On the subject of kick-stands and touring bikes… There are those of us who use the frame mounted variety… predictably and faithfully. There are those of us who don’t. And some of us simply rely on the durability of panniers, securely fastened pumps, and water tight bottles as we randomly drop our rigs to the ground.

No matter what, we all know the thrill of finding that perfect guard rail, wall or sign post, offering at just the right height, a sturdy place to prop our rigs just as we are ready to take a break.

Recently, stretch-corded, Click together, tent pole designs have surfaced offering alternatives. Upon stopping, the touring cyclist digs out a small bundle of polished aluminum tubes and with a flick of the wrist, deploys a yardstick sized, beefy hotdog roaster looking stand ready to be stabbed into the ground for easy supporting of a heavily laden top tube. Finally, a simple band is placed around one or both sets of brakes to secure the bike in place and the parking is complete.

Sounds pretty good, huh?

Well, how about an alternative… to the alternative?? For less than $10 and a little of your own time, you could have one of these simple prop stands! And (DON’T STOP THERE…) I’ll throw-in a handy place to hang a flag with its very own built-in dog distractor!!  I call it the FlagStickStand.

Here’s how…
(Feel free to use, steal, modify, as you see fit to benefit your own particular setup)


  • 12 inch approx of 3/4 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • 3/4 inch PVC end cap
  • 3/4 inch PVC straight joint
  • 2 – Stainless steel hose clamps
  • 3 foot piece of Poplar dowel rod
  • Short piece of nylon twine
  • Pinch clamp (realized it was not necessary afterwards)
  • USA flag
  • NM flag (won’t hurt my feelings if you want to use your own state)

Cut the PVC pipe to fit a place on the rack.  (ensure that you account for the end cap and extension joint) Mine is placed onthe right rear rack tube.  Glue the pieces together and drill a drain hole in the center of the end cap.  The whole unit just fits such that there is no rubbing and the panniers can be mounted and unmounted.

Ride with the setup for a while and adjust/tighten the hose clamps when a good location is found.  Note:  The hose clamps should not be overtightened or the PVC will fail.

So far, my number one conversation starter is my flag setup.

I’ve been chased by dogs many times when cycling through NM.  So far a very LOUD and angry sounding, "GO HOME!" has worked.  Imagine a time when it doesn’t.   I can reach back and my FlagStickStand serves it’s final purpose as a convenient dog distractor.  "Toro!  Toro!" Haha!

I get into the habit of using the parking brake straps.  They can be made out of strips of old inner tube.

On flat, even surfaces the parking brake straps may not be necessary.

The key to success is in the wrapping of the holding loop.  A small hole is drilled approximately an inch below the end of the dowel.  The loop is cut just long enough to wrap completely around the top tube and back over the crown of the dowel.  (BTW, the blue material is my fabric "tube" which each flag is sewn onto for easy removal from the dowel)

At this point, the parking brakes have been attached and the bike has settled into its resting location.

I originally added the pinch clamp, and later found it unnecessary. You’re mileage may very.

When wrapped properly, upward force pushes the stick higher and pulls the loop tighter downward from below the top tube.

Feel free to pass on any ideas for improvement.  I’ve been riding with this setup for a few hundred miles and am able to deploy it within a minute of stopping.