Crafty Summer: Bicycle Repair Kit Bag

One of my “projects” this spring and summer has been finding and fixing up a cheap bicycle for use around Berlin. I began attending lost-property auctions a couple months ago and had luck at my second: I scored a 21-speed bike with a mangled back rim for 5 euros. I took a couple bicycle maintenance classes through the ADFC (German Bicycle Club), purchased a new rim, and with AFDC’s workshop assistance, replaced it myself! It’s not a bike to write home about, but my trusty steed has already been on two long bicycle excursions and does the job for rides to the shop and such.

On our first excursion, I managed to score a flat tire; thankfully my companions had a repair kit along and we were back on track within 10 minutes. I decided then that I should always be prepared myself, and went out last week and bought a cheap kit at the Euro Store. But I didn’t have any way to attach the kit to my bicycle, so I got crafty yesterday and sewed a simple cinch sack that attaches to my bike.

I reclaimed the material from the pocket of a pair of shorts my roommate had given me for sewing projects; the fabric is similar to that used in men’s swimming trunks, which I thought would dry quickly in case of rain. The fabric is also machine washable in case it gets dirty on my bike. As the pocket was already half-sewn, I just needed to trim to my size, sew a cinch track around the top, and sew together a cord from scraps.

The sack holds: 1 tire repair kit in plastic case (band-aids and mini screwdriver added for good measure); 1 package baby wipes for cleaning hands after repairs; 1 package travel kleenex (because I’m sneezy and they’re handy).

I installed it under the bicycle seat, double-knotting the cinch cord around one end of my luggage rack and using a rubber band to fasten the other end. Another solution would have been to sew a cord or loop fastener into the upper seam, but I wasn’t thinking that far ahead at the time 🙂 Velcro, if you have some lying around, would also work splendidly.

Coming soon: watch me as I attempt to fashion bicycle panniers from three IKEA thermal picnic bags!


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