Commuting With the Mariner

So far, commuting with the Dahon Mariner has been working out well. Most days, I lock up the bike at the station, but I’ve ridden to work and taken the train home a few times now. I’ve bought a (Tern!) bag and carry the bike on the train covered, as shown above. The elevator at the station hasn’t been working lately, so I’ve used the escalator. I slung the bike on my shoulder using the padded strap of the bag and carried it down, and no one was the wiser.

This past weekend, I got caught in the tail end of the storm, and took the bike onto the Metro without covering it. In the photo above, you can see the saddlebag where the bike bag is stashed. I did finally figure out how the wheel magnets work– I have to actually raise the handlebar height so that it doesn’t get in the way of the magnets when folded. Once it’s folded properly, it’s fairly compact– enough room for someone to walk down the aisle of the train car and take the seat across from me. It fits into the trunk of my car nicely, too.

The only thing I want to tweak is my commuter bag. My Arkel bag fits my work stuff, but I can’t fit a change of clothes as well. I’m working on it.

All in all, I couldn’t be more pleased with the Mariner for multi-modal commuting.

Multi-Modal Gear: the Arkel Switchback 2.0

Here’s a bag that I’ve been using a lot. It’s the Arkel Switchback 2.0. This handy bag converts from a pannier to a backpack in seconds.

Underneath the hook-and-loop-secured flaps are comfortable, sturdy straps.

The cam-lock system at the top securely attaches to the bike’s rear rack, but doesn’t get caught in your clothes when using it as a backpack.

The three compartments hold a lot of stuff. On a normal workday, I have several notebooks, a paperback book, a lunch tote, a wallet, a cell phone, keys, and when going to work, a U-lock and cable. This bag can carry all of this. And today, I managed to fit my first CSA share into the bag, with some finagling.

It doesn’t have room to fit a helmet inside, as its cousin, the Arkel Bug, can. But I’m willing to sacrifice this for the Switchback’s slimmer profile.

It seems like a tough, well made bag. I like being able to take the weight off my back while riding my bike, and being able to carry it on my back when I’m walking. I’m really happy with the Switchback so far.