I don’t know how many times I’ve told Benji to please wait and be patient. Probably several times a minute. Thus I can fully appreciate the deep irony of a situation where my patience was stretched to breaking. Here’s the story.
On my morning commute, I ride the bus to Seattle since I don’t feel any need to commute by bike 21 miles twice a day. When I ride the bus, I get off at the first downtown stop, take my bike off the rack, turn, mount my bike, and ride away — directly ahead of the bus. So naturally I try to expedite the unload-and-go process, not wanting to hold up an entire busload of people any longer than necessary. If I use a backpack, I don’t have to worry about hooking a pannier onto my bike before I start riding. I can usually get rolling before the bus has finished loading new passengers.
But if I wear a backpack and carry a laptop home with me when I commute home in the afternoon, my back hurts. A lot. Approximately 80 minutes of the weight of a laptop plus assorted clothes and Tupperware hanging off my shoulders puts strain on my scoliosis-curved spine that I’d much prefer to avoid. So in the evening I like using a pannier to spare my back.
You see the conundrum? In the morning, a backpack serves me best. But in the evening, I need a pannier. I started imagining how I’d hook my backpack to my rack using some sketchy application of bungee cords.
Enter the Timbuk2 Deploy Convertible Backpack Pannier. When I discovered Timbuk2 had solved this problem, I instantly knew I wanted to abandon my current backpack for this bag.
On January 22, I ordered the bag from Timbuk2. They shipped it the following day and UPS estimated they would deliver it on January 28, since I elected the cheapest shipping option. All very standard for shopping online these days. I waited eagerly but patiently.
When January 28 arrived, I excitedly rode home and found nothing on the porch. I checked the tracking information. That’s when I learned that my bag had taken a little side trip to Laurel, MD on its journey from San Francisco to Seattle. Instead of arriving on January 28, I would have to wait until February 5 to try out my new bag solution.
The next morning, riding through downtown Seattle, I looked up and there, kitty-corner from me, stood a brand-new Timbuk2 store. A store where I probably could’ve bought the very bag that was taking 13 days to travel to me from California.
Oh, I was pretty wild. I considered just going and buying the bag on the spot. But I waited. I did contact Timbuk2, and they generously gave me 20% off even though it wasn’t their fault (probably). Then I waited some more. For another week, to be precise. This time I waited with undisguised impatience, telling the story of my long-traveling bag to coworkers and friends and bemoaning its adventurous spirit. But I waited nonetheless.
There’s a happy ending to the tale, though: My bag did arrive safely today. It’s exactly what I ordered. I’ll try it out tomorrow. Probably it won’t be the panacea I’m dreaming of, but it can’t be worse than what I’ve got now. And, indeed, I’m glad I had to wait. It reminds me that sometimes it is hard to wait, sometimes we have to wait when we don’t want to, and not only kids have a hard time being patient.