlebag

My Thorn Raven has a new bit of kit on board – a Carradice Long flap Saddlebag.  I think it looks just great on the bike and will more than earn its keep.

My 'new' Carradice Saddlebag

I have one been convinced about this particular model of saddlebag (and saddlebags in general), but its taken me sometime to get one into place – they are great value for money, but hardly cheap.  With new ones costing the better part of £50 I have been watching them come and go on Ebay for months, hoping to pick up a bargain: but have you seen the prices they go for?  I have seen some very tatty examples go for over £30.

I was delighted to be offered one by a mate who has decided to put his touring days behind him.  It’s all the better to have a bag with some personal ‘history’ and I’ll carry it from now on with great pleasure and happy memories of a generous spirit.  We agreed a bit of bartering for a book token in exchange that allowed me to say my thanks properly.

The bag will be great for day runs carrying bike repair gear, waterproofs and a nice picnic, or for weekend trips and will come into its own once we are packed for longer tours.  The saddle bag which hangs from the back of my Brooks saddle will help with weight distribution overall and take weight away from the rear stays in particular.

If a new one takes your fancy to to find out more, check them out on the Carradice site.

Accessories: Ortlieb Bar Bag Organiser

While I am a big fan of the Ortlieb Bar Bag for its toughness,waterproof quality and ease of mounting on the bike, on my last trip I found the lack of any internal organising divisions a real pain: I found I was constantly rummaging about in the bag to find individual items.  I cannot find an organiser system for sale, except for cameras, so I set to, to make my own from a recycled camera bag.

The set up here adds almost nothing to the weight (which totals 1650 gms so is virtually half the maximum Ortlieb recommends) and neatly holds these items:

  1. wallet
  2. digital camera – Canon IXUS 75
  3. Garmin Edge 800
  4. sunglasses and reading glasses
  5. iPhone
  6. cycle computer – Cateye Vectra Wireless
  7. binoculars – own brand 10×25
  8. pen and notebook – Moleskine
  9. daily paperwork – hotel vouchers etc.
  10. handtowel
  11. keys (attached to lid)
  12. micro-torch
  13. Passport and insurance documentation
  14. Ortlieb shoulder carry strap
  15. additional waterproof cover – just in case!
This arrangement leaves plenty of space and weight for any essential extras and emergency energy bars needed from time to time and so I am pretty pleased with it in prospect.