Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh No, ...

Not Again!

I have made the inexcusable mistake of letting my medium size Acorn seat bag become infected with MILDEW.  CRAP!  I hate that.  I suppose mildew is hard on fabric and if left unchecked it might eventually digest the bag and in 100 years just a few brass and chrome fittings would be left hanging by some heavy nylon thread.  That’s not my worry.  The plain fact is I hate that smell.  In my early days I lived in enough dives and flops (and palled with others in the same straits) that ‘eau de mildeau’ was a common essence.  Eventually in keeping with the times, I passed on to the age of patchouli.  I am long past sand candles and 'herbal' brownies, but I am still in the soggy PNW and subject to the ravages and vagaries of mildew.  And did I mention;  I hate that smell.   

I ride in the rain.  My bike (and gear) gets wet and muddy.  I store my bike (wet) in the garage between rides. My Acorn bag is NOT easily removed and replaced so, it gets ‘rode hard and put away wet’.  Mildew loves this environment.

So, short term, my problem is that I need to disinfect this bag, de-funkify it, and then re-treat it for water and mildew resistance.  You eight faithful followers will recall that in the not so distant past I went through this with my Carradice Barley, so I have some experience.  I will surely get through this again but I just wanted to put my whine out there for all to enjoy.  Here is a question for those in the know: Is the Barbour fabric dressing as good as Carradice?  It looks like I can get a larger container of this (which I woull like) than the little tin of Carradice which was just enough to reproof the Barley last time. 

Long term, I am going to have to rig up another quick and easy way to remove and reattach the Acorn.  Hey that’s your part; happy to hear your suggestions for a simple, inexpensive easy on/off method.  I ride a Brooks Pro Saddle (with bag loops).  this should be fun, Rando's love gizmos, gadgets, and work-arounds.  All recommendations will be considered and posted for the world to see so keep it clean.  Remember, the criteria are; quick and easy on and off, and not rediculously expensive. 

My default will be to bolt on the Bagman support

and use that with either the Barley or the Acorn, but thats akin to hunting ducks with a Howitzer.  I am counting on you for an elegant solution.

For now I will switch back to the Barley. 
It’s more bag than I need for a 200K and mostly I’ve been riding 100 and 200Km permanents these days.  With the bagman rack it’s easily attached and removed from the bike.  So, as with the Berthoud front bag, whatever rear bag I use will come into the laundry/mud room to dehumidify after wet trips over the river and through the woods.

Speaking of the Berthoud, I was able to save it from a more rapid and pernicious destruction in late September.  After we flooded in 07 I built a nice shelving system in the garage;  High enough that I could tuck the big horse under the lowest shelf and then place helmet, gloves, bottles, bags, etc. on the shelf above.  Neat, or so I thought. 

The problem arrived with the change of seasons.  In the fall our rodent population here at Rocky Acres explodes.  Lots and lots of field mice, and even more of those cute, teeny meadow voles.  Really, picking tomatoes or weeding the beds it is not at all uncommon to scare up two or three in a session.  Chairman, the great white hunter routinely brings in two or three a week August through October, sometimes two in a night.  Storing cat food, bird food, and fish food in the garage makes it a mouse magnet.  I always store these bags of food in mouse proof containers (plastic garbage cans). Try as I might to train him, Gerrard, our hunchback groundskeeper seems always to spill at feeding time so there is ever a liberal scattering of mouse poops to show for it.  I guess hunting the garage does not provide the same thrill as huning the woods and flower beds for Chairman.  
I found mouse poops in the Berthoud (I’d left a half-eaten Clif bar in there) so, I just closed it up thinking this would solve the problem.  Big mistake.  The next time I went rummaging I found that the little terrors had chewed all the way through one of the side flaps and part of the lid in search of provender! 

A fair amount of fabric had been reduced to ‘nest material’.
Fortunately the functionality and integrity of the bag itself was not compromised.  (Who knew Clif Bars were 5 star fare for mice?)
I’ll keep you posted on the Acorn de-funkification.  BTW I highly recommend Acorn bags; PDG rated by Codfish Industries Testing Labs.  (Pretty Dang Good).


  1. Take the saddle and seatpost off and bring them inside with the bag attached. Has the advantage of also letting air in your frame so it dries and is less likely to rust.

    Of course, you'll have to buy another saddle and seatpost for the Carradice....

    Chris aka wooglin :)

  2. Hi Chris, thanks for taking the time to comment! This is a great idea: scores 10/10 on the cost element, 6/10 for convenince, and off the charts for simplicity and out of the box thinking. could be a prize winner!

    Send me an email w/your mailing address and you may just find a little Codfish Indistries SWAG under the tree this Christmas.

  3. Hi Doc,

    Great suggestion from Chris. I'd put a clamp around your seat post instead of marking it, so you don't have to mess about getting your seat height right.

    Are you going to patch the Berthoud? The older and more beat up your stuff us, the more rando cred you have ;-))(Kinda like counting the number of patches your inner tubes have when you flat on a ride).


  4. A clamp, like a hose clamp? Would a SS hose clamp be metalurgically compatible with a Ti seatpost?

    I was thinking electricians tape with some sort of index mark for quick and easty alignment.

  5. Who knew Clif bars were five star fare for mice? Me, me! *raising hand*. I once had them chew through my laundry hamper and my laundry to get at the remains of a clif bar I'd left in a jersey pocket. :(

    My saddle doesn't have loops, and I use one of these: It also has the advantage of placing the bag a little higher and a little farther back, so it won't hit your legs if you tend to sit farther back on the saddle and it gives you a little more clearance if you have a smaller frame or lower saddle. And it's the quickest quick release you can find. If you buy two, you can leave each mount on a different saddlebag and each block on a different bike.
    The major drawback is the weight - it is not light. :P

  6. Who knew the leader of the burgeoning pickle juice sports app industry was following this weighty issue!?

    Another great suggestion and one which reminds me that I believe, somewhere in that mountain of boxes out in the shop I too have one of these!

    Thanks for the idea!

    Yr Pal