When I made Basil’s “M” bag, I made the flap removable so that Basil could wear whatever sort of ornamentation struck his fancy.; naturally, he was going to need an Events Bag to mark his formal cycling adventures. He’s been sporting this new bit of luggage for a few rides now, and it’s worked out very well.
For this iteration of the M bag, I made a new flap, and added a few modifications to the original bag, based on how I’ve used it.
These front flaps are basically shaped like chubby letters “U”. The tabs at the top have soft hook-and-loop closures on the reverse side, which connect with the bristly hook-and-loop sections sewn to the back of the bag.
When assembled, the front flap wraps around the Brompton frame, and the flap sides are secured around the frame’s handle. (The frame is a cut-down Brompton S frame.)
Here’s how the new flap looks attached to the bag. (Those two “ears” on each side are open pockets, just large enough for snacks, dog repellent, and the like.)
The original M bag flap was asymmetrical with a buckle underneath; the inner bag was completely open. The new one attaches around the handle with the same hook-and-loop fasteners , but there’s no buckle in the front.
Magnets are now sewn to the underside of both flaps to hold them in place when Basil flies down the road. This particular bag is designed to collapse at the top when it’s not full, so I modified the bag body with two rows of magnets on the front of the bag, corresponding to the larger and smaller positions.
The bottom row of magnets is visible when the bag is fully open, but that’s not a concern: Function before form!
I’ve been using the M bag in its original configuration with no problems, but decided that I’d like to have some way to close it completely under the flap, to make sure that small goods didn’t go flying, and to allow over-loading it when I might be tempted to do so.
This go-round, then, I added a nylon ripstop cuff, with a drawstring, When it’s not needed, this extension tucks into the bag around the inside edges, leaving the opening quite accessible.
All in all, this version is a lot more functional than the earlier iteration. I’ve become a big fan of magnets as closures — they connect automatically and stay put, whereas the chunky buckle I had used previously was sometimes a pain to close, and always a bit of a bother, due to being hidden under the flap.
About Those Patches
Finding embroidered patches isn’t always as easy as you’d think — the 5 Boro doesn’t sell them, for example, so I had to get creative to snag these.
At the 2013 5 Boro Tour I spied an embroidered luggage tag, and snapped it up. In 2014, I bought a baseball cap (!) (at a clearance price, go figure) from which I cut that lovely embroidered shield.
MG supplies great patches for her Coffeeneuring and Erranddonnee events; those were much more easily acquired.
I somehow always get patches slightly lopsided when I sew them on, but have decided it’s a feature, not a bug. It’s the human touch! Patches always seem kind of rambunctious anyway, don’t you think?
That Victory patch? Oops. I’d sewn it on before I remembered that we’ve failed to make Victory’s PASA event every year so far. (It usually occurs when I’m out of town.) I bought the patch reflexively when we saw them in the Victory store.
I don’t actually drink beer, so I’m declaring that the “event” for this badge is the run Basil and I make to pick up Victory Brewing Company’s Hopped Up Devil ice cream.
Trust me, there is no better ice cream (cayenne! coffee beans! chocolate!); acquiring and consuming it is an event-worthy experience, and a much more worthwhile activity than wrestling with removing a bunch of tiny stitches that hold an admittedly slightly illegitimate patch on Basil’s new flap.
In fact, I think I’ll just find my way to the freezer right now; Basil and I can pick up more on our next trip nearby. It’ll be an event!