Sunday, May 05, 2013

This should guarantee that it will never rain again

  As a bicycle commuter in Texas, rain poses some particular problems for me. If I were to wear my rain gear for the ride, it's usually so hot that I would be soaked in sweat by the time I got to my destination. Not to mention the fact that my rain gear is so old that the waterproofing has worn off. The simplest solution is to just put on some grubby clothing, get soaked, and change when I get to work/home. However, this means carrying a change of clothing and another pair of shoes, in addition to all the other gear I need for my day. Years ago I made myself a leather bike bag which has worked quite well for when it's dry, but when it's pouring rain it doesn't quite hold everything I need, and it isn't completely waterproof. When I made the large front rack for my bike, it was intended to be paired with a new, waterproof bag that would hold everything I could possibly want, and I've finally finished it:

The exterior is constructed out of urethane coated Cordura, in addition to some webbing, twill tape and Velcro. The adjustable shoulder strap is permanently attached, so I can just grab it and go, rather than having to hunt for the strap to attach it. All the pockets and pocket flaps are lined with vinyl coated polyester:
The interior is a floating shell of the vinyl coated polyester, and the main compartment securely fastens with a roll top closure:

It attaches to the bike at the rear rack loop, at the handlebars, and uses elastic cord to attach to the rack at four points:
Here is is on the bike, where you can see just how ridiculously huge it is:
While posting these photos, I noticed the one screw-up that escaped my notice until just now, but I've spent so much time working on this project that I'm just going to let it go. This was sewn on my industrial sewing machine, and when I started I still wasn't all that confident in my usage of it and there were plenty of stitching errors. There was a previous version of this, but it ended up not working out. I had planned it out with the idea of constructing things like I would have if I'd used leather, and that turned out to be a bad idea. This version is the simpler version, and now that it's complete (and now that I've given the machine a speed hack) I feel much more comfortable sewing with the machine. And now I can get back to the leather work.

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