The Minnehaha Canvas Utility Panniers I ordered arrived Friday afternoon, just in time for the Bike Friendly Arlington ride. I took one with me on the ride and had it loaded with essentials and as usual, stuff that I didn't need. I attached it as far back as possible on the rack for maximum heel clearance and took off. I completely forgot it was there which is probably the most complementary thing you can say about a pannier. There was no swaying or sagging despite the excessive gear (for a casual ride). Unfortunately the panniers are sold out at Restoration Hardware. At $27.99 I knew they wouldn't last long. They still have some saddlebags in stock although you might want to hurry.
The quality of these panniers was much better than I expected. I had read people's complaints about problems with heel clearance when using these panniers. I think the longer chainstays kept me from experiencing any problems.
Facebook: To my new Facebook friends, it's pretty obvious that I'm new to this stuff. I haven't picked up on all the do's and don'ts yet so please be patient with me.
Tour of Flanders this Sunday: Even if you're not a pro-cycling fan you're bound to enjoy the Tour of Flanders. The steep climbs up cobbled roads are legendary. The race is even better if the weather gets nasty. As far as I'm concerned this race and the following weekends Paris-Roubaix are the high points of the pro-racing calender.
My favorite place for links to live coverage of most professional races is Steephill.Tv (which is where these images were borrowed. I hope they don't get angry).
Stijn Devolder, former Belgian national champ. This guy is awesome!
This is about the only race where you'll see pros running their bikes uphill.