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  1. #1
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    First time I've used my bike for errands

    Went to the grocery store this morning and bought a loaf of bread and some lunch meat . I strapped a cardboard box to my rear rack to hold the goodies . Now I want(need) a basket. Then I went to the bank this afternnon on my bike . It's neat not using any gas to do somethings that need to be done. Total mileage was only about 15 miles , but two months ago I wouldn't have been able to make it. kirby

  2. #2
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    Congrats on your new-found sense of freedom. It is nice not
    to be totally dependent on motorized transportation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Congratulations I've been using my bike for similar errands and plan to do more after I retire.

    I bought some grocery panniers from Performance and they work great.
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=2312
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  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Hate to say it but I am in the motor trade- I drive for a living now and all I can think of is how not to use the car. Trips to the LBS-10 miles away- Minor shopping trips locally that do not involve me leaving the bike unattended- and just going to the other end of the town to see mates.

    Can't pick up the bargains if they won't fit in my canvas back bag that I always carry. Don't like it when it starts raining on the return trip and I have no waterproof-(Even worse if it is on the way out) And I am getting very good at swearing at car drivers.

    Other than that- I must stop using the TCR for the errands. It takes so long to explain to the questions about it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I use a back pack for all my grocery shopping.
    Light fragile items like bread, chips & eggs go in a plastic grocery bag hung between the shifters.
    I always have a grocery list made up, so if I happen to be riding by the market on my way home from other errands, I'll stop in and pick up a few items. Having the GL made up, helps you to determine what you can carry on the spur of the moment.

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
    Went to the grocery store this morning and bought a loaf of bread and some lunch meat . I strapped a cardboard box to my rear rack to hold the goodies . Now I want(need) a basket. Then I went to the bank this afternnon on my bike . It's neat not using any gas to do somethings that need to be done. Total mileage was only about 15 miles , but two months ago I wouldn't have been able to make it. kirby
    Way to go. Over half of all trips in the U.S. are under 5 miles. If we could get everyone doing this, gas prices would plummet. Besides, driving short distances is bad for the car. It never gets a chance to warm up.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I started out for my morning ride with the intention of picking up the bread at a gas station a couple of miles from the house on my way back home , then I thought ; heck, the Publix grocery is just a couple miles farther and the bread will be fresher . I picked up a black plastic basket at Xmart ,to strap to my rear rack for my next trip. A list would help keep things under control. kirby

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    CONTROL is very important!
    There's a few times I bought too many/heavy items and struggled to get home.
    Canned goods get heavy fast. A 12 Pack of soda = 9lbs. You have to keep mental track of weight, along with the bulkiness. Try to balance things out so that you have a full load without excessive weight.
    I try yo keep my backpack under 25 lbs. More than that and it gets to be work AND/OR a distraction.
    YMMV
    Also jeep track of "specialty" stores that may be closer to home, or on your other errands.
    I have a bakery outlet store 6 blocks away, so I get all my bread items there. Closer, plus I get a senior discount.
    I do try to buy a lot of frozen food items at the same time. A larger "mass" of them, packed together, tends to keep them all a bit cooler.

  9. #9
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    A bike is a great grocery getter. I also have the performance (transit) grocery panniers, always attached. I frequently get about 3 full bags of groceries at a time, one full bag with the heavy stuff in each pannier, cold stuff in my insulated tail trunk, and then one or two plastic grocery bags bungeed over the top of everything with all the light stuff.

  10. #10
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I have been considering bolting a plastic milk crate to the back rack of the MTB. I use to cart my daughter around on the back of that bike - that was not too much weight for me to handle. I have a nice grocery, pharmacy, wine shop, and barber all within about 3 miles from the house. The Library is a little closer and my work is closer still. If it weren't for the NY winters I could ditch the car - I don't have the commitment that the Rochester contengent does.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  11. #11
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Way to go. Over half of all trips in the U.S. are under 5 miles. If we could get everyone doing this, gas prices would plummet. Besides, driving short distances is bad for the car. It never gets a chance to warm up.
    Artkansas, where did you read that? I believe it completely in the cities, but I'm thinking about the vast rural parts of the country and it seems impossible.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I started out for my morning ride with the intention of picking up the bread at a gas station a couple of miles from the house on my way back home , then I thought ; heck, the Publix grocery is just a couple miles farther and the bread will be fresher . I picked up a black plastic basket at Xmart ,to strap to my rear rack for my next trip. A list would help keep things under control. kirby
    Check out these inexpensive paniers-

    Easy built bucket panniers.

  13. #13
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I regularly use my Cypress as a grocery / errands bike. Only thing I want to modify is adding a kickstand (I know, how blasphemous!) to make it more stable when putting the groceries in the panniers. I use the bike for trips to the grocery, library, and post office. Love to get to the store and watch the other folks snaking around fighting for a parking space.
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  14. #14
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    When I bought my bike I was thinking of running errands and going to the grocery store. I discovered they don’t make a bike bag for the rack I have, because of my strange designed bike. I tried the backpack thing and still use it but I can do a lot more shopping with a trailer so I got one. My LBS is working on a modification so I can get a rear bike bag for short trips. With a trailer I can bring home a case of water, 2 twelve packs of Soda and 4 or five bags of groceries.

    Still I go to the mall, the post office, and the bank and sometimes out to breakfast on the bike. The last time I put fuel in the Tahoe was June 9th. The little Pontiac hasn’t been to the station since July 16th.

    It can be very satisfying when you cut your fuel consumption by any amount. Check your miles and see how you will smile when you see how much you are saving.

  15. #15
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    My favorite bike bags are my grocery getter panniers from REI. They are big and square and open topped, and they fold in flat when not in use. Perfect size for one grocery bag on each side.


  16. #16
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    My favorite bike bags are my grocery getter panniers from REI. They are big and square and open topped, and they fold in flat when not in use. Perfect size for one grocery bag on each side.

    I have these and use them for commuting. They are flippin' parachutes and really slow me down, but I sure haul a bunch. I've carried, in one ride, my laptop, all my pro camera gear, some food and a change of clothes. I've also shopped with them, buying normal stuff and wine and milk.

    Carry on!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    My favorite bike bags are my grocery getter panniers from REI. They are big and square and open topped, and they fold in flat when not in use. Perfect size for one grocery bag on each side.

    Those look like they might work for me. With my bike there would be no trouble with hitting my foot because I am almost semi recumbent so my feet are pretty far forward. Still would need the trailer for weekly shopping but for quick runs those grocery bags look like just the ticket.

  18. #18
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    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
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    That's great! I'd like to do that sometime, I just need to get a carrier.
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  19. #19
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    When I do my errands, laundrymat, grocery shopping etc. I use my trailer. It appears that people often tink that I have a baby inside so they seem to be more careful around me (I am talking about people in cars) Anyway I think about the kind of trip I am going to take before I use the trailer.

    Gas, .69 cents the price of a can of beans

  20. #20
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    I regularly use my Cypress as a grocery / errands bike. Only thing I want to modify is adding a kickstand (I know, how blasphemous!) to make it more stable when putting the groceries in the panniers.
    Get the kickstand.

    My commuter has one. I love it; especially great for popping into a store and holding the bike stable while you deal with getting stuff loaded on the bike.

    Here's the one, the Greenfield rear-mount kickstand:

    http://www.amazon.com/Greenfield-Sta...7393530&sr=8-1

  21. #21
    Off your Donkey, lets go Burr's Avatar
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    I also have folding baskets on my old mountain bike. I set them back so my heals clear, I also have a cooler bag on top of the rack. I rode the bike 10 miles today just stopping to talk with friends and messing around. I use my road or touring bike for my long workout rides but enjoy the old mountain bike with slick 1" street tires. I also have a little "Ice Cream" bell and a big "U" bolt lock.
    Just a nice mess around bike.
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  22. #22
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    With two front panniers on the back and a back pack, I can carry 6 bags of groceries. I have panniers on both my Hardrock and my "utility" road bike.

    Good for you.

  23. #23
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    Congrats on your new-found sense of freedom. It is nice not
    to be totally dependent on motorized transportation.
    Plus One. Gives one bragging rights. A basket is ok. But, your groceries are more secure in panniers. You can even insert an ice pack, should you buy ice cream. Because of my bike commute, I'd say I've reduced using the car for grocery shopping by maybe 80%. Freedom to not be forced to use the car. One of my favorite freedoms.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    I have been considering bolting a plastic milk crate to the back rack of the MTB. I use to cart my daughter around on the back of that bike - that was not too much weight for me to handle. I have a nice grocery, pharmacy, wine shop, and barber all within about 3 miles from the house. The Library is a little closer and my work is closer still. If it weren't for the NY winters I could ditch the car - I don't have the commitment that the Rochester contengent does.
    Go for it!!!!!

    Even more durable if you can find an old metal crate. Either way all you need are
    four mending plates, four machine screws and nuts to fasten the crate to your
    rack. The mending plates act as washers ...two in the bottom of the crate and
    two on the underside of your rack. It may look dorky but it works great for carrying
    my nap-sak etc back and forth to work. Panniers would probably be better for grocieries,
    I like the wire basket type...and paniers wouldn't get in the way of the seat-post
    hitch for my trailer.

  25. #25
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    I'd recommend a child's trailer. You can load up with a week's worth of groceries. Ours became available for this as soon as our daughter switched to a Trail-A-Bike, but you can probably get one cheaply from parents in a similar situation who are not running errands by bicycle. Since the best loacl market here does not let carts into the parking lot and has very limited parking, the trailer is a real time and hassle saver for us.

    Paul

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