I have to be honest. When we first met, I was not a fan of Alite's Bike To The Beach Bag. Around this time last year, all the bike-style coolhunters were buzzing about the convertible rucksack/tote. But to me, it just looked snoringly dull, in that off-navy LL Bean way.

I mean, I understand why urban bike riders get excited when a bike-specific product comes out that isn't designed to look like you're about to launch your bike out of a helicopter and jump after it in a blur of day-glo chartreuse ballistic nylon.

But don't we deserve better than boring? Yes, we do. Which is why Gravel and Gold came to the rescue.

The unspeakably hip San Francisco boutique is best known for their prints which somehow manage to be cheeky, flashy, and boobalicious at the same time. And that's how a dull-as-dishwater tote got turned into something hot and bubbly.

This print was actually the first ever made by surface-design savant Cassie McGettigan, one of the brains behind the carefully curated shop. If it weren't for her, I never would have taken a second look at the bag and learned all about its bikey features.

There's a special U-shaped pocket for--surprise!--yer lock, a zippered pouch, and a foam backing that gives a little comfort while in rucksack mode.

During the feature tour, it finally dawned on me how awesome it is to have a tote bag that converts to a backpack. I'm sorry. In my defense, boredom tends to make me stupid?

It's also made right here in San Francisco. Which is kind of amazing since it's really well-built and costs only $162. Also, if you attend any of the intriguing workshops that Gravel and Gold hosts like, all the time, you get a 10% shop discount!

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To celebrate the launch of the new Bike to the Beach bag in the graphic black and white "Panda Face" print, the shop hosted the cutest gathering of stylish cyclists.

Just about everything in this tiny Mission boutique is a flippin' cool take on the "tweaked basics" design principal that Kelly and I fell in love with in college. Take something practical, that you would use in your real life, and make it cool enough that you actually want to look at it every damn day.

Seriously rad. But if that overdose of style was a little too energizing, take a long moment to watch this hella relaxing video showing exactly how the Bike to the Beach bag gets born.

Making of Bike to the Beach Bag from Alite Designs on Vimeo. Alite Design team doing a production run of the Bike to the Beach Bag made at their factory located in San Francisco, California.

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