I'm a cyclepunk who enjoys being in the anonymous streets, but pulls off a flashy, cyberpunk aesthetic. My work as a technical consultant and bike courier gives me a lot of flexibility to choose and test my equipment, and my highly social personal life tends to keep my gear small and adaptable. I tend toward pared down, clean gear that blends into a crowd when I keep my head down, and stands out on the street when I pull my shoulders back. I like being seen right before I disappear.
Most of the stuff I carry has been vetted for months, and has very particular reasons that it has won out, though I constantly tinker and experiment with different pieces over time. It's part of who I am, at this point. Always forward.
My bike is a Norco Valence A Claris. Her name is Lassie, and she likes to dash when I let the reins out a little. I ride a multi-speed because Seattle is a gentle slope when you go North-South and a ski slope when you turn East-West, which I learned the hard way. Lots of messengers swear by the reliability of a fixie, but I'm not that strong and I like the flexibility to climb and sprint, depending on the road.
I ride Shimano Claris because it's a cost effective "real bike" that gets you the quality of a branded groupset without going too far into the money pit. I've ridden Tourney, Claris, Sora, Tiagra, 105, and Ultegra for months each, and I have found that Sora is as high as a non-racer really needs to go.
Before Lassie, I used to ride another Valence that I got for cheap as a secondhand rental bike. He felt like that nice, quiet kid who never stops working and never takes credit. He went to a former friend of mine who needed a bike, and I don't think I ever really forgot about him. I still think about that bike every few months. When I decided I really needed something in the Valence range, again, I had to put out a special order for Lassie through a local shop. She happened to be the last one of her color and size in North America, so I was extremely fortunate to find her.
Lassie has a bunch of aftermarket parts, as any well-cared bike does:
My bike pouch is a cheap MOLLE utility pouch. I think this one is from OneTigris, who make some quality stuff. Inside is:
I have three different bags that I carry, depending on what I'm doing: Greenroom136 Genesis, Greenroom136 Bootstrap, or CollapseBy Shadow Fuji. I do not leave the house without a bag, ever.
Greenroom136 makes functional, practical bags that are among the most durable I've ever carried, and triple-layered to reassure me against weather. They have good organization, and tend to be overbuilt for their purpose. I've carried Greenroom136 bags for years, and they feel like an extension of me.
CollapseBy is a new creator for me, but the Shadow Fuji has been top quality, so far.
Inside are a few essentials that I move between bags:
My phone is a Pixel 3. It's small, it's straightforward Android, and it has an excellent camera. Solves my communication needs with minimal fuss.
My keys are attached to a Black Diamond carabiner; an overbuilt, key nose carabiner I got off of a quickdraw. Yes, I use a Real Climbing Carabiner for keys because I know it will never fail on me and it's easier to get on and off.