Ortlieb Shuttle-Bike Review – Part 1

Posted on my blog, but I thought it would fit here too!

I’m always searching for ways to streamline carrying things on bike. For most local shoots, I’ll take out the Bilenky or the Xtracycle. However, some shoots require me to go multi-modal, using a labyrinth of trains and buses to get to my location (like my recent shoot in Palmdale!). When I’m using other forms of transit, it becomes difficult if not impossible to take my larger cargo bikes.

So what’s a bicycling photographer to do?

Well….take a “regular” size bike and outfit it to suit your purposes. This is where the Ortlieb Shuttle-Bike comes in.

The Shuttle-Bike is essentially a semi-hard rolling suitcase that snaps on to your bike via an adapter for your rack. The case has casters and a telescoping handle for easy off-bike hauling. It also has really well-sealed zippers so you’re covered in event of a downpour.

The Shuttle-Bike functions like any suitcase and offers some pockets and compression straps to shrink your clothing a bit. However, my interest is in using it as a semi-hardcase to put my camera gear in.

If you look on the Ortlieb sie, it has a few pictures, but none that really do a good job of showing how it works on a bike. So here are some snaps to show you how it all works!

Here you can see how the back of the case mates with the adapter on the rack. You mate the circular pieces and push down until you hear an audible click, letting you know it is firmly in place.

Another nice touch is the combination zipper lock. It’s not going to keep a determined thief out of there but it will keep honest people honest (for a few minutes) and prevent accidental opening of the zippers.

I’ll show how it fits all my camera gear in the next post!

Bicycletouringpro.com Web Event Start Tomorrow

If you have time over the weekend, please visit our friend Darren’s excellent bicycle-touring website at Bicycletouringpro.com

His two-day “Web Event” kicks off at 8AM tomorrow…and the crew from Bikecommuters.com have been given the honor of kicking it off with the first article posted — a crash-course tutorial on bicycle commuting.

Check out the lineup by clicking here….it’s gonna be star-studded! Plus, there will be periodic prize giveaways throughout the weekend. Stop in and check it out, ok?

Are front loaders the new Xtracycle?

Long tails are becoming more and more common these days. Are front-loaders soon to follow? I just got an email from Lane Kagey from CETMA, the maker of fine front loading racks for your bicycle with a little heads-up on his latest project–a cargo bike!

It looks to be fashioned after the Long John design, carrying the load in the front and very low to the ground. The bike currently weighs in a bit under 50lbs. One of the options he has been considering is building the bike with NuVinci hubs and disc brakes.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the bike, is that it will be “bi-partable”, which means the front and rear ends of the bike will be swappable. Not only does this give you options (long or short in the front), but it also allows for a bit easier shipping!

The bike is still in the prototype phase but it will be one to watch out for in 2009.

OpenStreetMap Mapping Party in Tampa

Sorry about the late notice…

OpenStreetMap.org is hosting a bicycle-based mapping party in Tampa this coming weekend (November 22nd and 23rd). Here are the details from the invitation:

Mapping parties are events where anyone can come along and join in improving the free world map of everything. We show you how to collect data (survey) and get the data in to OpenStreetMap. Once you put the data in to OpenStreetMap you or anybody around the world, can use the map in interesting and creative ways.

We have an event coming up in the Tampa/St.Pete area on November 22 – 23, 2008. They are informal events with no explicit time commitment and often a social element / refreshments afterwards. You should join us.

Saturday 10 – 5, and refreshments after.
Sunday 10 – 5

Experts, beginners and the curious are all welcome.

Rain or shine.

The party kicks off at the Panera Bread location at 11860 Bruce B Downs Blvd, near the University of South Florida campus. The organizer states that there will be a few “loaner” GPS units on hand, but you’re welcome to bring your own if you’re so inclined.

If you’re in the Tampa/St. Pete area and you’re interested in getting involved, please RSVP to:
http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/1304299/