I just cannot bring myself to buy a Bento box. Not the sushi kind, but the top tube kind. I was at the LBS today to check out their Labor Day Sale, and I must have made 12 trips by the one sad little kiosk that contained tri-dork accessories. Among the dorkiest (I’m sorry, but useful as they are, hot pink compression socks have to be THE dorkiest bit of tri gear) were the bento boxes. Little, rather unobtrusive bundles of canvas, mesh, and velcro, waiting to provide an accessible and aero option for storing your gels, cell phone, tampon, cue sheet, stray kittens, whatever. They are a great idea. Much more practical for the average triathlete completing long training rides followed by hot, sticky brick runs in the middle of the day in your dorky tri shorts and perhaps in your dorky compression socks.
Yet, after 13 years in the business, I still cannot bring myself to buy one. It’s just too close to buying the extra-large, reflective seat bag that will hold a foot-long sub in addition to your VHS camcorder and bag phone. I don’t care that the bento box is handy, aero, and much smaller than the aforementioned saddle bag. There’s just no getting around the fact that bento boxes bring down the coolness factor of any self-resepecing tri bike by about 498 levels.
Maybe I should not care; maybe I should let this one bit of stylelessness slip by my inner trifashion police, but I have my pride and principles. Therefore, I will continue to stuff gels and cell phone into the teeny tiny pockets in my tri top, praying they won’t eject when I hit that pothole, shove my Epipen into the back of my sports bra, and wedge a spare tube between my seat rails. And I am all the more sexy for it.
Will I one day break down and get the bento box? Probably not. That said, if one were to appear on my doorstep, I might see what I can do to make it worthy of my Plasma’s top tube, perhaps involving rhinestones. Now, please excuse me, I have an epipen bruising my spine.