For general neighborhood cruising, I don't mind carrying my backpack or purse on me. For a longish ride, I thought that might be a bit too much. But because I'm always paranoid about not being prepared in the event of an emergency, I gotta schlep my mandatory things - wallet with CC cards, insurance cards, etc; phone; water; tissues (for snot emergencies); and a tiny first aid kit. I checked into getting a bike basket, but just couldn't find one that would fit my bike well - my handle bars are kinda funnily shaped. So I decided to whip up a lightweight bag that wouldn't slow me down.
I googled some patterns from blogs online, but just couldn't find one with exactly what I wanted with the materials I already had - small bag, drawstring top, thick straps so they don't dig into my armpits, and no grommets. So I made it up as I went. Took me all of 20 minutes! I might handstitch some lining inside. But I might also make a new one out of some heavier fabric, like duck cloth, to make sure it's sturdy and doesn't thin quickly.
The bike path was a great ride - riding right along side a man-made creek which eventually turns into an inlet in Marina Del Rey, and is home to quite a few aquatic birds.
Unfortunately, we realized the bike path didn't let us off exactly where we wanted to be - dropping us off in the Marina rather than Venice Beach. So we had to ride another 2 miles on another bike path, backtracking quite a bit. We hung out in Venice for a bit, then decided to get back on the path home before it started getting dark.
Oh, how I am regretting not dishing out the cash and getting a multi-speed bike. I was fine most of the trip, which ended up being about 20 miles round trip. But the bike path has a lot of hills and valleys, and my thighs and bum were telling me they had enough. So when we got home, I collapsed on the floor with a glass of Gatorade and lots of whining. But that's the point right? Someday I'll get in shape enough.....
Anyways, my bag turned out well, right?