We set off with Marcel on dad-son microadventure to New Forest. The highlight of the trip was visit to National Motor Museum. I must admit we were nicely surprised with the quality, but disappointed with ticket prices for me+child £29, even with 20% off for using a bicycle to get there.
After visit we dived into New Forest and setup small camp.
This was Marceli’s first time sleeping in a hammock so he was a bit wiggly whole night, but I think he will eventually like it. Amazing night without even slightest wind, so that added to whole excitement. You can clearly hear forest life, we even heard being robbed from our cashew nuts at some point, but too lazy to get out and check ;-).
I wanted to test Blackburn cargo cages, as some time ago I swapped my fork with fancy steel one with all possible mounts and nuts (on each leg I got 7 attachment points for different setups).
The cages/bags worked like expected, and whole sleeping system (hammock, tarp, underquilt, sleeping bag) can be carried in these two bags. This way I’m really accessing these on camp, and I can use more accessible rear panniers for other gear.
All in all, 100km covered and I used trains and small ferry to make whole trip more interesting (and split into “chunks”). Quality time with kids, to prevent them becoming just customers in the future.
DIY bonanza continues, and again I recreated (almost) Alpkit bags. This time I made Mk2 of the frame bag I’ve got already. The bag is proven to be probably the most useful piece of kit, mostly for storing hardware like tent poles/pegs, pump, puncture kit, battery pack etc. The only change I’ve done this time is additional hole for cable on the side. Construction is simple not to say primitive. Two side panels on the left hole for cable
(corresponding with same hole in top tube bag) on the left (always dismounting on the left side) is zipper, and there’s no point to split the bag so it’s one large compartment. Polyester webbing around and stitched in places (Alpkit idea) to create attachment points for Velcro straps.
Top bag is a similar construction: two side panels, zipper in the middle, cable hole on the right. On front and bottom is piece of webbing sewn same way as on frame bag, to provide “loops” for velcro straps.
Both bags are made of Cordura type fabric which is quite stiff and thick, and probably better choice will be some kind of reinforced polyester or something. The problem with Cordura is when you sewing thick material like that it is real pain to make all tight corners nicely, but I wanted to make it on cheap from the stuff I already got. Anyway bags came out as expected, and despite the fact I’m not happy with quality of my stitching they should do the job. Below short story in pictures.
hole cover (made of ripstop nylon) sewn to right panel roughly just to keep the fabric in place
I had normal zipper (quite long) so I had to shorten it to the right lenghth
thick cordura is a bit awkward so plenty safety pins used (I still didn’t manage to sew it straight)
ending of the zipper covered with double layer of ripstop nylon (less thick than cordura easier to manouver)
finished left pannel, at that point I just simply cut off mirrored panel from right one
I roughly measured circumference of the pannel and cut much longer strip of fabric, so at the end I can join it together and cut off what’s left
left pannel hand stiched to “center belt”
everything sewn together. I haven’t got picture, but essentially I had to add poliester webbing (for attaching Velcros) before sewing right pannel. I simply fliped everything on the “right” side and sewn every ~7cm as velcros are 5cm wide
cable hole cut undeneath, hand stitching still there and on the insde looks pretty ugly
top of the bag a piece of webbing stiched to the bag
both bags finished
nothing really to say about the small one same construction
webbing on the bottom with velcros
tada! finished product on a bike
I need to figure out better velcros positioning
both top and frame bag have cable holes on the same side so I’ll be able to transfer some “juce” if needed
when they’re empty looks a bit weird but one they filled with stuff I’m pretty sure will look better
I’ve decided to make my own “snack bag” for the bike, basically used the idea from Alpkit Stem Cell (with my own dimensions) and make my first piece of gear with liner. Didn’t go as I expected, so at the end I had to cut some corners. Normally the easiest way is to sew the liner and then sew it to the outer shell, but the position of stitching needs to be carefully thought through. I made mistake and some of the stitching are inside. Minor detail next time I’ll do it properly. All in all the bag is doing the job as you can see.
I used Cordura type fabric as is stiff and I don’t need anything to keep the shape
First stich and webbing sewn
That’s how it looks after turing inside out. The webbing obviously needs to be slightly longer than circumference of the fabric
lazy way of finishing bottom, at that point the fabric stiffness started to be annoying
view from the side, the excess eventually has been cut
sewing liner using poliester ripstop, in red to give it “Dracula look” ;-),I’ve done it the wrong way
just a tube with drawstring channel on top
top of the shell with one fold sewn
another fold on top to create stiff edge
liner pushed all the way to the fold and sewn (just enough space on my machine to fit the tube)
again I’ve done it wrong way the whole liner should be done and than sewn to the outer
bottom of the liner
that’s what I’m talking about, the stiching should be inside
ok moment of truth, whole thing turned insode out
that’s how the bottom looks
a piece of bungee cord been added and cord lock
on the bike I’ve decided to make cuts and hide knots on the bungee underneath velcro for neater look
tada! that’s how it looks on the bike
just a test if the fuel bag actually holds “the fuel” 😉