Not cycling, coffee (so pretty close to cycling)

I’ve been running an informal and hardly scientific experiment in trying to find a decent portable coffee cup/container (to reduce waste etc from disposables etc, even though Charlie uses recyclable cups) over the last couple of years or so, and I think I may have found the optimum one (for me. Your mileage is highly likely to vary). I’ve tried the following:

  • Klean Kanteen – no idea of the name, but it looks like a coffee cup with a lid. Pluses: right size (8oz – I don’t like buckets of coffee), aesthetically pleasing, keeps coffee warm. Minuses: leaks all over the place as there’s no way to plug the drinking hole. This minus kills the cup for me because I need to be able to put it into my backpack when I’ve finished my coffee. No matter how much you drain it, there will always be dregs of coffee that leak out onto papers/phones/computers/bag lining/etc
  • Random thermos-type. Pluses: keeps coffee warm, can usually be sealed so it doesn’t leak dregs. Minuses: take up too much space in bag (my backpacks/bags mostly do not have external bottle pockets – which is a flaw and the “one true bag/backpack” search continues)

Current winner seems to be the Stojo – lid seals, so no leaks (so far …) and it collapses down so fits in bags without taking up too much space. It’s also pretty light, being silicon. It’s nothing like as aesthetically pleasing as the Klean Kanteen, and 12oz not 8oz, but I’ll live with it. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to work out that the name isn’t some trendy Scandi thing but essentially “stow joe” (“joe” as in coffee). I think. Maybe I’m overthinking and it is just a trendy Scandi-type name.

As usual: not an ad, it’s stuff I’ve bought and tried out. No-one’s paying me for this.

Update: the Stojo didn’t survive an accident (silicon does tear under stress, it turns out). Now using a Frank Green¬†coffee cup (gratuitous cycling connection: it’s the Rapha version) which is working well. It’s also a lot more aesthetically pleasing and smaller. It doesn’t scrunch up, but doesn’t take up a lot of space and is proving (so far) not to leak when empty.

Still not an ad.

Update 2: for days when I need more coffee than will fit in the Frank Green option, I’m now using an rCup¬†– all recycled and, a bit like the Frank Green, a useful pop-up top to allow drinking with limited/minimal leaking.

Still not an ad.

The commute is on again

Part-commute is back – cycling two stops down the line from home, leave the bike there and cycle home from there in the evening. It’s straightforward, and there are two route options: a longer hillier one (8.5 miles) and a shorter flatter one (7.9 miles). Did the longer one in the morning and the shorter in the evening – partly to remind myself of likely timings. Overall it adds about 20 minutes to my commute, saves a bit of cash, and adds about 16 miles to my weekly total. Useful. 

It was also the first proper test of the commute backpack – Showers Pass Transit bag. I prefer backpacks to panniers; I find panniers tiresome to carry around, even those with shoulder straps. I got the Transit because it’s seriously waterproof – I carry electronics and don’t particularly want them damp, thank you. It’s also cavernous, which is brilliant – I can carry all the day-to-day stuff (laptop, notebook, cables, pens, phones, wallet) and a change of clothes, a rain jacket, plus lunch and there was still plenty of room for my helmet to go in at the station (there’s a helmet pocket on the outside if I ever have to carry even more stuff inside the bag). There was still room in the bag even then. A pocket on the outside takes the toolkit, patches, CO2 and mini-pump, and a spare tube goes into an internal pocket. 

It’s comfortable on my back – the mesh stopped me getting particularly warm, and rides enough not to get in my way. Straps are wide and comfortable as well – I removed the waist strap because I don’t like them, and am very happy that Showers Pass have it as an optional thing! I’m fed up with tying back or cutting off waist straps on bags.