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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-05-06, 07:24 AM   #1
agarose2000
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Shopping on bike - what do you do with your stuff?

Hi folks. Another utility-type question.

What do you do when you go shopping via bike? I mean, for trips with MORE than one store, where you get a couple things here, and a couple things there?

I have panniers, but I end up taking my regular backpack everytime I do these errands since I'm afraid to leave the panniers (and purchases) on my bike unattended. Of course, this greatly limits the amount of stuff I can carry.

I can't think of an easy solution for this. I've seen prior posts on locking rear racks/trunks, but it seems awfully bulky. Anybody have a solution (particular bag/pannier) that they've been very happy with?
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Old 10-05-06, 07:32 AM   #2
tuolumne
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The living car free forum probably has some good ideas. I'm thinking an old roof top cargo carrier for cars mounted on some wheels...that would be pretty easy to lock. They are also easily had for cheap at tag sales etc. Or, if you've got money to spend try combining one of the trailers from bikesatwork.com with a nice aerodynamic modern cargo box. In our town I've never felt uncomforable just leaving the bike and trailer unattended while running errands, but in the city that would make me distinctly uneasy.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:32 AM   #3
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The hard answer is.........it all depends on the honesty of the people
where you live.

I live in a small town where one can leave doors unlocked still today. I often
make shopping trips with my stuff in my trike trunk or my panniers on the
bike. I NEVER lock anything up as it's my thinking that a thief will steal from
you anyway.

If you're deeply worried about shopping on a bike then invest in a trailer with a
covered plastic tub or such to keep prying eyes from seeing (and thus wanting)
what you've bought. Othewise, just trust folk's more than you do now.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:40 AM   #4
PaulH
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We got a trailer for our daughter about four years ago. She has now outgrown it and switched to a Trail-A-Bike, but the trailer still does a good job at a local grocery store where car parking is scarce.

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Old 10-05-06, 07:44 AM   #5
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My shopping luggage consists of an Arkel Utility Basket, a GroceryBag pannier and a Chrome Metro.
When I have to make multiple stops I try to get the light/small things first and carry them in the Metro. The GB pannier usually stays on the bike and the UB comes with me if I am going to be more than a few minutes. Not a great solution but works for me. I don't think there is a locking truck with sufficient volume to make it worth while.
Another possibility is to use canvas shopping bags and GB panniers. The panniers are cheap enough they could be left bike (maybe with a zip tie or two for security) and you can carry your shopping in the shopping bags.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:46 AM   #6
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timbuk2 extra large messenger bag.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:48 AM   #7
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I use Swiss Army bread bags for panniers. They are medium sized, easily hung/removed from my rack & have a shoulder strap that facilitates carrying when I shop. Perhaps you could put a carry strap or a handle on your panniers & take them with you? Don
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Old 10-05-06, 07:48 AM   #8
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Grocery pannier. I keep all my stuff in there including the tire pump and spare tube and anything I bought at previous stores. I carry it into the store with me. I can tell the storekeepers are sometimes a little nervous with me walking around carrying a large open top bag. Oh, well. If it's the LBS and they aren't busy, I sometimes leave my bag by the cash register.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:50 AM   #9
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We have a bike trailer, so I just use that - I don't do many store -> store trips this way, as I don't trust anyone wouldn't try taking something from the trailer (even though it's covered, it's only secure via poppers and a zip).

The trailer works really well though, I've rolled a bike over by having a bag on the handlebars before when I was a lot younger (and damn glad I was wearing a helmet, too!) so it makes sense to me to do it this way. I also usually always take my backpack for backup.

Edit: Trailer is a Little Tikes Cozy Cruiser, nothing special but it suits our needs well.

Last edited by Flimflam; 10-05-06 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:50 AM   #10
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I use a grocery pannier. I take it in with me and fill it up in the store. Then I know I can take everything home that I purchase without a problem. The store doesn't mind. It is simple to take off the bike (and put back on).

A grocery panier attaches to the rack and is open at the top. It's like a big shopping bag. It folds up to the side of the bike when not in use.
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Old 10-05-06, 08:13 AM   #11
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The grocery paniers are intended to be easily taken off and carried around as you shop, but the hardware on the rack side is uncomfortable against your hip.

I usually either leave my previous purchases in the bag if it's a quick trip inside the next shop and it's not a real valuable item or else I just take it inside with me. It's really the same problem for people who shop by bus or motorcycle.
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Old 10-05-06, 08:38 AM   #12
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I use a grocery pannier and rack trunk, both are easy to quickly remove and I can take both with me. Also use a shoulder strap with the trunk, so it's more like a messenger bag, rather than a big box under my arms.
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Old 10-05-06, 09:25 AM   #13
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I put baskets on my shopper. With the DIY lids, it's easy to padlock them closed.
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Old 10-05-06, 12:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
The hard answer is.........it all depends on the honesty of the people
where you live.
'xactly. I left my loaded bike in front of costco for ~40 min last night (unlocked, why would costco have a bike rack anyway???). Mostly I was glad they didn't think it was some sort of fire hazard and haul it away on me. I mean, I brought in my wallet and cell phone, but everything else from my workday was there.
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Old 10-05-06, 12:27 PM   #15
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Mostly my shopping trips are one-store. If I do have to hit more than one store, I generally go to the one I plan to purchase smaller items at first and load them into my backpack. I'll either carry the pack or put it on the rack depending on the distance and weight, on the way to the next store... And then I'll carry the pack around with me in the store. I live in the city, so I don't feel comfortable leaving too much actually on the bike.

I'll be getting paniers in the next week or so for a good deal (free!) and will start using them once they either can be fit to my existing rack or more likely I get a rack with attachments for paniers.

A solution would be to get a Rubbermade opaque tub and bolt it to the rack, then put a hole through the lid/handles on either side and stick a lock on each. Nobody can see inside, they can't take it off the bike easily and they can't pop the lid and take a look that way.
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Old 10-05-06, 12:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
'xactly. I left my loaded bike in front of costco for ~40 min last night (unlocked, why would costco have a bike rack anyway???). Mostly I was glad they didn't think it was some sort of fire hazard and haul it away on me. I mean, I brought in my wallet and cell phone, but everything else from my workday was there.
Costco over here on the East Side doesn't have a bike rack, either. The times that I've biked up there, I've locked my ride to a couple of shopping carts right outside the front door. The greeters watch me do it, and tell people not to take those carts because my bike is locked to them.
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Old 10-05-06, 12:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
Costco over here on the East Side doesn't have a bike rack, either. The times that I've biked up there, I've locked my ride to a couple of shopping carts right outside the front door. The greeters watch me do it, and tell people not to take those carts because my bike is locked to them.
Nice. I've also left my bike in the portico, or whatever you call it, at Best Buy. The kid who stands there greeting people coming in, and checking the receipts of people leaving, was tickled pink and he told me he'd watch it for me.
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Old 10-05-06, 08:52 PM   #18
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years ago when I had a full compliment of bikes in my suburban garage I had an old heavy duty Royal Enfield cruiser (26" balloon tire paperboy type). I modded it with smooth 1.5" wide tires, a 1-pc crank from a cheap 10-spd (with the 40t inner ring - I removed the outer bolt-on 52t ring) and huge metal wald baskets front and rear.

short of those workman bikes with the low front wheel this was the strongest bike I ever saw. I used to haul bags of topsoil with it, or about $100 worth of groceries (this was 10 yrs ago, prolly $200 worth today....)
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Old 10-05-06, 08:56 PM   #19
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Man - I LOVE that DIY wire rig that MMACH posted a picture of up there. Now THAT's something that I'd be happy padlocking and leaving my stuff in! If there were a way to easily lock in on/off, I'd happily pay the $$$ to get that thing. I would just dream of being able to leave my gear in there from time to time!
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Old 10-05-06, 09:16 PM   #20
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Depends what I have. Most often, my multi-point shopping trips are for food and other heavy / low-value items. I don't mind leaving a fully loaded bike if the load consists of loaves of bread, potatoes, 4 L of milk and the like.
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