Maybe because it’s awards season, I was thinking that swag bags — you know, the freebie totes that accumulate in the closet — make pretty good bike basket liners.

Ready-made liners are great, but their bright patterns and cotton fabrics often seem to me to be better suited to sunny Southern California cruising (no disrespect — wish I was there today!) than to urban riding, especially in messy weather. Why not give a shot to a reasonably attractive, but languishing item that’s yearning for a useful life?

Over the winter, the faux-python vinyl tote above has done double duty for me as a basket liner and a carryall.  I thought I’d post it today because people have asked me about it on the street and because I just found out that the gift-with-purchase offer that netted me the bag at a cosmetics counter last fall has come around again this week for spring.

Tote Bag - Saks Cosmetics GiftHere’s why I think any simple, roomy and waterproof tote works well in a bike basket:

    • There’s no need to sweat over road spew on damp days; just wipe with a sponge. (To protect items inside, fold the top over and secure with a cargo net.)
    • A tote in a basket is a good alternative to the added bulk of slinging a messenger-style bag over your winter coat while riding. And vinyl is super-lightweight.
    • This type of bag is attractive enough to carry around without announcing “bike accessory.” I use it to transport gym clothes, office paperwork and groceries, as well as to protect my “good” shoes and pocketbook.
    • Catch a cog or a smudge of chain grease? There’s probably another “bonus” waiting in your closet.

While swag is seldom really “free,” a little something extra is always nice. Through February 28, Saks Fifth Avenue is offering a colored snake-skin-print version (above right) with a $100 purchase of cosmetics or fragrances in-store and online.

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CONGRATULATIONS…to Jessica D.B. Doyle, winner of the Velo Love T-shirt in our Valentine’s Day facebook promo. Lots more city cycling goodness to come. Please join our facebook community today!

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2 Responses to a bike basket liner that you won’t mind toting

  1. Robin Horton says:

    Velojoy, you got style! Love these on or off the wheels!

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Urban Gardens, Nancy Moon | Moon PR. Nancy Moon | Moon PR said: RT @urbangardens: Chic bike basket liner you won’t mind toting! http://t.co/evTlBYP via @velojoy [...]

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