My interests for cycling and sewing piqued at roughly the same time in 2002 while living in Seattle. The rain and grey days were just a part of life, so if you waited for nice weather you might never go for a bike ride, because of this, it was imperative that all bags were waterproof. I was commuting by bike up to 24 miles a day which sometimes included non daylight hours, so I always needed a change of clothes, lunch, repair kit, etc and needed a bag that would be waterproof, look good during the day, and enhance my safety in the dark.
In 2003 the Cycle Messenger World Championships blew through town which opened my eyes to the giant no nonsense messenger bag. However, I had to wait a couple years for my sewing and pattern making skills to improve and to also acquire an industrial sewing machine. The machine I had was a drop feed and was barely able to sew all the layers especially when attaching the shoulder strap. There weren’t many reflective fabric options back then, just the sew on safety vinyl, and the Illuminite brand gear (but no available fabric). I found some coated reflective Cordura on eBay and knew that was the ticket. At the time I had a cheap source for neoprene as well, so I sandwiched a layer of neoprene between the reflective Cordura and a ripstop pack cloth. I finished the edges with a webbing with reflective stitching, the closure is 3 pieces of 2″ Velcro and the shoulder strap is 2″ poly pro webbing with a cam lock buckle.
This bag has been great. A true workhorse for many years through Seattle, then moving cross country, many moves in NYC and still shows only a little age. This piece was the beginning that continues to inspire me to make more clothes and gear that can stand up the rigor of daily life and keep on shining bright.