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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 11-06-07, 07:21 AM   #1
BIG-E
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Transporting groceries etc without a bike

Hi Folks

My GF and I are moving into town, about 2 blocks from a supermarket and the local coop. I'm looking for a way to transport groceries and other stuff without using a bike. Sometimes I just like to walk instead of ride. I was thinking that perhaps a classic red wagon with extended height sides might do the trick, although it would be nice to have something just a little bit bigger. I'm also wondering if some bike trailers convert into carts? However, I don't want to look like I'm pushing a stroller

I know it's kind of funny asking this question on a bike board, but this is the car-free section

I'm really looking forward to the move, as it's not only going to be eaiser to go shopping, but easier to visit friends, and a LOT easier to go ride some trails on my mountain bike! We'll have some decent trails within a few blocks.
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Old 11-06-07, 07:30 AM   #2
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Many grocery stores in urban areas sell folding shopping carts that are meant for just that. Here is a link to what I am talking about although I'm sure you could get one where you are locally.....
http://premiercarts.com/folding_shopping_carts.htm

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Old 11-06-07, 07:53 AM   #3
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I just use a backpack.
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Old 11-06-07, 07:53 AM   #4
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Many grocery stores in urban areas sell folding shopping carts that are meant for just that. Here is a link to what I am talking about although I'm sure you could get one where you are locally.....
http://premiercarts.com/folding_shopping_carts.htm

+10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 These carts are great. They fold up and fit almost anywhere and if you can't fit a week's worth of groceries in them you either eat too much or need to hone your spatial dimension skills. The plusses for you are it doesn't look like a stroller, it's compact and you can probably get it at the grocery store or the co-op (as said above).
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Old 11-06-07, 08:13 AM   #5
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We had one of those when I was a kid. The wheels are too small, they don't hold enough stuff, and they look like something an old lady would use.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:39 AM   #6
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I carry things in a messenger bag, but the little red wagon works well too. What is good about the Radio Flyer is that the wheels are big and it is stable. You know, the factory just shut a few years ago and they're now made in China. Kids still love them. I asked my grown daughter if she wanted to get rid of hers since it is just taking up space at her place and she said "No dad, its too cool, I had too much fun with it growing up."
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Old 11-06-07, 09:40 AM   #7
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We had one of those when I was a kid. The wheels are too small, they don't hold enough stuff, and they look like something an old lady would use.


Try these on for size, and they are made in the USA.

We have one of the big 4 wheel steering wagons and it gets used behind the small tractor.

Aaron

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Old 11-06-07, 10:01 AM   #8
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How much groceries do you need? It sounds like you live close to the store. A decent size backpack should do the job nicely. I wouldn't want to be lugging around a wagon, then finding a place to lock it. Those wheeled cart things are cool. You can brig it into the store and use it to hold your groceries while you shop. I don't think you would do the same with the little red wagon.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:08 AM   #9
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Just bring it home in the store's shopping cart, than push the cart in the river when you're done with it. That's what they do around here.

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Old 11-06-07, 10:16 AM   #10
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We live 2 blocks south of the local organic grocery and 2 blocks north of the regular grocery. For us it changed how we shop, if you need some bread and eggs you go get bread and eggs, most of the time I don't even get a bag. My wife has a re-usable canvas sack for regular trips and a larger beach style basket for the larger loads. That said we have neighbors that drive 5miles+ to costco and load up the mini-van.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:22 AM   #11
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You could just use a backback or handbasket and just go to the store more often, getting smaller loads. I do that on my bike when I'm not in the mood to ride with a huge front basket.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:39 AM   #12
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Back before I rode a bike I tried a couple other options. Sometimes I walked to the store and took a taxicab home. I also went with a neighbor in her car sometimes. She wouldn't accept payment for the ride, so I bought a treat at the store for her or her kids. Other people would prefer a couple dollars for gas. (Some would probably like the treat and the cash! )

Not exactly carfree ideas, but they got the job done.

Mind if I ask why you don't want to use your bike for shopping?
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Old 11-06-07, 10:52 AM   #13
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Just bring it home in the store's shopping cart, than push the cart in the river when you're done with it. That's what they do around here.
Here we use canals for that purpose:



Taken on a bike ride thru Mesa in Nov. 2003.

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Old 11-06-07, 11:45 AM   #14
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find an old shopping cart and customize it into an off road shopping cart with wheels like the wagon

just dont roll thru any dog business
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Old 11-06-07, 12:01 PM   #15
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Mind if I ask why you don't want to use your bike for shopping?
Sometimes I just like to walk. Don't have to deal with idiot drivers as much.

I'm also planning on getting a cruiser. And a Surly Big Dummy when they're available!
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Old 11-06-07, 01:13 PM   #16
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We had one of those when I was a kid. The wheels are too small, they don't hold enough stuff, and they look like something an old lady would use.
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However, I don't want to look like I'm pushing a stroller
You shouldn't worry about your image so much when you go to get groceries. People are not going to look at you and say, "Ha, look at the idiot with the grandma cart" or "That guy is bringing groceries home in what appears to be a stroller! Oh my gosh, what a dork!"

It's two blocks. No one is going to notice what you are bringing your groceries home in. A bicycle trailer would work just fine (even the ones that look like strollers) and so would a "grandma cart", unless you are also a sumo wrestler, then you might need two grandma carts.

I live about two blocks from the grocery store as well. I just use a backpack. If I need to get alot of stuff, I'll bring a canvas bag along too.

Last edited by jcwitte; 11-06-07 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 11-06-07, 03:15 PM   #17
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My husband's dignity has held up just fine using a cart. Those carts also come in a variety of sizes so some can hold a fair amount of food/beer.
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Old 11-06-07, 03:15 PM   #18
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You shouldn't worry about your image so much when you go to get groceries. People are not going to look at you and say, "Ha, look at the idiot with the grandma cart" or "That guy is bringing groceries home in what appears to be a stroller! Oh my gosh, what a dork!"

It's two blocks. No one is going to notice what you are bringing your groceries home in. A bicycle trailer would work just fine (even the ones that look like strollers) and so would a "grandma cart", unless you are also a sumo wrestler, then you might need two grandma carts.
It's a fairly small community, and I've lived and worked here for over 20 years. Lots of people know me. I don't want them thinking I'm "down and out". Same reason I dress nice, cut my hair, etc. And if I come up with something cool, perhaps someone else will say "Gee, what a great way to save gas, I should try that" instead of "Gee, look at that loser, guess he can't afford a car, whose grandma did he mug for that cart?"
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Old 11-06-07, 03:25 PM   #19
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It's a fairly small community, and I've lived and worked here for over 20 years. Lots of people know me. I don't want them thinking I'm "down and out". Same reason I dress nice, cut my hair, etc. And if I come up with something cool, perhaps someone else will say "Gee, what a great way to save gas, I should try that" instead of "Gee, look at that loser, guess he can't afford a car, whose grandma did he mug for that cart?"
Well, you could always hire a limo. Stretch Hummer maybe?

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Old 11-06-07, 04:00 PM   #20
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It's a fairly small community, and I've lived and worked here for over 20 years. Lots of people know me. I don't want them thinking I'm "down and out". Same reason I dress nice, cut my hair, etc. And if I come up with something cool, perhaps someone else will say "Gee, what a great way to save gas, I should try that" instead of "Gee, look at that loser, guess he can't afford a car, whose grandma did he mug for that cart?"
So the only reason you dress nice and cut your hair is because you don't want people thinking you are down and out? hah, just kidding.

Actually I use to live in a smaller community and I do know what you are saying. The trick is to just not care that much. The fact of the matter is, in smaller communities, if you don't have a car, then people are going to think that you are down and out. However, if you aren't down and out, then who cares what people think. Unless you are running for office, then it doesn't matter what Joe-Schmoe thinks as you wheel, lug, push, or pull your groceries home.

Maybe what you could do is get the "grandma cart", take it and get it gold-plated, get some big fat wheels with the rims that spin by themselves, have some hydraulics installed, and then hang some fuzzy dice from the handle.

Or better yet, do something like this.....

http://www.worth1000.com/emailthis.asp?entry=140990

Last edited by jcwitte; 11-06-07 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 11-06-07, 04:52 PM   #21
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There's always something like this:

http://www.proaktivo.de/products_id/406.html
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Old 11-06-07, 06:22 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jcwitte View Post
Many grocery stores in urban areas sell folding shopping carts that are meant for just that. Here is a link to what I am talking about although I'm sure you could get one where you are locally.....
http://premiercarts.com/folding_shopping_carts.htm

My wife uses one of these when vacationing in Canada in the summers. She travels about 1/4 mile to the grocery store and finds the cart very convenient.

I've noticed thought that the wheels are kind of slight, so I wonder how long it will last?
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Old 11-06-07, 06:51 PM   #23
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I've got the same one my mom used when I was a kid. It's 22 years old and still works great. She used to use it a couple times a week. The wheels are fine. I still use it for the grocery store, and to haul all my crap when I go after dungeness crabs.
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Old 11-06-07, 06:53 PM   #24
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For two people living two blocks from the grocery store, the simplest solution is to just carry home the groceries in the store bags, a messenger bag or a backpack. When you need to buy items like an eight-kilogram bag of rice, a 10-kilogram bag of flour, a 10-kilogram bag of sugar or other bullky and heavy products, make a special trip for that. You'll probably find you'll make a lot of small trips to the grocery store if it's just two blocks away, so you won't need a wagon, cart or other contraption.
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Old 11-06-07, 07:15 PM   #25
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It's a fairly small community, and I've lived and worked here for over 20 years. Lots of people know me. I don't want them thinking I'm "down and out". Same reason I dress nice, cut my hair, etc. And if I come up with something cool, perhaps someone else will say "Gee, what a great way to save gas, I should try that" instead of "Gee, look at that loser, guess he can't afford a car, whose grandma did he mug for that cart?"
Maybe you should just get a car, you wouldn't want to worry the neighbors.
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