by Gus Breiland
I have a plain ’80 CB650 for my winter bike and bombing around town. Nothing flashy and in no danger of being stolen. In fact every once in a while $20 is taped to the tank with a note “Get a better bike, dude!” My bike is so plain that there is neither a rack for a top box / milk crate or the motivation to install one.
Minimalist me, I choose to throw a courier bag around me and zoom off for my daily dose of road rage, pothole scanning and errands. My courier bag is perfect for riding, unobtrusive, water resistant and able to carry what I need. Aerostich has a “Top Ten Ways To Do More Riding” list that includes “Always be able to haul stuff…” and that is exactly why I am never far from my Timbuk2 bag
Timbuk2 has been making their bags since 1989. Made of Cordura Nylon with a 13-oz. vinyl lining this bag has had multiple uses over the last 3 years. I use it on my standard going to and fro wrapped around my body. The cross strap keeps the bag from shifting and swinging around to the front. It is a pannier liner for my hard bags on the touring bike. Not only is it backup for when my hard cases leak, but it is cheaper than the “custom” liners out there and better looking, in my humble opinion. While out on the highway, it makes overnight stops at the local motel so much easier, park the bike, grab the tank bag and pannier (courier) bag with out having to unlock the hard bags and I am done. I also use my courier bag as my carry-on luggage for air travel. This bag can be folded, twisted and jammed into all the right places on the plane while protecting it’s contents from the elements and outside interests.
Inside, the bag is divided into the main compartment and 3 small pockets on the side. The compartments are good spots to keep pens, CD’s and PDAs and they have Velcro closures in case you go arse over tea kettle to keep your stuff in its place. Under the main flap on the front of the bag is another compartment with a zipper and a pocket behind that for more stuff. The strap is adjustable with a simple eccentric cam latch along with the cross strap that I had mentioned before to keep it from shifting while flying down the road. Velcro and durable plastic clips hold the main flap shut at highway or better speeds. The bag even has 2 removable reflective tabs for visibility.
The cool thing about the Timbuk2 courier bag line is the color is customizable. Want it one color, so be it. 3 colors? OK. Mine is Red, Yellow and Green. The construction of the bag allows for 3 colors vertically and lets you match any suit, bike, or fruit of your choosing.
Timbuk2 makes 4 sizes of bags, small — Pee Wee ($55), medium — El Ocho ($65), large — Dee Dog ($75) and x-large — Bolo ($85). Added features are also available, including a cell phone holder on the strap, laptop sleeve and many others. With a lifetime warranty how can you go wrong? The Dee Dogs work great in the BMW airhead hard cases by the way! You can customize them at www.timbuk2.com on the web or find stock designs at your local bicycle shop.