Rule number 29 from the Velominati dictates we not use a saddle bag. Up until Wednesday, I adhered to this rule. I have, for the last several years, used a smart-looking pack that carries everything I need and fits in my middle back jersey pocket. I will not, under any circumstances, put a saddle bag (or seat bag as they’re sometimes called, thank you Matt) on my Venge. I had one on the bike and it looked like a Ballchinian from Men in Black. I can’t live with that.
On the other hand, that back pocket pouch takes up some real estate in the pocket area that can be used for important things on a long tour, such as a rain jacket or arm warmers/knee warmers after it’s grown warmer as the day progresses.
I’ve got a four-day, 385 mile tour coming up in a few weeks and to tell the truth, I don’t like carrying everything in my back pocket on that trip. It gets heavy and becomes a nuisance by the final day, so I am breaking with Rule 29. Kind of.
Now, before you get all uppity, my defiance isn’t unprecedented. There exists a carve out for the saddle bag:
…But, it’s still a saddle bag. While a functional, good looking one, the fact remains that any saddle bag looks worse than none at all. I can’t see it gracing my bike except for very long rides, when the maximum of gear needs to be carried. So if you’re going to mess with Rule #29, do it in style, keep it small, tidy and only filled with the bare essentials. I’m sure even an Apostle will back me up on this one.
Emphasis is mine….
My friends, there you have it. My bike looks better without a posterior man satchel, there is no doubt:
On the other hand, 385 miles in four days. 100+ miles a day for the first three and 72 on the fourth. That qualifies as a long ride and as I said, I need that pocket real estate for more important things.
So, it was with great pride that I went to the shop the other day and picked out the first saddle bag I’ve used in years. It does look a little goofy, but it beats carrying all of that crap around in my back pocket for four days!
***PS. None of this post should be taken seriously. The rules should even be read with an eye toward humor. Still, a man can’t have a Ballchinian for a bike either!