I absolutely never thought I would strap one of these top-tube "bento box" bags on my bike, but I sure did find it useful this past weekend.
I was planning on a loooonnnnnnggggg road ride with buddy of mine, and we were discussing carrying all of the food that we would need. It was a new route to us, and we weren't sure of our options for purchasing food out on the road. Additionally, we wanted to move along at a good pace, and stops can really kill your progress.
My buddy mentioned he purchased a top tube bag. He shared my dislike of the look, but thought it better than having to shove all that food into his pockets. We're both riders that don't even like to have a seat pack on our bikes, but sometimes you just have to get over yourself for what's practical. Function over form, you know?
I have to admit that I was absolutely thrilled with my purchase. There are dozens of models out there, and the one pictured is the one I actually used. It has a waterproof zipper (which fortunately wasn't tested on that ride), is super easy to open, and the sides are rigid enough to ride with it open and it won't spill your goods all over the road. We were doing 15 minute pulls, and each time I drifted to the back, I would reach in, grab a little bite to eat, and move on. As I emptied the food from the bag, I shoved the wrappers in my short leg, and could then transfer more food from my pocket into the bag. It was a great system and really kept us moving between our store stops, which were hours and hours away from each other.
So I know I'm late to the party on this piece of equipment compared to many of you, but if you've been hesitant like me and have a long ride or even a ride with questionable or no stops, I highly recommend. You won't see this on my bike during a workout or local 2-3 hour ride, but it will certainly make it into the rotation for longer stuff.
Do you have any other tips related to this? Or questions about things bike related? Post up below.
Until next time, keep your food close and eat up!
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.