the lazy bike commuter
November 3, 2015 9:14 AM   Subscribe

I want to start biking to work regularly. The trip is about 2 miles each way, on flat ground, mostly through a nice park. What things can I do to make it as easy as humanly possible?

I've been working at my current job for about 8 months. We are a one-car family and currently my spouse is dropping me off and then taking the kids to preschool, then doing the same thing in reverse in the evenings. But I have a hard start time and it's frequently stressful to get everyone loaded into the car and ready to go on time, especially since the 2-year-old is in full "I do it myself" mode, and a lengthy construction process on the route is currently making the traffic annoyingly slow.

So I would like to start biking. It's only about a 15-20 minute ride, mostly flat, and apart from having to cross a couple of major commuter streets, it's primarily residential or through a park with paved bike lanes. I have a Linus mixte bike. I have panniers (which I dislike as they catch on my shoes, but they're OK for now). There is a bike cage at work. Optimal, right? But I haven't biked regularly since junior high and now I work in an office where I wear professional clothes, makeup, and dress shoes, and I'm finding it oddly intimidating to get started even though I'm envisioning this as a pretty sedate process.

I'd like to hear your tips for making this work in as painless and efficient a way as possible, ranging from what to wear to what (if any) emergency supplies I should carry with me other than my phone. And what should I be thinking about for winter? My spouse will drive me during truly inclement weather but I do live in a 4-season city and it will likely be snowing lightly or drizzling at times. I have access to a roomy bathroom at work but no shower, but on the whole I'd prefer not to have to change clothes (shoes are OK). Bonus if anyone can suggest panniers that won't catch on my shoes. I take file folders and a laptop to work and currently have these Timbuk2 panniers.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis to Travel & Transportation (29 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I keep all of my dress shoes at the office, which makes a non-car commute much less stressful. Overshoes may also work, but having a drawer full of shoes to change into works better for me.

Good raingear is a godsend for inclement weather of all types. Bonus points for being large enough to easily pull over your work clothes.

My commute is just a little shorter than yours (1.5 miles), and I've found it easier to just walk most days, particularly if I don't need to be anywhere besides home after work. The time fussing around with bike locks and helmets and potentially splashes from puddles is all kind of a hassle, and over these distances once you consider that amount of time, walking isn't really much slower.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:22 AM on November 3, 2015 [6 favorites]

2 miles on a bike is far less than 15-20 minutes, unless you are riding in very heavy traffic and going uphill the whole way. I usually just wear gym shorts and throw a pair of pants in my bag before I hop on the bike. I have a waterproof shell jacket similar to this one which is tough enough to function as a windbreaker and keeps me warm but can also be easily stuffed into a bag. I also keep a pair of fancier looking shoes at the office so I don't have to carry them. I've never had to do makeup in the morning but I would guess you could get some waterproof stuff or just do it when you get into the office.
posted by deathpanels at 9:27 AM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

The biggest obstacle for me pre-kid was motivating my lazy ass out of bed and ready in order to make it to work in time (mine was a 4 mile commute). So I'd make sure to have my bag of clothes for work outfit ready, my lunch already packed, and my riding clothes already picked out the night before. Then I had no excuse to not go.

The biggest obstacle for me post-kid is the kiddo needing Mama and being slow as molasses to do required things like morning potty and getting dressed. I haven't found a solution to that part yet.
posted by jillithd at 9:29 AM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I bike in business casual and dress shoes. My dress shoes are leather-soled but flat/the-kind-with-a-1/2"-loafer-heel. Plastic pedals work best for this as they don't chew up your shoes.

I bike at a moderate rate and don't actually get sweaty. (My current commute is 2.25 miles, mostly flat).

I have however, adapted most of my work clothes to my bike - my shirts are all machine washable and not too tight, my pants are mainly dressy chinos and machine washable, I wear a knit jacket/hoodie rather than a structured coat when it's cold; my work jackets are all either soft and unstructured or they get carried in my bag.

My backup plans for inclement weather are either walking or busing. I do have to pay attention to the weather report so I can get up early enough to walk if I need to.

I used to bike in skirts, back when I wore skirts. Basically, a bikeable work skirt was a slight A-line, a fuller wool knit or a relaxed pencil, came down to the knee and and was stretchy. You need to really understand in your heart that if you have the right fit on the skirt and it's about knee length, there is no good angle where people can see up the skirt. (When I worked in Shanghai, women would bike in full business dress all the time, including skirt suits, which was what made me realize that you could bike in a skirt.)
posted by Frowner at 9:34 AM on November 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Also: drizzle is a drag. I arrive early and sit behind a desk, so I concentrate on wearing a good rain jacket and keeping my upper body dry with the understanding that my pants legs will dry out by the time others arrive, but if I needed to stay neat-looking, I would walk.

Also, also: I wear loafers to work in nice weather and ankle boots in winter. I have rubber-soled "beater" loafers to wear to bike in the rain - they're perfectly ordinary tassel loafers but they're not fragile and it doesn't matter if they get wet. I also have more- and less-snow resistant boots.
posted by Frowner at 9:37 AM on November 3, 2015

I think the easiest way to do it is actually to NOT carry anything extra. It's 2 miles... if you got a flat or something exactly halfway between your home and your work, you could walk a mile and be home or at work in 15 minutes. So, make sure you have clothes that you can walk a mile in comfortably. Carry a lock so you can abandon the bike safely.

I cycle-commute year-round in Boston (not quite four miles) and I wear pretty much exactly the same clothes I would wear if I were walking, maybe slightly less clothing. If it's pouring rain or very slushy I might wear rain pants, or just plan to change my pants when I get to work (often I will put a skirt in my bag and wear rain pants over tights, then I just put on the skirt over the tights when I get to work). In the hottest months of the summer I wear workout clothes and change when I get to work. I do bike in skirts and dresses a lot. When I wear a fuller skirt I put a rubber band around it to keep it out of the spokes. I try not to wear my nice shoes on the bike because I tend to scrape them up on the pedals (I keep shoes under my desk at work).

For panniers, can you move your existing panniers further back on the rack? I can't quite tell how they attach, but if you can fix them to the back of the rack, you might be good to go. I use REI quick-release panniers, which you can adjust to sit in different places on the rack. If you only have a laptop and a couple of folders, you could also just bungee a briefcase to your rack.
posted by mskyle at 9:39 AM on November 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Can you alter the placement of your pannier so that it is placed a bit further back when on the rack? Either place it a bit further back on the rack, or have a look at the pannier itself & see if you can work out how to move the rack attachment bits forwards: Most panniers are adjustable for precisely this reason!

I presume you already have lights etc?
posted by pharm at 9:40 AM on November 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You have the dream bike commute! You are going to have so much fun! I would suggest you just start doing it and then adjust your routine/kit according to your own personal experience. You really don't need a ton of stuff other than your bike.

My routine (I also work in a professional environment) is that I do 4km each way in city traffic in a city known for rainy weather. I am a woman, and in winter, I find knee high boots, a knee length trench, a big scarf, and large sunglasses/hair covering hat as appropriate do the trick. If it's very wet, I wear waterproof pants under my trench. I generally don't put on make up until I get to work. In terms of bike gear, I find a basket holds my purse just fine. I have a high visibility elasticated basket cover for the rain and consider a reflective Sam Browne belt and decent set of lights very important on dull evenings in winter.

My main weather concern isn't rain but wind. Wind can make an easy cycle sweaty work, and also perilous if in traffic.
posted by bimbam at 9:41 AM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Once you bike to work a couple of times, I suspect that you'll realize how much easier it is than you expected. That's how it went for me. After I biked to work a few days in a row, I realized that it was faster and easier than any other way to get there. Now it's annoying for me not to bike to work, since everything else is slower and has so many hassles involved.

My suggestion would have been to get some panniers, because I hate carrying a bag on my back every morning while biking, but you already have that covered! I just bought myself a bag last night that I found on this review of panniers from the sweethome.

I find that I don't usually get sweaty (unless I'm carrying a backpack), but you could leave some deodorant in your desk if you were worried about that. And I bike in skirts all the time, I just wear some black shorts under my skirt that I take off when I arrive.
posted by peacebone at 9:41 AM on November 3, 2015 [5 favorites]

I got very sweaty when I biked to work and I really did need to change clothes, so I expect this varies by person/route. My advice is to carry some personal wipes with you the first several times so you can get as clean as possible in the bathroom, and plan in an extra five minute cool-down.
posted by bq at 10:12 AM on November 3, 2015

Best answer: I was not fit at all when I started biking. I have a 2.5 mile commute on mostly flat road, and it does take me 20 minutes. I mean, you can go a lot faster; my husband does. But then you're usually sweating and I prefer to just take it easy and have a good time. So don't feel pressured to go faster than you are comfortable. (I also wasn't able to bike to work everyday, and could only do it 2-3 days a week to start with.)

I don't need to wear professional clothing for work, so I just wear normal clothing: flats, skirt, tights, and a tshirt. It's good to start out a little bit cold, so that when you get going, you don't overheat. I bike slowly enough that I get warm but I don't sweat, so I don't need a change of clothing. I don't wear makeup, but I imagine it wouldn't be a problem.

For clothing: You can look into professional looking bike gear, like Betabrand, like this yoga bike to work pants. (I haven't personally tried any, so I can't vouch for it. But I've heard good things.) Definitely bring a rain jacket and a change of shoes (and maybe socks), in case of wet weather. You might also want to figure out a plan for your hair, if there's rain.

For panniers: I love panniers. Carrying a backpack always made me sweat. I went straight to the basic plain black Ortliebs, which are truly waterproof. They're barely big enough for me to fit my messenger bag/backpack in. So I leave it on my bike in the bike locker, and only bring in my bag. I put them as far back on my bike as possible and generally don't run into it with my shoes. (Actually, we bought a pair, and my husband and I each take one.) The only downside I've found is that it's annoying to try to quickly take something in and out of it, so I also use pockets and have a bike handlebar bag if I want a more purse-like bag.

Other things: Other than rain jacket and spare shoes, I would make sure to have all the safety gear: helmet, lights, bell. And if your bike doesn't have fenders, make sure you get fenders.

I don't carry any emergency materials. There are emergency supplies at and near my office. I might also keep a bike pump at the office (though I haven't had to do any of that at work). In the worst case scenario, I would either walk the rest of the way over, or call an SUV Uber to carry me and my bike.

I hope you have fun! I still have my $75 vintage bike, and I love the Linus bikes!
posted by ethidda at 10:32 AM on November 3, 2015

As a person who grew up biking all the time, and then moved to the Netherlands (= moar biking) I will tell you that this is about the most pleasurable and easiest bike commute you can dream of. Ideal for just doing it (beginning tomorrow), and eventually figuring out what you need to improve.

That said...

-- there are panniers with diagonally cut off lower front edges that don't catch on shoes (like the one called "Moab" on this page; look for similar shapes).
-- a small bike repair kit isn't wrong to have, but at 2 miles it's almost like: if you get a flat tire, just walk the rest.
-- I'd look at the weather report of the day. For drizzle, have a waterproof jacket in one of the bags permanently. For heavy rain, gale, deep slush, ice: just drive instead.

More ideas:
-- bike should be kept in a good condition, lubrication and nut-tightening-wise, both for safety and convenience.
-- make sure to adjust the seat optimally to the length of your legs, it makes a huge difference to your biking pleasure.
-- helmet? It is said to be much safer. (I don't own one, but )
posted by Namlit at 10:35 AM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I bike to/from work most days, with a fairly flat 4ish mile commute each way. Agree with much of the advice above, and that it sounds like an ideal bike commute in many ways. My thoughts:

1. Leave your work shoes in your office/desk and bike in flat shoes.
2. Agree with Frowner that you can bike in skirts/dresses if you wear them, but you need to figure out which one work for you. I've worn bike shorts underneath and taken them off at work to ward against peopling seeing up them, but I actually have been more concerned with give on the skirt so that I'm able to, for example, put my feet on the ground at a red light.
3. Get a good bell - I use my bell way more than I thought I would.
4. Agree with personal/facial wipes for a quick cooling down/cleaning off in the bathroom. Those plus a reapplication of deodorant made it possible for me to bike in my work clothes all through the humid summer (and I am a sweaty person).
5. My sweatiness is also on my forehead, hair line, and made worse by wearing a helmet. I found that a spray or two of dry shampoo (the cheap kind from the drug store) before I put on my helmet stopped my hair from being dank and flat when I got to work.
6. Sunglasses made a huge difference to me, even though I spend very little of my ride biking directly into the sun.
7. I don't really wear makeup to work, but if I did I'd probably try to put it on in the bathroom, after I wiped off my face with a facial cleansing cloth. However, you may be less sweaty than me.
posted by Caz721 at 10:45 AM on November 3, 2015

Long skirts on bikes are prone to getting caught up in the rear wheel in my wife’s experience - unless you have a skirtguard on the wheel at least.

She did try gathering them up with a sturdy clothes pin for a bit but I think eventually gave up on long skirts for work purposes as being too much hassle!
posted by pharm at 10:52 AM on November 3, 2015

Any reason why you're taking your laptop home daily? Unless you really have to work after hrs find a way of locking it up at work, together with your dress shoes, wipes, deodorant and make up and dry shampoo. That way you're prepared for all eventualities. Make a habit of always taking your rain gear with you even if it's dry in the morning unless the weather very rarely changes during the day in your location. And then just ride as slow or as fast as you're comfortable.
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:15 AM on November 3, 2015

My advice may not be broadly applicable - I am a veteran city cyclist with a much longer commute I'm quite aggressive about - but:

- Wear a helmet. There are places in the world where you don't need one to get around safely, but none of those places are in North America. Please wear a helmet. Wear a helmet.
- Full-finger gloves are nice to have. You can reset a chain that's come off without getting grease all over your hands, for example
- Leave a full change of clothes at the office just in case.
- Wear a helmet.
- Leave your nice shoes in the office and bike in sturdy flats.
- Did I mention wear a helmet.

For what it's worth, 2-4 miles of paved lanes sounds like you're going to have a delightful time of it. Even on headwindy days if you gear down and take your time rather than pushing you should be able to get around in good time with no more effort than a brisk walk.
posted by mhoye at 11:21 AM on November 3, 2015

2miles is pretty easy. I would just make sure you have your seat / saddle set at the right height. I see so many newbies with low saddles that just makes it so much harder and more exhausting to ride anywhere.

If you are worried - I would do a trial run on a Sunday or something. 2 miles should only take 10 mins.
posted by mary8nne at 11:26 AM on November 3, 2015

Your commute sounds amazing and so, so, so doable. Try it - see what you mess up - and try it first on a nice day without critical "must look sharp" meetings, if applicable. Try it tomorrow. You will love it!

My commute: 4 miles on the bike path (downhill to work, uphill back), then 30 minute subway ride, and 8 minute walk.

My work prep: At work, over time, I have accumulated a dress, couple of skirts, skirt suit, pants, and lots of shoes. I don't have an office but we do have a coat closet where this is permitted; ymmv. I also have a bag with hair product, deodorant, and make up.

My home prep: (Usually), the night before, I lay out my bike clothes to wear, work clothes to pack, and a washcloth to pack. I always pack underwear and a bra. If I am wearing the work suit then I pack only a top; I might bring a rolled up dress and hose; depends.

Ride on: I find that 4 miles is such that I can skip a shower when I get to work. Once I arrive, it takes me 15 minutes to go from walking in the door to sitting down at my desk to work; more on a very rainy day. I walk in, drop my bag, turn on my computer, grab my work toiletry bag, grab my packed plastic bag of clothes, grab any needed work clothes out of the closet, and head to the bathroom. I dampen a piece of paper towel and scrub the pits. Then, I damped my washcloth and wipe my face. In the stall, I disrobe entirely, give the entire bod a wipe over, and put on my work clothes. Then, I fix my hair if necessary (usually isn't, but my standards aren't high), and do my make up. Washcloth gets draped over a box in my cubicle to dry, clothes get sorta laid out under my desk under a dryer sheet for smellage (but they don't smell - I've asked everyone sitting near me who doesn't report to me, and I trust that they'd tell me). That's it!

Synthesis: I LOVE IT SO MUCH, and I never thought I would tolerate a bike commute. My energy has greatly increased, and I am much more present when I arrive home than when I have just been waiting for and on the bus for 45-90 minutes.
posted by teragram at 12:04 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I ride 3.5 miles each way, halfway uphill and halfway downhill, on a mixture of quiet residential streets and busier streets with bike lanes. My city only has 3 weather settings (cold and damp, warmer and damp, summer) and I don't have any advice to offer with riding in below-freezing weather.

Some things that help me stick to biking 4-5 days a week:
- Helmet! Cute helmets are available (Bern, Nutcase) if you want to feel chic but a perfectly functional not-cute helmet can be had for $15. Also, a waterproof helmet cover to keep out rain.
- Wear a bandana or buff knock-off under the helmet to mop up forehead sweat and prevent hair frizz.
- Stick a white light to the front of the bike and/or helmet, and a red light to the back, for use when it is foggy, overcast, or dark.
- Stash shoes, sweaters/jackets, dry socks, and a cleanup kit with wet wipes/makeup/hair stuff at the office.
- Consider stashing a complete change of clothes, in case of unexpected weather changes or huge puddle encounters.
- Keep a way to charge your lights at work (cables if rechargeable, spare batteries if not). Riding in the dark without lights is scary and likely illegal!
- Get tire liners to avoid flats--bike shops will happily put these in for you.
- Get a chain guard to protect your pants/tights/ankles--a bike shop would help with this too.
- Get a tire pump with a gauge and check your tires at the beginning of every week. Low pressure can lead to flats.
- Find a bike shop near your route for peace of mind.
- Experiment with clothing. I generally wear work clothes on the bottom (pants or knee-length a-line or full skirt, with rain pants over the top if wet) and bring my work top in a pannier. I wear a quick-dry type shirt on top, plus a fleece/wool top if cold, finished with a neon windbreaker or raincoat depending on the weather.
- Accept that there is no single pair of gloves which will work year-round. I wear fingerless in the summer, full-fingered in spring and fall, and waterproof lobster mitts in the winter. I've never fallen and hit my head, but I have fallen and smacked my hands, and consider gloves to be useful safety gear!
- Learn hand signals for turns and look up traffic rules. Are you allowed to ride on the sidewalk? Are people driving cars supposed to yield to you or should you act like a car instead?
- Do a few practice runs on the weekend, and take it easy your first week--don't try to ride every day unless you feel great. If you aren't used to biking, your rear may be very sore after the first day. This is normal and as you get used to biking it will fade. However if sore rear persists or you want to ride more than 30 minutes at a time, consider a bike saddle with a cutout in the middle--funny-looking, but miraculous. The term is "anatomic relief saddle."

Your commute sounds ideal for biking. Have fun!
posted by esoterrica at 12:16 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Don't overthink this! You have a short, flat commute with what sounds like a great route, so you can take it really easy and not worry about sweating in your work clothes. Yes, change your shoes, wear rain gear or another jacket as needed. Your panniers almost certainly have some way to adjust so they sit further back on your rack. If you can't get that sorted right now, just wear a backpack to get started.

Just start doing it, before the weather gets worse, and you'll figure it out as you go along. Worst case, something goes wrong and you have to walk a mile or two, which is really not the end of the world. You can get a ton of advice from people in this thread, but realistically, you'll be much better positioned to actually evaluate what may or may not be useful to you once you've been biking for a few weeks. Just hop on that bike tomorrow morning! Biking is fun!
posted by ssg at 12:44 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Frankly, you sound as prepared as you need to be because, as a number of people have noted, this is a dream commute.

I've got a 4ish mile each way bike commute, mostly through the very flat park (a little bit of street traveling at the start and the finish) and I ride a Linus Dutchi. I ride year round, in rain and in snow, in skirts, heels, suits and almost no technical gear at all. I wear an ordinary rain jacket in rain (although sometimes I will swap my work clothes for rain pants in that case); an ordinary overcoat in winter; street shoes all year. I do have a fancy helmet and couple fancy bike bags and fancy reflectors but basically, I just wear what I'd be wearing if I rode the bus almost every single day.

I keep an emergency kit in the office, consisting of one complete work-appropriate outfit (including dry underwear and fresh tights), one too-hot-to-bike-home-in-my-work-clothes outfit (capri leggings and a tank top), baby wipes, deodorant, baby powder and make-up. I also keep a professional tote bag in the office for when I have to go to a meeting and don't want to carry my wallet in my pannier.

My suggestions: Give yourself about 10-15 minutes more than you think you need the first couple of times. Scope out places to lock up, so if the rack you planned to use is full, you know your alternatives. Some skirts are too tight for cycling, so test them before you set out. Some skirts billow too much; so try a skirt garter (I use sock garters) or tuck your skirt hem into the hem of a pair of bike shorts. Don't bundle up as much as you think you need to because even in two miles, you'll be warmer riding than you think.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:50 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I find that cycling in nice trousers wears the inner thigh seams out quickly (there's a lot more friction as you pedal). So I would think about wearing Lycra or leggings instead of normal clothes. And gloves make a huge difference - the faster speed on a bike increases the windchill factor. Wetwipes (or cheap cosmetic cleansing wipes, Nivea or something like that) are nice for when you end up sweaty or rained on.

But aside from that this is a pretty nice short commute, and will probably only take 10-15mins once you're used to it. The nice thing about cylingvtocwork is the lack of stuff - you can just jump in your bike and go.
posted by tinkletown at 2:42 PM on November 3, 2015

I leave my clothes at work and change into them. I just wear the same ones all week and take them home on Friday. That... might not work for you, but you can take a few pieces and mix and match each day to avoid speculation that you're just sleeping in the janitor's closet. A couple each of shirts, pants/skirts, whateverelse will keep you going all week or more.

It's entirely liberating to get on my bike and ride to work with nothing but my lunch.
posted by klanawa at 6:55 PM on November 3, 2015

Definitely get a skirt guard for the rear wheel. It's worth it, not just to protect the skirt but all because it is additional protection against mud. If you're biking through a park, that means on dirt. If it rained the night before, there is a good chance of getting mud on your back if you have a small fender.

Otherwise, just a rain jacket and rain pants. The kind you'd get at an outdoor store for hiking work fine.
posted by cotterpin at 1:54 AM on November 4, 2015

Wear a helmet if you want to, but accept it wont make much difference - helmets are designed to protect you from falling off your bike onto the ground, not to protect you against impacts with traffic: It is far more important to keep your bike well maintained (both brakes must work!) and to learn to cycle well. A short training course on safe cycling from a decent cycling organisation is well worth the cost IMO. In the UK I'd recommend the CTC as the first point of contact, but I'm not sure what the equivalent US organisation is.

Impact energy scales with the square of speed, so a collision at 20mph exceeds the design limits of a helmet by a factor of ~3. 30mph? Forget about it.
posted by pharm at 2:56 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Lunch/snacks in one pannier, work clothes in the other (clothes shouldn't wrinkle in that short amount of time, if folded carefully) and change when you arrive. Bin of shoes left at work to choose from. Bike to work in whatever is comfortable and you don't mind getting wet. Newspaper in the bike shoes during the workday will help dry out rain-soaked shoes before the commute home.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:51 AM on November 4, 2015

8-10 mile commute here, takes me about 30 minutes. I have (and love) Ortlieb panniers. My bike route goes exactly along a really easy train ride which made it slightly difficult to keep going at the beginning. I just started with 1-2 days a week, moved up to every other day and I've done it just about every day since this spring. Plus a nice long ride most weekends. Once it's routine it's easy. In fact I feel bad (like just low energy and dumpy) if I don't get a ride in now. One of the hardest things to get over was when drivers would try to kill me with their cars. To that end I've basically made it my mission in life to agitate for the removal of as many lanes of car traffic as possible.
posted by mike_bling at 12:54 PM on November 4, 2015

My 2c, with the winter coming: put on gloves. You don't need extra warm clothes, because you'll heat up from the exercise, but not having your fingers freeze in the cold breeze is... nice.
posted by gakiko at 3:00 AM on November 5, 2015

My attitude is that a bike lock worth securing my bike with is far too heavy for me to carry around daily, so when I'm cycle commuting, about 3 miles each way, I leave it (a KryptoLok 2) locked to the bike racks at the office.

+1 to pharm's comments about the limited benefits of helmets, although I wouldn't leave home without gloves and eyewear, and to the many praises of Ortlieb's ugly but so-very-waterproof panniers.
posted by A Robot Ninja at 4:47 AM on November 5, 2015

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