Hip To Be Square

As a lifelong Monty Python dork I was obviously sad to learn that Terry Jones has died:

And so this morning I memorialized him the only way I knew how:

Well, to be completely honest, I was heading out for a ride on the Jones when I checked my phone and saw the news, but that makes my retroactive tribute no less poignant.

As for my ride, it consisted mostly of ice pockmarked with footprints:

Interspersed with brief stretches of crunchy snow:

Not my tire tracks

Both of which the Jones, with its 3-inch wide tires, long wheelbase, and upright riding position, handled with aplomb–actually, more than aplomb. We’re talking two or three plombs, at least!

Of course, I’ve been riding the Jones long enough that I’m no longer surprised by how capable it is. I was, however, also trying out a new product, that being the Spurcycle Hip Pack, which I recently received for testing:

And by “Hip Pack,” they basically mean fanny pack.

Here’s mine:

Sorry, cat got in the way. Here’s a better shot:

There was once a time I’d never have considered wearing a fanny pack, or hip pack, or whatever you want to call it. Then again, there was also a time when I had dignity, and a full head of hair. (The two may be related.) Also, some years back, Rivendell sent me this bag:

I don’t know if they still offer it but you’re welcome to peruse their bag offerings

I use this bag often–off the bike more than on, as it happens; it’s basically my purse–and the idea is that you can carry it either over your shoulder or on your waist. I’d always written off the waist application (you know, dignity and all), but lately I’ve begun to see the appeal: sometimes a backpack is overkill, and if you don’t have a rack on your bike for carrying small items a waist bag starts to make sense. Plus, it’s cooler in the summer. (I mean cooler as in, “Less back sweat,” not as in, “Look at that cool guy in the fanny pack!”)

When it comes to smallbaggery I’m also quite fond of my Jones H-Bar Pack, which I’ve been using since the days of Ol’ Piney:

Basically I keep it stocked with a mini pump and a pair of Z-Loks at all times, adding food and sundries as needed. It’s also a perfect repository for gloves and other items you tend to shed mid-ride during the warmer months. The trade-off is that when it’s on it’s a little harder to use all the hand positions the H-Bars offer, plus when I’m picking my way through the trickier sections on the Trails Behind The Mall the contents of the bag do tend to rattle around a bit. Then there’s the fact that you can’t carry it around with you.

All of this is to say that the Spurcycle Hip Pack was intriguing to me. Not only did it seem like it might be a bit more stable than the Rivendell bag, but it would also free up some real estate on my bars:

So I transferred the contents of the Jones bag to the Spurcycle bag, fastened it around my middle-aged midriff, and headed out.

My main concern was that I would not be able to integrate the fanny pack into my winter layers, but look at that, it sat right under my jacket like some sort of vestigial organ:

I’m pleased to report that not only was the bag quite comfortable, but I also completely forgot it was there. Granted, I was carrying very little in it (just the pump and the Z-Loks), but I’ll continue to bring it along on my be-jorted ramblings and see how it goes.

Maybe I’ll bring the cat along next time, seems like there’s enough room in there.

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