Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Revitalize a Map Case

Large map case has simple hook and loop fasteners that attach to handlebar.
I own two map cases and they are identical. They were given to me because I participated in organized rides. I like some of the case's features, however, I felt they could be improved to better suit my needs. I had time recently to catch up on projects, so read on for my alterations.

A unique feature: opened map case turns into a shopping bag. Map or cue sheet
stays in place. Incidentally, Auberge Harris is a nice accommodation
if you're touring around Lake Champlain
. I've stayed there twice. 
The case's original intent was that it unfolds, doubling as a shopping bag. There are two pockets. One holds a map. The other conceals pop out handles. The material is constructed of woven plastic fiber. It's strong and no doubt can hold a bagful of goods.

As you can see, it's also an advertisement for a hotel. That part doesn't bother me. It's a place that caters to bicyclists, supporter of Velo Quebec, our north of the border regional cycling authority whose advocacy work resulted in a network of separate cycle paths throughout the province. When a map tucks inside the clear plastic, the logo all but disappears, rendering an obnoxiously blaring graphic nearly nonexistent.

Black tape along bottom is virtually like the fabric tape along stitched side seams.
I first altered the case size. I no longer want or need the bag feature. I cut off the bottom half to desired size, then snipped the looped handles.

I folded the cut end and laid a piece of black tape along its entire length. I burnished the tape with rounded scissor handles. The tape is a cross between duct tape and electrical tape. It's strong, infused with fibers. My son claims it's hockey tape. Whatever its name, it works and the color blends well.

I moved married side of Velcro-like closure to just below my thumb.
Since one side of the Velcro-like fastener was now on the lower end of bag that I'd removed, I used a seam ripper to undo the large stitches holding it in place. I returned it to the correct position, secured with super glue, and tape on both sides, running its entire length. It might be better to machine sew the fastener, however it's nearly impossible in the current configuration with pre-stitched sides. I also don't want to risk mistreating my machine. (I will look into its capabilities, though. I can foresee other projects, using worn tire tubes that would require machine sewing.)

Dual pouches could come in handy for bus schedule, money, etc.
Tote handles are no longer in the way.
Refashioned case with map folded to show my next bike overnight route.
Now, I have a re-purposed map case. It's lighter than the original. It's larger than most cases on the market, allowing easier map folding (without entirely creasing the paper) so I presume maps could have longer life. It has two pockets. That feature alone makes it unique. I was so pleased with the result that I went ahead and reformed the second case.

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