by Tommy Hamelink, PCI #658
Politie Haaglanden, The Netherlands
If you go surfing on the internet for “Adventure Mountain Biking Bags,” you will find the name “Epic Eric” all over it.
Epic Eric is the brand name of owner and designer Eric Parsons of Anchorage, Alaska, who builds special bicycle bags for the “serious” adventure cyclist. “Serious”, you ask? If the majority of racers in the Iditarod Trail Invitational choose Eric’s products, it is deadly serious!
This long winter ultra bicycle race – 350 or 1100 miles across frozen Alaska – is an unforgiving test for both humans and materials. Failing equipment can be life-threatening.
Bike racers from the Great Divide Race, the Yukon Artic Ultra, the Arrowhead Winter Race and the RAAM also use Eric’s bags. Do I need to tell more about the serious quality of Eric’s products?
For completing my Surly Pugsley adventure bike, I ordered a set of bags from Epic Eric’s.
I use them all the time, even when I go for the technical trails.
So what does this have to do with bike patrol? Normally, bike patrol officers use rear panniers. But if you need a little more carrying capacity, why not use a frame bag?
Eric Parsons designs a custom built frame bag for touring, endurance racing and lightweight bike packing. Utilize the valuable space inside your frame and get the weight off your back and onto your bike! These bags can be made to take up any space you can think of.
Complete your frame bag with the Gas Tank, which is a top tube-mounted, dual-zip panel opening bag for quick access to your goodies. Food (hence the name “Gas Tank”), a GPS, mobile phone, you name it. The double-zip panel opening design allows easy access to the contents.
For EMS, the frame bags give you the little extra carrying space you might be seeking.
Combine them with a backpack, and you have a smaller footprint than with two back panniers. This gives you more flexibility when working in areas like dense woods or big crowds.
For police, the frame bag is a big advantage if you don’t want rear panniers but you need more space than a rack bag provides. That makes you smaller and faster when riding through a crowd. Also the crowds have no more back panniers to grab you by.
All of Eric’s bags are custom made. Send him your idea and he will help you to design the perfect frame bag. Please take a look at the website http://www.epicdesigns-ak.blogspot.com and find out all the possibilities.
© 2009 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of IPMBA News.