The day that I unpacked our Fatback 190, that we eventually named Otis, I made a template to guide Michigander, Jason Snell, in crafting one of his custom sailcloth Barking Bear Bagworks frame bags. I like to keep a frame bag on my fat-bike to store ride essentials or the ubiquitous puffy jacket. A frame bag is also a very effective beer cooler (especially in winter). Sven and I met Jason a couple of years ago at the first St. Fatty’s Day Race way the (heck) up at the northern tip of the mitten in a town called Gaylord. We did a feature on his bags that you can view here. This year’s St. Fatty event is slated to take place out on Mackinac Island and Fat-Bike.com plans to be there with live team coverage.
Fast forward to this year’s Iceman Cometh Expo – I spied this beautiful sailcloth bag at the Quiring Cycling Booth, made by Jason! That’s BBR Test Pilot, Ken Blakey Shell’s custom Quiring in the picture, rocking sailcloth from Barking Bear Bagworks. I managed to talk Jason into making me one of his bags and that’s why the first thing I did after Otis was built up, was get that template made. I mailed the template and asked Jason for a single compartment with a full coverage map pocket on the left side, but I got more.
Last week Jason sent me the tracking numbers for my new bag and just a day or two later, I strapped my new bag on Otis along with Revelate’s new Williwaw Pogies that also came in for review. We’ll talk about the pogies in a report of their own. I took Otis out onto Silver Lake and rode a route that I’ve been bending Julio’s ear about for two winters. It starts at the Marina. across the lake from a county park, where we just got permission to start machine grooming fat-bike trails. My plan was to ride across the lake…Do a lap of the trails in the park…Then shoot back across the lake to the bar for refreshments. It all sounded very civilized , so I thought that I’d give it a test run with the new gear.
Jason thought it would be cool idea to add a couple of survival basics to the bag. The main compartment zipper pull is a fire steel and the map pocket zipper pull is a whistle. (photos below). The bag’s fit and finish are very nice. The sailcloth seems tough as nails and looks good on Otis. I stowed my tools, a tube and my 10 essentials kit into the new frame bag and had plenty of room left over to store a jacket or a thermos. I’m sure it won’t be long until I test the burst strength of the seams from over stuffing. We’ll be putting this new bag to the test over the next few months and we’ll let you know how it holds up to the task.
For more information about Barking Bear Bagworks visit – http://barkingbearbagworks.blogspot.com/