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yellow, overload

My new panniers, which I ordered from REI last week, came yesterday. Given past embarassing pannier failures, it's silly that it took me this long to get around to finding replacements.

I ran across some Ortlieb panniers at an REI in DC and fell in love them for their sheer beautiful yellowness. And they had an obviously better attachment mechanism and looked much more durable--just what would appeal to me after my previous panniers fell my the bike occasionally and developed holes in the bottom after a few years.

But that's one of the classic sources of second system syndrome, right? You choose the replacement with all the problems of the previous system in mind, forgetting all the stuff that worked, which you never had to think about.

And the old panniers did have more convenient access: the new ones are these tall bags that you have to fold down and then fasten a buckle over, where the old ones were basically just open baskets. The old ones were also a heck of a lot cheaper.

So that's what I was thinking about as I opened the package Wednesday morning and tried to figure out how to mount them. Did I just spend entirely too much on something that wasn't really going to work for my purposes (mainly just grocery shopping)?

A couple days and a major grocery haul later, I'm no longer worried. Opening and closing them doesn't take any longer, they've got tons of capacity, they're really easy to take on and off, they're firmly attached to the rack, and keep the load closer to the bike, so the load's much more stable and easy to handle when they're filled. And they look way cool. The checkout lady at Busch's even complemented me on them as she helped me shovel my groceries into them tonight.

Next to figure out what to do about my no-longer-waterproof rainjackets....

I've got way too many projects going at once at work, and my strategy for choosing which to work on is terrible. What to do?