Ronde van Nederland: The Saddlebag

This series is about our attempt to do the Ronde van Nederland in four days by doing 330-340 km each day, in total 1300 km. The journey begins next week on the 29th of March and hopefully ends on the 1st of April. You can follow what is happening during the preparation time and on the tour itself on our Instagram page under the #wncNLchallenge hashtag and here on the blog.

Yesterday I went shopping. I had to buy isotonic sport drink and some energy bars too. I also found a few fruit bars, they look like a bar of really hard marmalade, it is full of sugar also, it might come handy :) Finally my food packages are complete for the ride, but tomorrow I still have to bake my flapjacks. We’ll see if I’m going to be as lucky as today with my first homemade saddlebag.

So, last week I bought a second-hand sewing machine from the ’80s, and I made my own saddlebag today. This was the first time I sew and used a sewing machine. Since Youtube and the internet is our friend, with some hints and practice, I could create this bag. It turned out to be better than I thought. Obviously I made some rookie mistakes, like I assembled one part upside down, so it is unique :). The whole idea came from two problems. I don’t want to cycle with my panniers, they are heavy and big. The other problem is that I cannot fit my rack on the #frankensteincolnago, only with Hilti perforated band and bolts, and I’m not a big fan of that solution. To be honest, it wouldn’t look cool on a race bike either. So I began to look around on the internet for other solutions, besides of the panniers. I found great sites for DIY frame- and saddlebags. I thought maybe I should give it a try. I bought the sewing machine for 40€ and I ordered Velcro, Cordura fabric, zips and clips to do my framebag. Meanwhile, I found an old pannier in the shed, which I don’t use practically, so it became a perfect donor for the saddle bag. I have followed the steps provided by a few websites, and you can see the result on the pictures.

It is not perfect, doesn’t look as good as a new one from a store, but it works and it is made 100% out of recycled material. I call this a win-win situation, I learned something new again, and I have a bag. Tomorrow I’m putting it into the test when I go to work, I hope that I’m not going to lose my stuff :)

Previous posts:
Preparation for something bigger
Ronde van Nederland