Jan 24 2012
I’m always happy when I can repurpose a throw-away item and keep it out of the waste stream, so I was pleased to discover that a plastic shaker container commonly used for grated cheese is just the right size to fit in a water-bottle cage. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Every HyperMart in my corner of northern New York sells store-brand grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses in similar containers, and they appear to be identical to those used by Kraft for their costlier name-brand grated cheeses, as well. Just peel off the label —it comes off easily—wash out the container, and let it dry. Then it’s ready to hit the road:
As you can see, it’s a perfect fit, snug enough to stay put on bumpy gravel tracks, but still easy to remove. And your new hard case could also be suspended behind your saddle, if you chose:
Of course, this hard-case alternative to the familiar fabric seat pack will need some tweaking before it’s road-worthy. You’ll need to cobble together some sort of retention system, for instance. But that shouldn’t prove difficult. A carefully sized bungee cord wrap might well fit the bill, for instance.
Downsides? Well, my new hard case isn’t waterproof, but a shower test proved that it’s at least as water-resistant as any of my fabric seat packs. And the contents will rattle about as you ride. (To silence the rattle, just wrap loose items in a clean rag or bag them in plastic.) I’ll probably use a tab of duct tape to make sure the screw top doesn’t jiggle off as the miles mount up, too. This is probably unnecessary, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Of course, my new case lacks any sort of eye-catching embellishment. This doesn’t bother me, but if you think you’d like a swoosh stripe you’ll have to add your own.
Me? I’m sold. After all, the price was right. And just what will I carry in my new hard case? Here are some possibilities:
- Tools and spare parts
- A tire tube and puncture repair kit
- My lightweight wind shell
- My cell phone—or even a small camera
The bottom line? Easy. How can you beat free? And what rider can resist an opportunity to re…er…cycle something otherwise destined for the trash? Not this one, at any rate.
Questions? Comments? Just click here!
Making the Case: A FREE and Handy Container for Cycling
I’m always chuffed when I can recycle an item and keep it out of the waste stream, and my latest discovery is that the plastic shaker container commonly used for grated cheese is just the right size to fit in a water bottle cage. You’ve seen them, I’m sure. Here’s one:
Every HyperMart in my area sells a store-brand version of grated Parmesan and Romano in containers which are, for all practical purposes, the same as this one, and it’s the same container which is also used by the Kraft for their more expensive (but not tastier) alternative. The lid has flip-tops to reveal a large half-moon opening on one side and smaller holes on the other for shaking out cheese. Peel off the label —it comes off easily—wash out the container, let it dry, and it’s ready to be used for another purpose.
The recycled cheese case fits perfectly into my bikes’ water bottle cages, snugly but not tight, and should resist bouncing out on bumps. By chance, I discovered another place to carry the case on my utility bike:
Unused space at the forward end of the bike’s rear rack is just the right size to accommodate the case. Of course, I’d lash it in place with bungees or straps when on the road, even if it is wedged nicely between the gap between saddle, trunk, and the forward lip of the rack. If there’s no room for the case on the bike, it can always fit inside a pannier.
The container isn’t waterproof, but the lid fits snugly enough that the wad of paper towels I pushed inside it didn’t get wet when I carried them into the shower with me. Just be sure the lids are pressed home snugly. But what to carry in the case? The answer’s simple—whatever you need on the road which will fit! Some ideas:
- Tools and spare parts
- Tire tubes and puncture kit
- Lightweight wind shell
- Cell phone or small camera
Of course, you might wish to pad the contents so they don’t rattle in the case, but that’s no problem. Just zip them in a plastic bag, or wrap the contents in a cleaning rag and you’re good to go!
The next time you shake the last of the grated Parmesan out of your shaker, don’t toss it in the trash. ReCYCLE it as a carry-along case for those little somethings that you need on your bike rides.