Building a Bronson Bike - Bronson Travel Bags


I have made several sets of these bags, which replicate the back and front green cotton canvas bag Jim Bronson used. The bags can be purchased from Norm and Rosie Doolittle, they own Swensonís Outdoors, Inc. located in Grass Valley California, 1-530-273-7315. These bags are 100% cotton, which is what Jim's bags look like on the show.

The bags come in a 21 and 25 inch diameter by 36/42 inches long, so you will need to shorten both bags, and for the front bag you will need to reduce the diameter down to about 9-10 inches (your call), and the front bag maybe 18 inches long (your call) but not to long or it will droop.

For the rear bag use the 25 inch diameter bag, first turn the bag inside out then stuff the bag with pillows and blankets to give it the full effect. Then measure across for 20 inches wide. You will not want it too wide or it will droop over each side of the bike once it is bungee corded. Mark three lines, the 1st SEWN line is how wide you bag will end up being. Note 1: One end of the bag remains sewn in as when new, you will cut the opposite end out with a one inch hem to then mate with staples to the 1st SEWN line.

The 2nd CUT line (dashed) is the final cut line. The outer most line will be the 1st CUT line. Measure twice; cut once giving yourself plenty of ragged edge. Next with the bag still turned inside out, staple the end piece to the 1st SEWN line; make sure you get the staples right next to the hemmed edge, so when the bag is reversed it has a clean appearance. Note 2: Before cutting across the zipper make sure both zipper are on the side of the bag that will be your finished bag. Note 3: If you leave the handles on the rear bag, ensure they match each other.

You can use the left over piece to pull thread from to use as sewing thread. Start by sewing a stopper into the zipper. Then work your way around the diameter sewing until you make the full circle. Care must be taken to allow for the bunching of the material or you will end up with a big bunch at the end.

Turn the bag right side out and look at your sewn end, if the sewing was done close to the machined hem you will have a clean appearance. Making the rear bag is very similar to a front bag. This is a challenge but is fun and gives you the homemade satisfaction of having done it yourself. Good luck, and until then hang in there, and I'll see ya on the long lonesome highway!

Also, these bags can be purchased from StanSport 323-269-0510. These bags are 100% cotton, which is what Jim's bags look like on the show.

The bags come in a 21 and 25 inch diameter by 36/42 inches long, item #1230 and #1232, type this number into the search at StanSport website.