Ride with Swift

Maybe if you are nice I will show you where the real road riding is someday.

I finally got to take my Swift Industries bag out on a decent ride. I have been holding back and have been doing the work thing again where I don’t get to commute…yet…and I don’t have time to ride during the day with the job change.

I really wanted to get out there with at least one of my bags from Swift Industries. I picked one of my favorite routes back home but I gave myself some tasks to complete while out on my ride.

I wanted to take some photos, gather some apples, write in my journal, and get a real feel for how the bag behaves on a decent ride.

I packed it with my Nikon DSLR, an extra lens, a small tripod, two tubes, a multitool, and a journal. I intentionally started out light since I knew there would be a load to return with.

The bag is rock solid as it attaches to the saddle and has a stabilizing strap that wraps around the seatpost. Even with a somewhat heavy load, the bag does not sway or move in relation to the bike. It is not that it is in perceivable, but it’s movement is inline with bike movement unlike other bags I have used.

Most of my beloved route has a bunch of rollers that will take you up and over many times over. On these hills, I will generally stand instead of shifting. I did have the bag rub against my thigh and kind of startle me a few times, but that is due to me sitting far back on the saddle after a long climb versus the fit of the bag.

At the top of one particular climb is a favorite fall stop over. The folks at Lacoe Family Farm are always the kindest folks and they take well to the city types like me. I think we live in mutual admiration of each others lifestyle. He the farmer, we the “city slicker” I dream of a day where I watch my heard eat grass and I pick apples, he is overwhelmed by the city lights I comfortably wander under.

A quart of cider, and bunch of apples and everything else.


The farmer and his family had particular admiration for me today. They were surprised that I wanted 6 apples and a quart of apple cider. They could not believe that I rode up the hill to their farm, but I was going to put all of this stuff on my bike and continue out for a ride.

I showed them the cool bag that I was putting everything in. The cavernous 12″wX8″hX6.5″d dimensions of the Swift Industries Trunk Saddle touring bag looked so big, they gave me an extra three apples just for good measure. They said I was going to burn it off on the ride home anyway.

We looked over the hills and talked about the weather over the past year and how it is affecting the plants and animals. Although this past year has been devastating to the farmers, it is interesting to talk about climate, temperature, moisture, etc with someone that has such a deep understanding of the practicality that I preach about everyday. Without straying too far from talk about bikes and long rides….I wish my students could spend a half hour talking to a farmer about their choices. I think their perspective would change.

My ride continued with a bark from the farm dog and a the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The extra apple and cider weight were noticeable on the bike, but I was happy it was in a bike based bag instead of on my back where it would really feel like it was weighing me down.

I was able to take a few shots and do some other camera work I would not generally do. I was happy to have my DSLR with me as the day was very pretty and the cloud cover was just right. This bag afforded me a luxury I generally do not have. I have carried my DSLR on long road rides, but I am usually saddled with an extra bag on my back or I have to use a belt around my fancy pants for a lowpro bag. Who wants to do that when you can hold your camera and all other goodies in a seat bag?

The rest of my ride was spent looking at the last of the green leaves and inviting the new colors to come shining through. I was greatful to have a payload to make me work harder which made the sweat farm fresh apples totally worth the extra work. Sipping some fresh cider at my normal lakeside turn around and rest area was just perfect.

Keep an eye out for a formal review of this bag at libertysportsmag.com and http://agentlemansword.com/

If you are interested in any bags made by Swift Industries, check them out on line or meet them in person at the Philadelphia Bike Expo at the end of October.





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