Friday, September 3

What’s in YOUR Purse?

Steve's Purse, Complete with Rear Light and Stylish Shoulder Strap
This week, I realized I’ve started carrying a purse. I didn’t do it on purpose. It just happened. Some purses are made by Vera Bradley or Louis Vuitton. Mine was made by Topeak. Realization dawned when I went in to Starbucks on Tuesday and left Buddy outside. I unclipped my purse from the back and dug through it for my wallet. Then I dug out the cell phone and my glasses so I could look at a few blogs before the last leg home. Wednesday morning, on the radio, they talked about a survey of what women carry in their purses. Sunblock may not exactly be the same as makeup, but they are at least generically related.

Here’s what I carry in my purse:
  • AAA batteries
  • Badge
  • Cell phone
  • Coffee syrup and Cheese sticks
  • Extra Planet Bike rear light (they’re small and light)
  • Glasses
  • Gloves, if I’m not wearing them
  • Keys
  • Lunch
  • Plastic bags to keep stuff dry (if rain may start)
  • Seasonal clothing items during colder seasons
  • Spare tube, minitool, pump, tire irons, and patch kit
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses, if I’m not wearing them
  • Wallet
  • Whatever else needs carrying
Men's Purses Tend to Have Different Contents Than Women's Ones
How did all this happen? Well, as it turns out, I rode enough miles during August that I was getting a bit sore. This resulted in me departing from my norm and wearing cycling shorts. Yes, despite my usual practice of wearing real clothes for my commute, I DO own some specialized items intended for cycling. Well, there aren’t a lot of places to keep “stuff” in cycling shorts. Even if you wear a cycling jersey and a SPI Belt, it turns out you are well down on storage space compared to a good set of cargo shorts. So I use my Topeak purse.

Once you HAVE the purse, it simply makes sense to carry everything in it, including the SPI Belt.

After rereading this post, I decided to get into a ruthless weight savings mode. This morning, I left the extra Planet Bike light at home. Two rear lights and a rear reflector ought to be enough. Iron discipline...
Showing the Purse in Travel Mode Gives me an Excuse to Show the Gratuitous Shot of Buddy Again!


Pondero said...

I thought about doing a blog post like this, but I'm a little embarrassed about how much stuff I carry around simply to ride a bicycle.

Chandra said...

Nice collection of things to carry!

In addition to things on your list, I carry some baking soda in a Ziploc bag and some Tylenol and pain killers. The baking soda is for an occasional heartburn which I get if I eat bad things (such as pastries and such).

John Romeo Alpha said...

Pondero I know how you feel. I started carrying a messenger bag this week to tote the laptop back and forth, in addition to the trunk bag on the rack. Even after the weight-savings effort, I still carry items too numerous to list. Including an extra blinkie. Things Steve did not mention that I typically have in mine are a change of clothes, a towel, and some personal grooming items, LARGER than 3.4oz just to spite them. My purse may be slightly bigger.

Velouria said...

Nice purse : )

I carry a large handbag, so not sure whether that counts. In it are my laptop, power cord, documents, notebook, pens, wallet, keys, phone and camera(s). I do not usually carry make-up with me throughout the day, but I do carry sunblock in the summer.

Oldfool said...

Men are entirely to sensitive about carrying a purse. Men have always carried their stuff in something. I call my purse a dirtbag but it's really a cheap backpack I bought at the thrift store. It gets the overflow from my pockets. My bike tools are on the bike.
A real man would go forth naked carrying nothing but his fingernails and teeth.

Justine Valinotti said...

I started carrying a purse and survived the experience. ;-)

Seriously, I think that what to carry and how to carry it on our bikes are questions we never entirely resolve. Or they change as our needs change.

About a month ago, I took an overnight ride. On my blog, I compared what I carried on that ride to what I used to carry. Today I carry things I never even knew about back in the day, and back then I carried things I no longer need or use.

Oldfool: I guess I never was a real man. ;-)

jeff said...

I don't commute, if I did I would use a huge purse. But, don't underestimate what a guy can get in his jersey pockets. I've had arm and leg warmers, multiple jackets, extra tube and CO2 cartridge, GU gels, and fig newtons in mine. Looked like a hunchback, but....

cafiend said...

cycler said...

hmm, must have not hit "send" on my original comment:

My "purse" used to actually be my daily handbag, until I fitted it with Ortlieb hardware to clip on my rack.

I don't carry a change of clothes, and since I ride shorter distances, and always in the city, I don't carry much in way of toiletries- lip gloss and alcohol gel for "washing" my hands. I also generally carry a hankie for mopping my brow.

I don't even carry a patch kit (gasp!). It takes me almost an hour to change the rear tire under optimal conditions on a stand. Generally faster for me to lock up and catch public transportation and do it later at my leisure.
I DO carry spare 5mm nuts and a bolt, a multi-tool and a couple of zipties.

PaddyAnne said...

I loved reading about your "purse", its great!! I'm always trying to convince my husband to take something that will hold the things he needs and may need, only recently has he begun to listen to me... and this is because after feeling like a sherpa, carrying both of our stuff, mile after mile, I flat out stopped and he got the message to carry his own stuff! I am going to proudly show him your posts and blogs, thanks for manning up and saying "its a good thing to carry a purse!" cheers, PaddyAnne

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