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Preparing for car-free life, i.e. routine chores and errands

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Preparing for car-free life, i.e. routine chores and errands

Old 07-15-15, 09:30 AM
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Bikeforumuser0019
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Preparing for car-free life, i.e. routine chores and errands

Hello,

I've only just started commuting by bike.... right now I'm more of a weekend commuter but I want to set myself up to be able to do anything I want on a bike, include take my laundry to the laundromat, go grocery shopping, and transport heavier things such as gardening supplies if needed.

So far my bike seems very capable, but I have not used it much yet for hauling anything and I'm a little stumped. I thought it might be easy to create some interchangeable storage options from junk I had already lying around the house. But either my imagination has been deficient lately, or I'm just suffering from analysis paralysis.

I should also mention the following two things:
a) the main motivation for using things I already have access to is because of financial limitations.
b) I kind of like the idea of having a frankenstein-bike. So the wilder and more unconventional the solutions, I think the more I'll enjoy them. For example: there are little metal shopping carts at the grocery stores nowadays for kids. Shopping carts are tough as nails and I had the idea of hacking the basket from one of those child-size carts and grafting it onto my bike. Things like this!

Thanks!

PS I may or may not sell my car down the road, but if I need to for financial reasons I want my bike to have enough features to keep me going to work and getting chores done.

Last edited by Bikeforumuser0019; 07-15-15 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 07-15-15, 10:09 AM
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I like Bakfiets types (box bike), the load area in front, the front wheel put a meter or so ahead of the load, and steered by a linkage rod..

https://larryvsharry.com/wp-content/u.../09/family.jpg


people have cut up regular bike frames and added some steel tube from a industrial tube supplier and made their own..

Long tails move the rear wheel back then the load is split in 2 and balanced. Xtracycle Cargo Bikes
also something that can be bodged together with old bikes additional materials and welding..

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Old 07-15-15, 12:30 PM
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NormanF
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I don't want to haul home 80 lbs of dog food and cat litter home, so being car-free for me means having bulky items shipped to my front door. Makes life easier.

I find a month's worth of groceries can be brought home into two round bike trips - manageable as the grocery store is a ten minute ride from home.

You find you can do without a car if you manage your lifestyle expectations.
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Old 07-15-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
I don't want to haul home 80 lbs of dog food and cat litter home, so being car-free for me means having bulky items shipped to my front door. Makes life easier.

I find a month's worth of groceries can be brought home into two round bike trips - manageable as the grocery store is a ten minute ride from home.

You find you can do without a car if you manage your lifestyle expectations.
Ordering bulky items on the internet for delivery is a good idea. I'd need to make sure it could be delivered to a nearby friend's house so that it would not get stolen from my stoop. But still a good idea and I'll look into it.

I occasionally get groceries from Amazon, but it's usually esoteric things that aren't easily gotten from a grocer. But I will consider doing more. Do you use Amazon for your bulk purchases, or another business?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-15-15, 01:16 PM
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I just started using Amazon for my dog food purchases. No tax and free delivery. Between my wife's grocery pannier and my Big Dummy, we can get a whole weeks worth of groceries home in one trip. Some how, it makes a good bike ride even better!
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Old 07-16-15, 03:03 AM
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I try to run many of my local errands via bike; I love it.

The city of Portland sells $10 kits that allow you to turn almost any plastic bucket into a pannier. I did this a while ago (convering a cat litter bucket into a pannier), and it's my favorite way to haul moderate-sized items on my bike - waterproof, windproof, and solid. It also has the added benefit of making the rear of the bike look wider, so people give me extra passing room.

Here's a PDF describing the kit: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transp...article/181468

And here's what it looks like on my hybrid:



I also converted a kid's bike trailer into a cargo trailer by removing the kids' seats and replacing it with a wooden base. This lets me haul up to 90 pounds of just about anything I want; I've hauled bags of cat litter, giant hauls of groceries, paperwork, recycling, and more. And even if you don't want to haul heavy items, if you have lighter bulky items it lets you haul them easily. And, as an added benefit, people give me TONS of room when passing when I have the trailer hooked up.

Here's a blog post I made on the trailer conversion: How to convert a child bike trailer into a cargo trailer: an illustrated guide | Marc Perkins Photography
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Old 07-16-15, 04:07 AM
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2 large panniers and a rack can haul most everyday stuff.
A rack-top exension is useful for bulky goods.
Long gardening tools and planks can be lashed to the top tube
If you want to get serious about hauling heavier loads, get a trailer. I find that flatbeds are the most versatile. Child carriers are good for children. You can make your own with some BMX wheels. See CarryFreedom website.
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Old 07-16-15, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Fstop View Post
I also converted a kid's bike trailer into a cargo trailer by removing the kids' seats and replacing it with a wooden base. This lets me haul up to 90 pounds of just about anything I want; I've hauled bags of cat litter, giant hauls of groceries, paperwork, recycling, and more. And even if you don't want to haul heavy items, if you have lighter bulky items it lets you haul them easily. And, as an added benefit, people give me TONS of room when passing when I have the trailer hooked up.

Here's a blog post I made on the trailer conversion: How to convert a child bike trailer into a cargo trailer: an illustrated guide | Marc Perkins Photography
OP should watch garage sales for real bargains that will meet her needs. Bike pictured cost $5, trailer was $10 at garage sale. Floor of trailer is made up bungee cords found on the road, cost $0. Groceries can be carried in cardboard boxes at no cost and bags suspended from upper bungee cords.
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Old 07-16-15, 01:10 PM
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That maybe the best $15 anyone has ever spent any where. Ever.
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Old 07-18-15, 09:04 PM
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So rather than try to invent something super clever, I finally broke down and went to the big box hardware store to find some ordinary things to make myself a "trunk". The total cost (if interested) was about $25 and I have quite a bit of bungees and zip ties left over.

1 10 gallon heavy duty storage bin with locking lid
1 bag of outdoor zip ties
1 box of 10 assorted bungees
1 package of 4 long DOT regulation reflective stickers (such as you put on the rear of a horse trailer), cut into smaller shapes by me

Photos are attached. The two black pieces of metal I used to extend my rear rack were just salvaged pieces I had lying around. They used to be part of a recliner that I disassembled.

The trunk is removable, only held on by Bungee. I have not ridden it yet with the trunk attached, or with any contents. But I'll let you know once I give it a few uses. I want to be able to take a change of clothes and lunch from home to work every day (minimum) so I thought the sooner I concoct something, the sooner I'll be able to get to work by bike on a regular basis. Hopefully this will be enough to get me going, and I can assess after a few months of commuting if I need to augment it with more storage/hauling capacity.

PS After adding the reflectors, I took the little scraps leftover from cutting out the shapes and put them on the back of my helmet so there was as little waste as possible, on top of the trunk in the last photos. I'm *really* happy with the way these reflectors look. This is just my style.... the kind of thing I love.

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Last edited by Bikeforumuser0019; 07-19-15 at 06:23 AM. Reason: edited to show correct price of supplies
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