One of our reader's commented a while back that I ought to include products from Vaude in the pannier section of product reviews. His effort to make a point that "you get what you pay for" was meant to say that there is no availability in quality affordable products.
For a lot of folks interested in getting started with bike touring it's not an absolute necessity to spend four to five hundred dollars on panniers. One of the most redeeming qualities of bike touring and commuting is the affordable methods of travel offered by bicycling. In fact that's in part how bicycle touring got started, as a means for folks who could not otherwise afford to go on holiday a bicycle provided an economical mode of transportation. I enjoy reading about and including some cycling related historical anecdotes when appropriate. So here's a quote from Wikipedia for folks interested in more information regarding some of the origins of bike touring.
The first cyclists, often aristocratic or rich, flirted with the bicycle and then abandoned it for the new motor car. It was the lower middle class which profited from cycling and the liberation that it brought. The Cyclist of 13 August 1892 said: "The two sections of the community which form the majority of 'wheelmen' are the great clerk class and the great shop assistant class." H. G. Wells described this aspirant class liberated through cycling.
That having been said for folks who have been riding their bikes for many years through varying weather conditions, reaping the health benefits and personal satisfaction of experiencing their skills and stamina improving over the years don't really give a hoot about much of the silly bike banter going on out there.
With all the "bike share" programs taking place around the country city planners and developers are responding to changes by implementing more and more and more bikes as they feel it necessary to enhance metropolitan transportation. Whether your someone concerned about the environment, wanting to keep some extra money in the pocket or riding your bike for health benefits when it concerns bikes the old axiom "it's all good" has never been more appropriate. If you're someone considering whether or not to take up bike commuting or cycling for recreational purposes I hope this helps to eliminate any doubts you may have regarding bringing a bike into your life.
By 1878, recreational cycling was enough established in Britain to lead to formation of the Bicycle Touring Club, later renamed Cyclists' Touring Club. It is the oldest national tourism organisation in the world. Members, like those of other clubs, often rode in uniform. The CTC appointed an official tailor. The uniform was a dark green Devonshire serge jacket, knickerbockers and a "Stanley helmet with a small peak". The colour changed to grey when green proved impractical because it showed the dirt.
Links Related to this Topic
Julie Bicycle's Article
Mountain Bike for Commuting and Touring