Saturday, December 30, 2017

It's in the bag...

... side bag, that is.

I just installed a new Arkel handlebar bag as a side bag on my Catrike Dumont.  The mounting bracket came from Terra Cycle (  I took a 24 mile shakedown cruise to see how it felt.  Ooooh, I like it!

It rode very well, caused no problems and I really couldn't tell that it was there.  My only concern was fitting through barricades which are placed to prevent any larger vehicle from getting onto the multi-use path, but I discovered there was plenty of room.  If I encountered a problem I could simply remove the bag, go through, and clip the bag back on. (Easy to do)

What I have decided from the ride experience is to:
  • move the bag to the right side of the trike.  Why?  My left shoulder has bone spurs and reaching around, then tugging on the zippers was very uncomfortable.  Actually, it was painful.  I wasn't thinking straight and I'm on antibiotics to cure a painful sinus infection.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • I'm seriously thinking of mounting the bag a couple of inches closer to the trike.  I'll just have to see how it feels. (UPDATE: Moved the bag to the right side.  It's outer edge is even with the edge of the side mirror.  Issue resolved and I'm happy!)
The side bag is really convenient.  In it I have plenty of room for my digital camera, my plastic container of snacks, a chapstick, my cell phone and a power pack to keep the phone charged (I'm typically out 4 to 5 hours and I'm running Strava to track my ride).  The zipper pouch on the outside is where I keep extra AA batts for the camera as well as an extra power pack for the phone.  Each end of bag has an elastic mesh pouch, one is where I keep a shoulder strap.  

The bag has slide mounts that clip and hold the bag securely to the mount.  The bag detaches and can be carried with a shoulder strap.  The top flap of the bag and the inside of the bag are waterproof and the top flap's zippers have overlaps which discourage water from getting inside.  The zippers, because of the overlap, are a bit difficult to pull around but I can understand why.

Not pictured is the clear, sealable map pocket that goes over the top of the bag and attaches with Velcro (TM).  The pouch will hold 8" by 10" documents.  Nifty for maps or directions.

Pros:  It is so, so convenient.  I can reach everything right there while sitting on the trike.  The bag, with frame, is not heavy.  The bag is of very, very good quality.  It's rugged.  Tiger Lily bought all the stuff for me.*

Cons:  It's pricey, but for the convenience I like it and it's worth it. (Arkel bag)

The mounting bracket from Terra Cycle was $111 with shipping to AZ.

Also in the photos you will see my new Arkel trunk bag.  I like it too, especially the nifty strong Velcro (TM) mounting straps that have a nice reflective stripe and it has a built in rain cover.  In it are my repair supplies, first aid gear and a few other things I don't use often.  The bag is easy to install and remove.  It too has a lug for a shoulder strap.  (Arkel trunk)

*This is my family, Tiger Lily.  Like me she is a senior.  We think she is probably 16 years old and the origin of her name is lost to history.  I like to say she bought the new gear for me.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

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