It’s U.S. Open time at Flushing Meadows and the world’s top pros are serving and volleying their way through more than 70,000 tennis balls, or about 23,300 cans. Turns out that those fine, tube-shaped containers built to accommodate three felt balls each, fit perfectly into bicycle water bottle cages. That makes them ideal for “upcycling” into cheap, simple carriers for stuff you might need on your bike ride. My dog Bandit (bottom photo) ably assisted in my weekend DIY project of peeling the labels from the cans (that’s it!) and experimenting with useful items that would fit inside.
I packed a can with flat-fixing supplies, but you could fill these with anything you want close at hand on your ride: sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses tissues, energy bars, dog treats. Using the lid is optional — it’s fine to let things poke out of the top — but they’re helpful for rain protection. The seriously crafty might want to add a band of ribbon or some reflective stickers.
A basic water bottle cage costs about $5, and some come in colors to match your bicycle frame. Check for braze-ons; those are the points at which a cage can be screwed onto your frame.