This AFP news service article on Yahoo News is about French onion farmers that take their onions to Great Britain to sell them door to door, a practice that has been going on since the early 19th century. The bike related part of this article is in this one paragraph, but I thought it was a great illustration of the power and efficiency of bicycles.
There is a nice picture of one of the last "Onion Johnnies" with his wares on what looks like an English 3 or 5-speed. This venture was apparently profitable because the pink onions being sold will not grow well on English soil, the way Vidalia onions don't grow as sweet in most places in this country.At first, johnnies transported their goods on foot, or in hand-pushed wooden carts. Later, a modern invention -- the bicycle -- made it possible for them to carry up to a hundred kilos (more than 200 pounds). In time, mechanized transport became the norm.