There was a time in my commuting life when a fanny pack was all I needed. It wasn't a big fanny pack either. However, in that minuscule bag about my waste, I was able to carry my tools, spare tubes, patch kit and lunch. Mind you the sandwich was pretty much smashed to smithereens by the time I got to work, but it was lunch all the same.
Today, as I rode to work, I had a pannier packed with my lock cable, camera and rain gear (jacket, pants and hoody). Additionally, I had a Arkel backpack/pannier filled with tools, spare tire, patch kit, IPAD, gym clothes and lunch. Mind you the sandwich looked like a sandwich by the time I got to work, but it was lunch all the same.
What's happened such that I have transitioned from the bare necessity of a fanny pack to two full panniers worth of stuff? Hath materialism invaded my commuting life? Could it be that I've transcended living for the moment and succumbed to being prepared for whatever might potentially befall me? Doth the simplicity of climbing on my bike and pedaling away be slipping further from my grasp with each passing year?
These are questions that I grapple with and simultaneously dread knowing the answers of. I boast about the fact that my primary reason for commuting by bicycle is that it makes my world small, manageable and simple. Is that really true? Can I still commute and be content with nothing more than a fanny pack tied around my waste? Where would I stow my IPAD? What if it rains? What would I do about going the gym? It's funny, in a sad sort of way, how something so simple as a fanny pack was at one time all I ever needed. Yet today it seems so woefully inadequate. I'm not sure how much such a contrast says about fanny packs or myself.