[from the May 1973 issue of National Geographic; image via gustav531]
Maybe it was seeing too many images like this one.
[image via Harriet Fell]
Or maybe it was reading (and re-reading) Harriet Fell's account of "Paris-Brest-Paris 1975", in which she described packing her handlebar bag with over a dozen items, ending the list with "and a chicken, whole and roasted".
[image via thelewis]
Whatever the cause, the classic Randonneuring handlebar bag ignites my imagination as few other bicycle accessories do.
[image via MAP Cycles]
Just look at its boxy shape! And at the way it fits perfectly into the space between the handlebars - perched ever so appealingly on that miniature front rack above the front fender.
[image via Archival Clothing]
And who can resist the multitude of little pockets and closures? It is as if the bag invites you to trust it with your most cherished personal belongings: "Don't worry about anything when you are with me, Friend. I will keep these safe on the road."
[image via Rick Smith]
I suppose at the root of what attracts me to the handlebar bag, is the visual suggestion - reinforced by anecdotal accounts that have reached legendary proportions - that it turns the bicycle into a mobile home. You could go anywhere, and still have anything you could ever need, neatly organised and right at your fingertips... Including a whole, roasted chicken, if so desired.