Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Coffee Mug For Your Bike

I'm really not much of a coffee snob. I drink expensive foofoo coffee and cheap coffee and coffee that's too hot and too cold and bitter coffee and coffee with loads of cream and sugar. Most mornings at home I drink cheap instant coffee and I've really grown fond of it. I'm also fond of good coffee served by cute baristas at places like Zeitgeist in Seattle.

I don't really like throwing away paper coffee cups and for quite some time I've been looking for a coffee mug that would work well and that would fit in one of the waterbottle cages on my bike. My pal Tarik reviewed Trek's Soho Coffee Mug here:

and the definitive Bike & Coffee site is here:

A few weeks ago, while roaming through various stores in a quest for just the right garbage cans to use to make a set of panniers, I found an OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal Travel Mug at Linens-N-Things. Ten bucks and it looked like it had a good seal up top. I vaguely remembered the OXO name being mentioned favorably on the bicycle coffee systems site, so I bought the mug. It turns out Linens-N-Things also has the pricier ($20) stainless mug but the $10 mug I bought has the same seal and works great.

The cover really is spill-proof. It has a clever little push-button up top that opens and closes the seal. When the lid is closed you can flip the mug upside-down and nothing leaks out. The mug slides in and out of the my plastic down-tube mounted bottle cage OK but I worried about the tapering shape of the bottle. The mug never popped out of the cage, but I could envision the bottle working loose. I also got to thinking that the mug could be insulated just a bit better, so I modified the mug slightly.

I wrapped the bottom half of the mug with a layer of old cork handlebar tape. This adds a layer of insulation and makes the mug a bit more of a straight cylinder instead of a slightly tapered cone. I then covered the cork tape and the rest of the body of the mug with a very stylish layer of black duct tape. The modified mug fits perfectly in the bottle cage now, snug enough to stay put but still easy enough to slide in and out when I want to take a drink.

That's it. No solution to global warming or profound insight into the human condition. Just a coffee mug that does a pretty good job and isn't too pricey. And it's made better with duct tape.

Keep 'em rolling,

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