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One Bad-ass Lunchbox

This has very little to do with bicycle commuting, but the other day my wife bought me a truly BAD-ASS lunchbox that I just had to share with you. For folks who have traveled abroad, you may recognize it as an Indian “tiffin box”, designed to carry multiple courses of a lunchtime meal, or multiple servings of the same meal for a number of people.

Badass lunchbox

Basically, it is two stainless steel bowls with a separating plate — and a lid for the small bowl. The whole thing clamps together with a hinged carrier and integrated carrying handle, keeping everything together. In the above picture, I have my “Russ Roca-approvedtitanium spork wedged under the clamp.

Here’s what the lunchbox looks like when it’s separated — sorry, I ate everything inside. You’ll have to look at your own lunch!

unpacked

The whole contraption (with carrying handle) is about 10″ tall, and the two bowls hold PLENTY of food (RL, I’m thinking of you and your “super-buffet” appetite!). Two drawbacks, though. First, it isn’t liquid-tight (like Tupperware), so it must be carried upright. Second, it’s heavy. Empty, the thing weighs about a pound. For me this is no big deal, since the bike I carry it on weighs about 50 lbs. What’s another pound between friends?

The lunchbox sits on top of my rear rack, or sometimes I slip it into one of the panniers — it’s small enough to fit and still leave room for other goodies. I just throw a bungee cord over it when it’s on the rack and it stays in place.

Ready to roll

My wife found this box on a website called Reusablebags.com, which also sells lots of products made out of sustainable and/or recycled materials, if that’s your bag…ha ha. While we were shopping there, we also bought our son an insulated lunchbag made out of recycled soda bottles…keeping 10 2-liter bottles out of landfills. Yeah!

D-Tour Safety Flag Update

Last month, we posted a first impression of the D-Tour Bicycle Safety Flag. For those of you who missed the article, the flag itself is made of highly reflective nylon — fluorescent yellow-green for the body and silver for the stripes and trim. This fabric flag and “sock? fit over a springy metal arm. The flag “arm? appears to be made of stainless steel, and the attachment bracket is machined aluminum with plastic frame clamps. The flag comes with two pairs of two different sizes of Cateye plastic frame clamps and very clear and concise instructions for mounting the assembly. Once assembled and deployed, the flag device sticks out about 24″ to the side of the bike. It then folds straight back when not in use.

It’s really a clever and simple device. Better yet, it seems to work! We’ve ridden with these flags on the streets of California and Florida, and can honestly say that it seems motorists WILL give you a bit of extra room when you have this flag deployed. Another phenomenon I noticed while riding around the mean streets of Tampa is that motorists seemed to be less likely to turn left in front of me when the flag is extended. Apparently, the bright yellow flag captures more motorists’ attentions than a cyclist rolling full-tilt towards them! It was certainly a nice phenomenon to experience…I don’t know if it was the “placebo effect? or something, but I did notice it.

I must admit — intially, this is not something I would have bought for my bike. To be honest, I prefer less hardware and gadgets on my “fast commuter? bike…a couple of lights and a rear reflector are the only safety equipment it has on it. But, now that I have experienced the benefits of this flag, I am forced to reconsider. The flag retails at $20.00 + shipping — is that worth a couple extra feet of passing room from motorists? I think so!

Overall, this seems to be a great product — solidly constructed, reasonably priced, and surprisingly effective at its job. For more information or to purchase a D-Tour Safety Flag for yourself, please email developer Glenn Hanson at dtourltd(at)aol(dot)com.