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chica cyclista
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2,842 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
yo kids, what's shakin? I'm busy as all heck with both coaching and photography so both the blog and my other stuff have been let slide recently. However, after some sushi out with the troops tonight, I had to make a grocery run, and thought I'd share a couple pics. These were shot with the Stylus, since I've 3 huge folders of stuff I've been processing for sale from the Nikon. yay, I don't even know what I'm doing and people are paying me for this??!! ha ha, suckers!!

The collegiate guys I've been coaching aren't rich by any means (which is why it's me coaching them and not somebody with a marque name, i.e. Vaughters), but daggone, do they get some killer discounts on stuff, useful little gromits that they are... well big gromits in the case of the one. Since last Christmas, Da Boyz have hooked me up with my Chrome Metropolis, a sweet pair of wheels and my MacBook Pro, which over the past ten days has laid to rest about ten years of psychological trauma from dealing with craptastic PC equipment. Payment in kind, it'll do; and in this case the intangibles are way more valuable than cash :)

Now, I love my Pista, but I love my Metropolis even more. Scarily enough, this is not the biggest bag Chrome sells... tho the only one I've seen who can pull off wearing the Kremlin gracefully is my 6'6" collegiate client. Check this out:

Grocery Night. 8 miles round trip to the sushi bar, and along the way pick up a few groceries on the way back. I'm having friends over for movie night tomorrow, so my usual m.o. of Grape Nuts and PB&J in front of the computer ain't gonna cut it.

Pic 1: one bag to rule them all. Looks kinda loaded, right? the gloves of course go on my hands, and the Ulock goes in the back pocket of my knicks.

Pic 2: in the spirit of flickr's 'What's In Your Bag' group, I thought I'd share just how much you can cram into a Metropolis, and still make it home in relative comfort... keep in mind I'm 5'4" and just a tick under 130# as of this AM. IOW, when Da Bag gets loaded up like this, the freakin' thing's about bigger than I am.

Item list clockwise from left (includes groceries and random bitz):
Outside the bag:
Family Size Grape Nuts (because regular size just won't cut it in this household, J loves' em too!)
craptastic Motorola camphone (eh, it was free...)
housekeys-on-a-leash (well, carabinered to the front buckle of the bag, anyhow).
Sourdough boule', sliced to order for bruschetta
4 cups of yoghurt
6 Braeburn apples (the kind that don't suck) also for bruschetta (thanks, Brendan, for the killer recipe!)
Zefal minipump, fits nicely between the liner and outer shell
spare tube, levers and patch kit (the turquoise thingy); same as pump
Rudy Project Ekynox SKs + 2 sets spare lenses (dark, amber, clear)
3 emery boards (I'm a princess about my nails)
pens: a nice gell roller, a nice liquid ultrafine roller, and a Sharpie. Never know when you're gonna need a Sharpie.
eye drops (for da contacts, but LASIK's gonna happen soon, yay!)
chapstick (Colorado necessity)
lavender 3x3" Post-Its
keys to the brand new Subaru that I never drive (seriously, bought it 15 September 05, it's got 2,600 miles on... and that's with several ski trips and a boyfriend who lives 30 miles away in LoDo)
Moleskine reporter's notebook, ruled (doesn't crash like my Palmpilot did)
U.S. passport, in case I need to leave the country in a hurry :D
Raymond Feist novel (cos I'm a teenage boy masquerading as a GenX woman)
Altoids peppermints (cos I'm a safety gal like that)
relatively decent salsa; no good local tomatoes yet to make my own with
cheapo Tar-je trendy pink-n-black wallet. cost five bucks if that, and I get tons of compliments on it... wth?
Quesadilla cheese (ask your friendly neighbourhood Mexican grocer)
quart o' vanilla Silk, for the Grape-Nuts. cos I hate cow's milk, that's why.
big ol' bag o fresh spinach
big ol bag o romaine hearts
1000 ml red Nalgene waterbottle, with Campag stickers all over it :)
spare fleece, um... yea. cos it's Colorado, ya know.
Inside the bag (because even the Stylus isn't quite wideangle enough to fit it all in):
big ol bag o tortilla chips
small bag of Boulder Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt kettle potato chips
loaf of whole wheat bread for PB&J carnage during the week.
and last but not least: a towel (underneath)... because if you truly understand Life, the Universe and Everything, you know ya just don't leave home without one. 42, suckaz!
not pictured: Olympus Stylus point-n-shoot (uh, cos I'm taking the pics with it, duh!), the Chrome laptop slipcase that the MacBook rides around in most days, and the nice Footbolt Shiraz I purchased for Movie Night a few days ago.

so I gotta ask youall this: Since the weather is improving - why not park your car, shoot your T.V., and go ride your bike?
 

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Big is relative
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11,887 Posts
I don't use my bike for much other than commuting and trips to the bike shop. It is quicker to ride to the shop than drive due to traffic. For my daily commute, I use my rack bag to carry a large ziplock with my wallet, phone, palm, text pager, and keys. I also carry a thomson bag with a multitool, two tubes, two 16g CO2s, and a small flashlight. My lunch is usually a meat and cheese sandwich on Hawaiian sweet bread with lettuce and tomato. Once a week, I wear the mongo camelback and carry 5-6 days worth of socks, tshirts, and unmentionables (no thongs). This past thursday I took two boxes of Natures Path Colon Blow (Energy) cereal, five yoplait smoothies, and a quart of lactaid milk in the mongo camelback. Milk is hard to carry, I would hate to think of the crash aftermath. I have been intending to try silk. Being in the military, I wear uniforms everyday so every other week I do a uniform swap on the way home from a group ride in Honolulu. I keep four sets at work. It is fun to see how many days I can go without driving at all.
 

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Premium Member
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21,910 Posts
Nice load there LFR, but I gotta ask.....

lonefrontranger said:
so I gotta ask youall this: Since the weather is improving - why not park your car, shoot your T.V., and go ride your bike?
....what does weather have to do with riding your bike?

Another thing, it is 5:30 am here on the east coast. I see that you are still logged on, are you up early for a ride or up late after??? ;-)
 

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Palm trees & sunshine!
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24,200 Posts
That's pretty impressive. Would you mind sharing that bruschetta recipe?
 

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chica cyclista
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2,842 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
not...

fisherman said:
Does the bag (Metropolis) move when you stand and pump? Thanks! Looks great.
... if you have it cinched properly.

it's really, really important, especially when you have something heavy, big, and/or awkward in your messenger bag, that you cinch it correctly. This IMO is where the Chrome shines and is the main reason I don't like Timbuk2 or Crumpler bags: once you get 30# of stuff inside it, the Chrome can be quickly adjusted so that it is absolutely rock solid, and it is ergonomically designed to drape / wrap around your body, which also helps.

To adjust a bag correctly, yank that main shoulder strap up tight. No, tighter than that. Get that load as high up on your back as you can. Now take the 'third leg' stabiliser and cinch it up snug under your armpit. Once you start riding, you may find you have to pull it even tighter if the load settles on you. The waist attachment (at least for me) is absolutely useless and doesn't do squat to keep heavy loads from shifting, but then I don't have a ton of real estate on my back.

an improperly adjusted bag and a loose drivetrain are 2 immediate clues (among about a thousand others) that yonder urban kid zooming past on the fixte has never actually done an honest day's work as a courier, and is likely some art school student or hipster trendie caught up in the latest fashion statement. Not that I've ever couriered myself, mind you, but my boyfriend worked his way up from dirty streetjockey to (as he puts it) 'a gd suit-wearing box chaser' in the biggest employer of bike messengers on the Front Range... and he's got lots to say on this topic... ooooh boy does he ever.
 

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chica cyclista
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2,842 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
MB1 said:
....what does weather have to do with riding your bike?
dude you KNOW I wasn't referring to you. blah.

MB1 said:
it is 5:30 am here on the east coast. I see that you are still logged on
this appears to be a 'feature' of Safari on RBRs software. I was certainly up late, no joke, but I logged off and passed out around 01.30 local.
 

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rock n rolling resistance
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851 Posts
humongous...

lonefrontranger said:
Scarily enough, this is not the biggest bag Chrome sells... tho the only one I've seen who can pull off wearing the Kremlin gracefully is my 6'6" collegiate client.
Have a metropolis as well... I agree that it is one fantastic messenger bag... but I don't use it all that often...as it's gigantic (5.8 with fairly broad shoulder and little more than average back real estate).... but I do appreciate its capacity when I do need to haul stuff though. I am thinking of checking out the smaller Citizen. Also I thought it'd be nice if the shoulder strap is made to go on either right or left shoulder... but no biggy... I'm righthanded and my metropolis had left shoulder strap...

The one in the pic is exactly the one I have...
 

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Premium Member
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21,910 Posts
You do know about the "Stash Pocket" right.

That little feature makes getting the Metro over the Citizen well worth it.

The reason I ask is that one day while showing Chrome Bags to a customer I was going on about how useful the stash pocket is when one of the other employees looked at me in disbelief, ran to the back of the shop, looked at his bag that he had owned for months and loudly proclamed, "I've got one too!"

IMHO Chrome Bags rule.
 

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Bacon!
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9,190 Posts
Just one comment. . .holy crap that's a lot of stuff to carry around. But, you got me interested enough that I"m going to go look at one. I'm tired of the back pack thing.
 

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chica cyclista
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2,842 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
recipe

KenB said:
That's pretty impressive. Would you mind sharing that bruschetta recipe?
I'll post it briefly here. weapons grade chaos posted the full detailed one on the Lounge a few weeks ago, with tons of tips, and he's who I'm referencing. He made this for a big potluck party I threw back around Xmas and I've been making it ever since, awesome stuff. He goes to CU and his older sister is a teammate of mine. I've been helping him with training stuff in exchange for web work and gigabytes of fun indie music. Always good to know what all the cool kids are listening to :)

recipe:

gouda cheese
braeburn or granny smith apples
good quality olive oil
good quality sourdough or french bread
ground allspice

cut the bread into suitable bruchetta slices. peel and core the apples and slice them into thin wedges. grate the cheese. pour the olive oil into a ramekin and put a few shakes of allspice in it. brush the bread with the oil/spice mixture, layer the cheese and apples on top, and run it under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly (but not burnt).

Enjoy. it's delicious and simple, like bruschetta should be. goes great as an app for any poultry main course.
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
MB1 said:
That little feature makes getting the Metro over the Citizen well worth it.

The reason I ask is that one day while showing Chrome Bags to a customer I was going on about how useful the stash pocket is when one of the other employees looked at me in disbelief, ran to the back of the shop, looked at his bag that he had owned for months and loudly proclamed, "I've got one too!"

IMHO Chrome Bags rule.
so ya store your weed in it? :D
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
Ridgetop said:
Just one comment. . .holy crap that's a lot of stuff to carry around. But, you got me interested enough that I"m going to go look at one. I'm tired of the back pack thing.
I think LFR should install a XtraCycle for all the crap she hauls.
 

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chica cyclista
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2,842 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Ridgetop said:
I'm tired of the back pack thing.
more to the point the backpack was DESTROYING my neck and shoulders. I have enough shoulder issues from working a desk job and typing all day, I don't need my commute adding to it. Once you're on the bike, a properly loaded and cinched Chrome bag magically seems to disappear, regardless of how heavily you've loaded it. Well you'll notice all the extra weight whilst climbing, but it doesn't screw up your balance.

Ridgetop, the Metropolis is indeed a big bag *when you need it to be*. however when it's not full, it collapses down to a suprisingly compact size, wraps nicely and doesn't seem nearly as big, especially if you use and adjust the compression straps properly. The Citizen would be a great 2nd bag as 6was9 mentioned, but if you're planning on using this as your primary commute bag, don't shortchange yourself. IMO no one outside of professional couriers and/or the odd packrat college student (like my client) really NEEDS a Kremlin.

ah yes, along with cinching properly, knowing how to load the thing properly is also crucial. Heavy stuff in the bottom, big flat stuff in the back. Small dense items (i.e. the Nikon, or my Nightrider battery) go in the bottom front. This is partly why I carry a towel; to pad / bolster stuff like this from shifting around.

for the record, I don't usually carry maximum capacity loads like this. but it's nice to know I can when I need to. Stuff like fitting the laptop plus my ENTIRE Nikon dSLR collection in there, complete with tripod, 4 spare lenses, 2 speedlights, portrait grip, mounts, filters, cards/cables/batteries (and a partridge in a peartree) for an all-day shoot. Or carrying my new macbook home, in all that ridiculous designer packaging, without resorting to the c*r.

Bonus: J claims, and I'd imagine he knows firsthand, that the Chrome is the only fully waterPROOF courier bag you can easily get your hands on. It may not rain a whole bunch out here, but I've never seen it rain HARDER, anywhere, than our summer afternoon downpours, and they always hit at the worst possible moment (like 5.15PM... for four days in a row :rolleyes: ) And yes, there are a couple small courier-specific producers in places like Toronto and San Fran who make a great product... but their waitlists are unreal and I've heard their customer service can be less than optimal.
 

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Good to hear from you, lfr.

I recently got a new bag and much as I wanted the Chrome, did not end up with it. REI gives me precious few opportunities to save for being a member these days, so I took one and got the timbuk2 pro with the big reflective strip around it.

Works well, especially with the extra strap, but the fun "design feature" of the reflective strip makes the bag a little more inclined to travel across my back. Need to put some tape strips on it where it rests on my back.

Wasn't actually able to find Chrome at a dealer here in Seattle. Must be here somewhere. The Metropolis I tried on down in SF was really a nice fit.
 

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MB1 said:
You do know about the "Stash Pocket" right. That little feature makes getting the Metro over the Citizen well worth it.
It took me awhile to find the stash pocket on my Metro. The Metro feature that locked the deal for me was the gussets at the sides of the flap. They abosultely assure that the bag is closed when the flap is down, regardless of the size of the load. Other bags without the gussets run the risk of the flap not completely covering the bag opening... which profoundly defeats the waterproof lining most bags have...

Besides the stash pocket, another (albeit unintentional) feature of the Metro is that the D-ring at the chest buckle can occaisionally slip through the buckle slot by an difficult-to-repeat loose-strap-handling of the bag... At first it's a puzzle because the D-ring slides down the lower strap and you have to puzzle how it got there & how to get it back where it belongs... All is fine, of course, and it's easy to re-position... but that first time is a puzzlement...
 

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LFR - You must be really good at packing your bag. Your cereal box and bread look perfect. I use the same bag and those two items always end up getting crushed on my short ride home. I even take into account the angle the bag sits across my back since heavy stuff on the bottom is more to the bottom-right (depending on what strap model you have). Maybe I need a fleece in there too.

I have no problems carrying two six-packs of bottles and a bag of ice but after two years of use, I have yet to figure out how not to crush stuff.

I didn't realize riding fixed and using messenger bags was a trendy fashion statement. I live in Boulder too and don't notice that many people out there like this. I was in Portland a couple of months ago and they were everywhere. Maybe I'm just blinded by the trendy bright colored rubber shoes everyone is wearing.
 

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chica cyclista
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2,842 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
go to LoDo!

gonsa said:
I didn't realize riding fixed and using messenger bags was a trendy fashion statement. I live in Boulder too and don't notice that many people out there like this.
dude(tte?) hop the B down to LoDo some night (B-52's is a GREAT poolhall and plays far better music, with far fewer fratboys/square inch than the Foundry ever did) and you'll see scads of them. Actually forget LoDo - the Capitol Hill / DU area is ground zero for all the artschool / hipster / trendies on fixtes in Denver. I actually bought my Pista from an art school chica who lives in Cap Hill. She bought it 2 years ago, rode it 2-3 times max, and left it hung in the garage (it had flat pedals on when I bought it... betcha $20 she tried riding it in flip-flops... :rolleyes: )

this is the crux of my bf's pet peeve. these people go out and purchase an elite, highly purpose-built and dangerous bicycle that they don't know jack about how to maintain or handle. then they tend to hurt themselves, ride unsafely and inconsiderately in traffic (yea well bike messengers... let's not go there shall we?) and if they're not building some wreckage of a terminally unsafe dumpster diver's special that's gonna own them, hard, first time they hit a pothole, then they're letting perfectly good bicycles collect dust in their sh*thole studio / loft / communal space because they procured it as a fashion statement and got bucked off first time they tried riding it to the coffeehouse.

Any major urban centre with a liberal arts college (Boulder doesn't count, it's too small and hippified) will show signs of urban hipster infestation. kinda like cockroaches. Other places I've witnessed tons of these characters: D.C., Philly, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Vancouver.

enough of the hipster rant. speaking of which, Joe's Espresso on 30th down by the steelyards kicks butt BTW, they do $1 shots / lattes 3-5 every weekday. Check them out, WAY better and far less pretentious than Trident and not crawling with yuppie tourists like the Bookend.

the fleece indeed helps keep the cereal boxes and bread from getting b0rked in the bag, but it comes at a price of volume so tread carefully. pack the messenger bag just like you would any grocery bag. Bread and chips go on top, salad stuff just below that to cushion the rest. Milk stands up in one corner, Grape-Nuts get slid into the back with the fleece/towel to cushion my kidneys from getting poked by the edges. hope this helps.
 

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Palm trees & sunshine!
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24,200 Posts
lonefrontranger said:
I'll post it briefly here. weapons grade chaos posted the full detailed one on the Lounge a few weeks ago, with tons of tips, and he's who I'm referencing. He made this for a big potluck party I threw back around Xmas and I've been making it ever since, awesome stuff. He goes to CU and his older sister is a teammate of mine. I've been helping him with training stuff in exchange for web work and gigabytes of fun indie music. Always good to know what all the cool kids are listening to :)

recipe:

gouda cheese
braeburn or granny smith apples
good quality olive oil
good quality sourdough or french bread
ground allspice

cut the bread into suitable bruchetta slices. peel and core the apples and slice them into thin wedges. grate the cheese. pour the olive oil into a ramekin and put a few shakes of allspice in it. brush the bread with the oil/spice mixture, layer the cheese and apples on top, and run it under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly (but not burnt).

Enjoy. it's delicious and simple, like bruschetta should be. goes great as an app for any poultry main course.
I missed that one in that thread. Thanks for the heads up! I can not wait to try this.
 

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Done with winter.
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2,635 Posts
lonefrontranger said:
Pic 1: one bag to rule them all. Looks kinda loaded, right? the gloves of course go on my hands, and the Ulock goes in the back pocket of my knicks.

Duh-aammmnn, you sprung for a pair of Shins? I would probably buy them on the spot if I could get a local shop to stock a pair to drool on. How are they working out?

Word to all goodness said about the Metro. I've had mine for a few years and aside from the first "roommate thought pushing the button would be funny while loaded with groceries" moment, mine has seen many loads safety come and go.
 
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