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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 06-08-08, 09:09 AM   #1
RoadRanger
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Frozen food shopping/transport?

I've got an up to half hour pedal back from the store with my groceries and am wondering if I have to give up buying frozen foods or do you guys have some ways of dealing with this?
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Old 06-08-08, 09:12 AM   #2
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Most frozen goods will make it for a half hour without problem.

If I'm on my Xtracycle I'll carry an ice cooler.
If I'm on my regular bike, I have waterproof panniers, which I'll fill with ice at the store.
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Old 06-08-08, 09:29 AM   #3
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I've got an up to half hour pedal back from the store with my groceries and am wondering if I have to give up buying frozen foods or do you guys have some ways of dealing with this?
Many stores sell a reusable insulated bag for frozen foods. They are under $5.
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Old 06-08-08, 09:29 AM   #4
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There are various insulated bags that you can purchase with zippered tops. These work great for bike shopping. I've got several different sizes I use. They aren't that expensive. One of them was just a freebie from Godiva.

It isn't only frozen food that you should be concerned about. Any fresh meat really needs to be kept cool. Four hours above 40 degrees internal temp would make it unsafe, according to the food safety course. And you have to realize that when you come home from shopping and open your frig several times, the frig temp will rise so it won't get back to where it should be the instant you put it in the frig. So I always put fresh meat into insulated bags as well. Basically, anything that was cool at the store I put in those bags.

Oh, I also made a rack trunk out of a mini-cooler bag for golfers that was sitting unused in the basement. It has an insulated compartment, so I can stash stuff in there as well.
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Old 06-08-08, 10:55 AM   #5
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Many stores sell a reusable insulated bag for frozen foods. They are under $5.
The S&S I shop at sell these for $2 a pop. They're larger than the regular reusuable bags and I havn't had any problems transporting ice cream and frozen dinners home in them. The ride back is a little under 30 mins.
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Old 06-08-08, 02:25 PM   #6
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I've got an up to half hour pedal back from the store with my groceries and am wondering if I have to give up buying frozen foods or do you guys have some ways of dealing with this?
I ride a Trike and I usually throw a small cooler to carry meat in (Usually a solitary steak of some kind). Occasionally, it's a small igloo playmate like what you see here: http://bp0.blogger.com/_2G96G8U1SjQ/...h/100_0832.jpg


Most of the time it a 28 can Colman. The Coleman makes for a tighter fit for other groceries, but I can get family packs of meat into it which translates into a months worth of fresh meat.
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Old 06-08-08, 03:29 PM   #7
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Store's 7min away by bike. No problems. downtown is 15 min away, again, no problem, just keep it away from direct sunlight.
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Old 06-08-08, 04:47 PM   #8
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Thanks all! In the past when I lived far from a store I'd even have a cooler in the car for frozen stuff shopping in the summer. In this case I don't want to leave anything on the bike while I'm in the store. I could pick up a soft cooler at WallyMart to use but I'm concerned about taking it into a store without being hassled on the way out - especially as I often pick up frozen stuff at WallyMart itself. I suppose I could just write my name with a magic marker on it but how would they know I didn't just do that in the store? I could stick some duct tape on it, rub dirt on it, and beat it up with a stick but that just seems wrong!
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Old 06-08-08, 06:08 PM   #9
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In this case I don't want to leave anything on the bike while I'm in the store. I could pick up a soft cooler at WallyMart to use but I'm concerned about taking it into a store without being hassled on the way out
Consider getting a locking trunk on your bike. You can make one out of an a lockable plastic toolbox that fits your rear rack. You could attach it by drilling a couple holes in the bottom of the toolbox and then inserting screws through one piece of aluminum bar below your rack and another in the base of the toolbox. Or you could just use zip ties. It wouldn't be very secure with zip ties, but it would make do.

Click here for more info on how to do that.

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Old 06-08-08, 07:12 PM   #10
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Thanks I/N. I'll have the largest Wald front basket and the largest Wald side baskets for that crappy "not worth stealing" "homeless shopping cart guy" vibe. I want to keep the back open so I can sling a 50lb bag of dogfood across (re-enforcement needed?). The more I think about it the more dirtying up a soft cooler makes sense. I really like the idea of putting the frozen stuff right in the cooler in the store and I'll be using a couple reusable bags anyways so I guess they will just have to get used to me . I'm most concerned about ice cream products - they turn really crappy if allowed to get mushy and then be refrozen. I have a small deep freezer chest so freezing up a "blue ice" pack or some such isn't a problem. I'd like to find some that freeze at well under the 32 degrees that water freezes at?
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Old 06-08-08, 11:08 PM   #11
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I use a child trailer for my grocery shopping and carry a small cooler of about 8 gallon capacity. I use these reusable freezer blocks which are nothing more than thin-ish rectangular plastic bottles with water in them. I put them frozen in the cooler just before heading out to the store. I usually pick up around 4lb of fresh chicken and 4lb of fresh meat along with ice cream, cheese, yogurt, milk, etc. and it all stays nice and cold all the way home.
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Old 06-08-08, 11:15 PM   #12
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Thanks I/N. I'll have the largest Wald front basket and the largest Wald side baskets for that crappy "not worth stealing" "homeless shopping cart guy" vibe. I want to keep the back open so I can sling a 50lb bag of dogfood across (re-enforcement needed?). The more I think about it the more dirtying up a soft cooler makes sense. I really like the idea of putting the frozen stuff right in the cooler in the store and I'll be using a couple reusable bags anyways so I guess they will just have to get used to me . I'm most concerned about ice cream products - they turn really crappy if allowed to get mushy and then be refrozen. I have a small deep freezer chest so freezing up a "blue ice" pack or some such isn't a problem. I'd like to find some that freeze at well under the 32 degrees that water freezes at?
Down here our Publix grocery store sells dry ice. I won't put that in my panniers for fear of cracking them, however in a cheep soft cooler, sure no problem.
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Old 06-09-08, 03:53 AM   #13
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Reusable foil/insulated bags work for me, especially if I am making multiple stops. I have a couple of them that are over 3 years old. I usually try to plan my trips so the frozen food stop is the last one on the trip.

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Old 06-17-08, 07:15 PM   #14
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Hey, I actually saw one of these bags yous guys are talking about last weekend when I was visiting "city folk" relatives. I guess they are common in stores that are on bus routes? I live in "cow country" here in Northeast CT but do have three major supermarkets, Wallymart, Lowes, Sears, and Tractor Supply within 5 miles so "shopping by bicycle" is quite doable. None of these stores have bike racks and I don't think I ever saw a bike loaded with groceries hereabouts. Anyways I guess I'll pick up some of them bags next time I'm in a "pedestrian" city. I did hit the WallyMart 3.3 miles away today (longest trip yet!) and picked up some frozen pizzas and big sode bottles and got them home just in doubled plastic shopping bags fine. I figured the pizzas could survive a bit of defrosting unlike ice cream products!

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Old 06-18-08, 01:52 AM   #15
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Wrapping in newspapers is also an "emergency solution". Also helps to put all the frozen goods close together, the most sensitive ones ( ice cream) in the middle.
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