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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 04-09-07, 11:10 AM   #1
PolishGuy
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My first real grocery shopping trip.

Let me start by saying that I'm new to these forums but have found a wealth of information available. This past Sunday, yes I do know it was Easter Sunday, I went to the grocery store as usual. Well almost. Spent the morning having Easter Brunch with the kids and grandkids. When my wife and I returned home I told her I'd be back in a few as I was off to the store on my Raleigh. The Raleigh is a 1973 Sports model that I've added vintage lighting, racks and grocery panniers. She mentioned to me that I must be daft as it's cloudy and overcast and cold outside. Actually it was 68F with some high clouds and kinda nice. So off I went. An eight mile round trip using quiet side streets. I hauled nine bags of food and household items on the bike and had room for about four more. If I had worn my tweed hat instead of the bike helmet, I would've looked like I just came in from England. I'm a long way from being car-free but am fairly car-lite at the moment. Thanks for reading my post and keep up with all the inspirational posts.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:42 AM   #2
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Old 04-09-07, 12:33 PM   #3
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HAHAHA 68 degrees is cold. It's 40 degrees here in Ohio right now.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolishGuy
Let me start by saying that I'm new to these forums but have found a wealth of information available. This past Sunday, yes I do know it was Easter Sunday, I went to the grocery store as usual. Well almost. Spent the morning having Easter Brunch with the kids and grandkids. When my wife and I returned home I told her I'd be back in a few as I was off to the store on my Raleigh. The Raleigh is a 1973 Sports model that I've added vintage lighting, racks and grocery panniers. She mentioned to me that I must be daft as it's cloudy and overcast and cold outside. Actually it was 68F with some high clouds and kinda nice. So off I went. An eight mile round trip using quiet side streets. I hauled nine bags of food and household items on the bike and had room for about four more. If I had worn my tweed hat instead of the bike helmet, I would've looked like I just came in from England. I'm a long way from being car-free but am fairly car-lite at the moment. Thanks for reading my post and keep up with all the inspirational posts.
HAH! another Nutter in the making Polish Guy, welcome to the forums. I am a certified British Bike Fool. I currently have 6 at the house (4 are mine and 2 belong to my bride) and I am in the slow process of building up a Club Racer on a Dawes frame. (I also have quite a few other bikes but that is different issue)

It isn't it a great feeling!

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Last edited by wahoonc; 04-09-07 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replys so far. To "wahoonc", a special thanks for the Nutter link. I've seen the Lake Peppin Tour info before and feel that it's a nice change of pace from the "grind yourself or your opponent into the ground" Lycra-clad road race set. Not that there's anything wrong with road racing, triathalons etc but it seems most coverage of anything bicycle in the U.S. revolves around Tour de France type riding. My Raleigh Sports is the mate to a recently aquired Raleigh 20 folder that I will be using on vacation trips. Currently I'm refurbishing a 1982 Univega but am very keen on finding a Raleigh Lenton Clubman in near to original condition as possible. When I find that, the Univega will go. Thanks again, PG.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:47 PM   #6
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That's great to see it went off well. I really hope you stick with it, this will reward you in many ways.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolishGuy
Thanks for all the replys so far. To "wahoonc", a special thanks for the Nutter link. I've seen the Lake Peppin Tour info before and feel that it's a nice change of pace from the "grind yourself or your opponent into the ground" Lycra-clad road race set. Not that there's anything wrong with road racing, triathalons etc but it seems most coverage of anything bicycle in the U.S. revolves around Tour de France type riding. My Raleigh Sports is the mate to a recently aquired Raleigh 20 folder that I will be using on vacation trips. Currently I'm refurbishing a 1982 Univega but am very keen on finding a Raleigh Lenton Clubman in near to original condition as possible. When I find that, the Univega will go. Thanks again, PG.
I haven't been able to "score" a Twenty yet. I do have a mildly modified Compact RSW though My biggest problem is my needing a tall frame. I ride a 62-64cm road bike. most Club bikes were built in the 22" or so range. My Raleigh Superbe is a 23" frame and I still have a decent amount of seat post showing. Due to prior plans I won't be making Lake Pepin this year, but I will be in MSP for the September event...again
I really think that if more people would get the opportunity to ride something similar to an English 3 speed we would see a lot more cyclists on the roads than we currently do.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 04-11-07, 05:43 PM   #8
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PolishGuy, I'm very glad to hear about your successful shopping trip. I always feel so much better about myself when I shop by bicycle than when I shop by car. I guess I'm pretty lucky that I have a lot of groceries stores to choose from close by. There's a small Asian grocer about two blocks from my house, a Wal-Mart and a mainstream supermarket about a mile away in one direction, and a small upscale grocery store about a mile and half in another direction. There's hardly any time difference regardless of whether I drive or not.

BTW, I curious as to how you managed to carry nine bags of groceries on your bike Do you have front racks and panniers as well? Or a backpack? Or did you hang stuff off the handlebars? At present I've only got a rear rack and panniers on my bike, and when I get beyond about four or five plastic-bags-ful of groceries my bike starts to feel pretty unstable.
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Old 04-11-07, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolishGuy
Let me start by saying that I'm new to these forums but have found a wealth of information available. This past Sunday, yes I do know it was Easter Sunday, I went to the grocery store as usual. Well almost. Spent the morning having Easter Brunch with the kids and grandkids. When my wife and I returned home I told her I'd be back in a few as I was off to the store on my Raleigh. The Raleigh is a 1973 Sports model that I've added vintage lighting, racks and grocery panniers. She mentioned to me that I must be daft as it's cloudy and overcast and cold outside. Actually it was 68F with some high clouds and kinda nice. So off I went. An eight mile round trip using quiet side streets. I hauled nine bags of food and household items on the bike and had room for about four more. If I had worn my tweed hat instead of the bike helmet, I would've looked like I just came in from England. I'm a long way from being car-free but am fairly car-lite at the moment. Thanks for reading my post and keep up with all the inspirational posts.
Sounds like an interesting bike, have a photo?
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Old 04-11-07, 09:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icycle
BTW, I curious as to how you managed to carry nine bags of groceries on your bike Do you have front racks and panniers as well? Or a backpack? Or did you hang stuff off the handlebars? At present I've only got a rear rack and panniers on my bike, and when I get beyond about four or five plastic-bags-ful of groceries my bike starts to feel pretty unstable.
I'm wondering too. Maybe he used a Traileron with a regular shopping cart.
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Old 04-11-07, 09:48 PM   #11
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Not having the option to haul huge amounts of food home just made me buy what I need for a couple of days every couple of days. Especially in terms of produce, being car-free has kept all the veggies nice and fresh, compared with weekly or bimonthly trips to the store.

Now I just wish there was a co-op open at bar close...
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Old 04-12-07, 12:09 AM   #12
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I just did my maiden voyage with my new Yak trailer. I had about $100 worth of groceries in my dry bag, and that was tough. granted, it was heavy, as I had juices, cans of soup/veggies, 2L soy & iced teas. It was definitely a learning experience! Just basically trying to maintain control of the handlebars so your back end doesn't give out on you.
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Old 04-12-07, 09:29 AM   #13
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WOW, thanks for all the replys. I thought this post would just fade away after I vented. To answer a couple of your questions:
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Old 04-12-07, 09:30 AM   #14
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Okay, let me try that again.
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Old 04-12-07, 09:48 AM   #15
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For the last time. I have a rear rack and grocery pannier type bags that hold most of the grocery items. Also have an older Wald type wire basket that I attach to the rack when needed which gives me more carrying space on the rear. On the front, I use a detachable Bell wire basket. Anything else will have to go over the handlebars. Since most times the baggers at the store only put 3-4 items in a bag, 9 bags isn't all that much. I do have some photos of the Raleigh but they're too large in size to attach. Not sure how to reduce their size. Thx again, PG.
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Old 04-12-07, 02:01 PM   #16
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You can resize them in a photo program. If that doesn't work email or PM me and I will get you an email address to send them to. I can resize them and post them for you. BTW they will need to be sized down to around 250x400 pixels. Or you can post them on a photo site like Webshots, Flikr or PhotoBucket and link to them. I would love to see pictures of someone else's utility rides

BTW here is a link to some of mine.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 10-24-07, 08:50 AM   #17
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I just did my maiden voyage with my new Yak trailer. I had about $100 worth of groceries in my dry bag, and that was tough. granted, it was heavy, as I had juices, cans of soup/veggies, 2L soy & iced teas. It was definitely a learning experience! Just basically trying to maintain control of the handlebars so your back end doesn't give out on you.

You might find that shopping for dry goods might be in your best interest when grocery getting. I find I shop for more whole foods and compact foods (legumes, flour, raw veggies) because they take up less room per calorie produced as well as requiring water to be added later on.
-Scott
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