A few days ago I mentioned that we received the new Banjo Brothers Commuter Back Pack. Here’s some better shots of it.

Just to show your the comparison, thats my ipod shuffle and that is my Camelbak water thingy majig.

The bag itself is pretty deep, look how far it goes up to my leg.

This is my head inside the bag…

Just think of the bag as grocery back that has shoulder straps on it. It’s just about the same size.

Wow, we’ve sure been covering carry options today on Bikecommuters.com!

The other day, I received a very unique and waterproof backpack from Seal Line, the makers of dry bags for canoe and kayak enthusiasts.

The backpack came a bit late to test in Florida’s recent tropical storm (“Barry”, for you BeeGees fans out there), but I will give this bag a shakedown for you in the coming week. My initial impression of the bag is pretty favorable, though. The bag looks and feels like it is pretty tough — and the harness system is easy to adjust and quite comfortable.
The shoulder harness -- padded and ventilated!

Stay tuned for a more complete review in the next week or so — I’ll take this bag riding, pack it full of stuff and see just how waterproof it is and all the other fun and maniacal stuff a product reviewer can do!

My coworkers think I’m nuts because I ride my bike to work. But when I tell them that I ride on the streets, and not on the sidewalks the expression on their face is priceless…

So I did some searching and I found this great article on the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin site. Here are some of the major points of the article:

Sidewalks are intended for pedestrians
When bicyclists are allowed to use sidewalks, the bicyclist must yield to pedestrians and give an audible warning before passing pedestrians traveling in the same direction. When crossing a street at an intersection, bicyclists using sidewalks are treated similarly to pedestrians.

The facts
A four year study in Madison found that 30 percent of reported bicycle crashes with cars involved a bicyclist who had been riding on the sidewalk. In over 70 percent of these crashes, the bicyclist was riding against the flow of traffic in the adjacent street.

A five year study of bicycle crashes in Neenah has similar results, 60 percent of the crashes were sidewalk related and 75 percent involved a wrong way bicyclist.

On Grand Avenue in Wausau bicyclists are prohibited from riding in the street and thus are forced to use the sidewalk. Ninety percent of bicycle crashes at Grand Avenue intersections involve wrong way bicyclists. Click here to read the entire article

I can reach speeds of 18 mph on my straight line-flat commute. Riding at that speed is basically suicidal on the sidewalks. The times that I had to use sidewalks I really had to pay attention to pedestrians, pets, trash, people backing out of their driveways, other cyclists, cars blocking the sidewalk, etc, etc..

So yeah, I ride the streets, only because it is SAFER.

Banjo Brothers Commuter Back Pack

We just received this schnazzy new Banjo Brothers Commuter Back Pack.

Check it out, it has a little pocket to put a mini u-lock on, but I needed to bring my big lock today and it fits!

The inside is white to help you see better when you’re rummaging through your stuff.

Did I tell you this is water proof?

Here’s the specs:

COMMUTER BACKPACK (waterproof) – Messenger bags are great, but with two straps to distribute the load, a backpack is often a more comfortable option for longer rides or heavier loads. Unfortunately your options have either been student backpacks that leak like a sieve, sit up too high, or cost a fortune. We designed our backpack with a full welded waterproof liner that is removable and replaceable if it is punctured.

* Medium – 1500 Cubic inches / 17″Tall x 12″ Wide x 8″ deep
* Waterproof 2-layer design: outer ballistic nylon layer wears like iron; replaceable waterproof liner keeps contents dry in a downpour (will not keep water out if submerged, in case underwater-riding is your hobby).
* Wide padded straps distribute load more evenly than messenger bags
* Sits lower on the back than standard backpacks to reduce blind spots while riding
* Chest strap and removable waist strap for stability
* Large reflective stripes and tab for safety light
* Quick-access side pocket fits mini-U lock
* In-Stock
* MSRP: $79.99

For more info on this back pack and other Banjo Brothers gear, click HERE.