I got to go on a little smudge of a bike & hike the other day. Nothing strenuous, but I found myself on the coast in Mendocino county for a day, and decided to stretch my legs a bit. At the moment I'm in Berkeley for a few days - crashing with friends and basically living out of my large Woodward (8 x 11 roll-top) bag. I also have an Avenue B (flap) bag with me. This trip has been opportunity to use these bags in a couple of new ways, and I have some findings to share.
The Avenue B, though a commuter bag, came in hand as a bike & hike bag. I spent Sunday morning on a ten mile jaunt through the redwoods wearing the bag on my back. It was by no means the most comfortable hiking pack I've ever worn, but it served well. I returned to the campsite, snapped the bag back onto my bike and then rode 20 miles down the road to my next camping spot. Again, it wasn't ideal, but the whole experience got be thinking a little harder about the ideal bike & hike bag - one designed for this purpose. I look forward to developing one (and testing it!).
Back in the city places, I've been using my Woodward, and I have the thing packed to the gills. It's a tad heavy on my back (but I'm glad it's a backpack and not just a shoulder bag), but I've had no problems with the weight on my bike, even on one side.
I have a few more design refinements to make given these new perspectives, as always making the bags better and better.