The next to the last time I talked about the Raleigh Wayfarer, I mentioned that I was "done" with additions and modifications for now. What I neglected to mention was that I had a handlebar bag on order, which I finally received about two weeks ago. More on the particular bag later, but first "Why the bag?"
All of the bikes I've owned since 2006 have had something in the front. I had two Wald basket bikes (a Schwinn Collegiate and the Univega Sturmey-Archer conversion,) the humongous basket bike (Worksman cycle truck), and two road/touring bikes with front racks (Surly Long Haul Trucker and Centurion Le Mans). I like having some frontal carrying capacity. So the temptation to put something on the front of the Raleigh Wayfarer was strong.
But what to put? I could put a basket, but did I need another basket bike? The Worksman is more basket than I'll ever need! What about a small rack? That way I could put my fancy handlebar bag on front if I wanted to. But something about the bike was telling me, "No, Shawn, you don't want a rack or basket." Maybe it's because traditionally the British were not much for handlebar bags, they were about saddle bags (and I already have one on it!) Maybe because I was going to have dynamo lighting, so I didn't want anything that would conflict with it. Maybe I just liked the look of the front end as it was? So I didn't put a rack on front.
But I did get a little bag as a compromise. I ordered a Minnehaha canvas Barrel Bag from Clever Cycles. The Barrel Bag is primarily meant as a saddle bag, but can be used as a handlebar bag as well. It's small, 8” long by 4.25” in diameter, so I can't stuff crazy amounts of shit into it as I would the Carradice. But it can fit small items well. For the Tweed Ride I put my tool bag, camera, and iPod* in it. In normal circumstances, when those items live in a backpack or pannier it's where my coffee mug goes. And it looks well on the bike!
To augment the bag for longer rides, I also got a Cyco-Active Map Case (aka "bar map holder.") Now I'm also thinking of a cyclecomputer. What have I done?
*Modern technology on an antique ride?