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Friday, March 7, 2014

Here's What You Can Do With That Weird Rack on Bike Share Bicycles

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 7:25 AM

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When the Bay Area Bike Share bikes rolled out, one burning question kept some of us up at night: What the hell are those weird little baskets on the front and what are they for?

A one-sided rack? If you plan to carry a six pack it would fall right out the side. What good is it if you can't even carry a six pack?

A.B. Pack is a nifty bag that makes that weird little rack a whole lot more practical.

I talked to Adrian Garcia and Blake Larson, the creators of the A.B. Pack, which is soon to be funded via Kickstarters, who gave me a little more insight about the new bag.

The pack is both named after them and after the idea that bike share bikes help you get from point A to point B. Unfortunately, the person that designed the racks on all the bike share bikes seems to have missed the memo that racks are for carrying things. The A.B. Pack is made in California and makes the little front platform on those bike share bikes into a practical carrier.

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The A.B. Pack is a waterproof bag that basically sits inside the existing rack. It has a strap that wraps around the rack in order to secure it. It's got a tall profile of the bag that lets you pile stuff in there, and when you drop off your bike you can sling the bag over your shoulder to continue on foot.

"We wanted to create a pack that has just as much utility off the bike as when on," the duo said.

Garcia and Larson said they fell in love with bike share programs when they were graduate students in Barcelona. They noticed a problem, though: if you planned to carry something bulky, like a load of groceries, there was no good way to do it with the current bike share rack. So that's why they're are aiming to solve that problem with a bag that is "simple, affordable, convenient, and fun."

It's a simple concept that makes a lot of sense. It should also appeal to commuters who don't want to wear a back-sweat inducing backpack with their work clothes inside. Another perk? The A.B. Pack is designed around the specific idiosyncratic rack design of the bike share bikes in 14 different cities including the Bay Area Bike Share, New York City's Citi Bike, Chicago's Divvy, and many others.

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The Kickstarter for the A.B. Pack will go live later this month. If you're a bike share commuter, or a glob trotting bike share tourist, it just might be the one thing you're missing. You might also be able to write off some more carbon credits since Garcia and Larson have done all the prototyping here in California and production models will be made by O'Neill Bags in San Rafael and A&R Tarpaulins in Fontana, CA.

I like the thing. It addresses lackadaisical design (the original racks on the bike share bikes) with good design. It won't turn your shared bike into a cargo bicycle, but it might help make your trip more practical and easier. Jump on the A.B. Pack Kickstarter if you're ready to sign on for on one of svelte locally made bags.

Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He's can be spotted dragging himself up a hill -- literally and metaphorically.


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About The Author

Leif Haven

Leif Haven

Bio:
Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He can be spotted dragging himself up a hill — literally and metaphorically.

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