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Loaded myself down today!

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.

Loaded myself down today!

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Old 03-10-08, 10:44 PM
  #1  
Buglady
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Loaded myself down today!

Today I hauled about 40 pounds of stuff home from college (on a bike that already tips the scales over 30 lbs!). I had my books and lunch things, change of clothes (I can't bring myself not to change, I get very sweaty on the ride - plus it's been warming up 20 degrees from morning to afternoon), etcetera, and then I had 30 pounds of veggies from the organic food box program we have on campus. You have to pick the box up at the student centre, and I didn't want to bring the car just for that!

So: I scrounged up a milk-crate-like storage box and wired that to my rear rack, on top of the paired cloth panniers I usually carry (they are fairly small - I can fit books and lunch on one side, clothes and toolkit on the other), grabbed a backpack and put that in the crate, and I also dug out the wicker basket for the handlebars. So far so good except I bashed my leg on the crate as I mounted. Kind wished for a step-through frame for a minute there.

Went to class, then claimed my box and began loading. I acquired an audience as people realized exactly what I was attempting to do!

Left pannier: 3 lbs carrots, 3 lbs onions
Right pannier: books, 2 beets, tools.

Crate: 10 lb bag potatoes, 2 bunches celery, 2 lbs apples, 4 lbs oranges, a lettuce, some garlic, a lemon, a grapefruit, 4 green peppers, 1 canteloupe.

Backpack: clothes, 1 cabbage, bunch of grapes.

Basket: Broccoli, water bottle, and purse.

Ta-Da! I took a bow and rode off, not too wobbly . All of this was in a 5 speed vintage bike. I noticed cars gave me lots of room, maybe because they thought I was insane, or maybe I was more wobbly than I thought...

Picture to come, it's on the other computer (I got demoted off the home network as apparently killing aliens takes priority).
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Old 03-11-08, 06:03 PM
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Pic, as promised (pardon construction debris in background, we are renovating...)
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Old 03-11-08, 06:40 PM
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Looks pretty good! Good thing you did it last night instead of today.

There's an organic food box program on campus?
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Old 03-11-08, 08:34 PM
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Yeah, I'm glad I wasn't trying that today. I just about got blown over as I got off the bus! Ack. (That would be why I ride a steel bike, by the way - I'm afraid if I rode something ultralight, I'd blow away one day!).

I *think* it's organic - the Good Food Box program through the Peer Resource Centre. It's fresh stuff anyway, and cheap, through the Community Kitchen Program. (To be honest, at this point in my life I am more concerned over cost than anything else...!)

http://www.communitykitchenprogram.com/
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Old 03-11-08, 09:55 PM
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You rock, Buglady!
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Old 03-12-08, 10:22 AM
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Bravo! Well done.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:32 PM
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I love seeing a bike loaded up like that :-)
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Old 03-12-08, 04:13 PM
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I love destroying people's preconceived notions about what you can do with a bike.
Although the checkers at my local grocery stores are starting to catch on, I still surprise people just about every grocery shopping trip. (Bagger who sees the helmet in my hand) "You're on a bicycle? How are you going to carry four bags of groceries?"

I stopped at the office supply place a couple weeks ago and bought a new laser printer. The box was probably 18x18x24. The cashier looked at my helmet, looked at me and raised his eyebrows but didn't say a word. I asked "are you wondering how I'm going to carry this on a bicycle?" He replied "that's none of my business".

I love my Xtracycle.
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Old 03-12-08, 07:25 PM
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"I love destroying people's preconceived notions about what you can do with a bike."

I love my bike, too. Sport and recreational riders, who like to join groups and do Centuries or drive to trails hate it. I don't join groups. I don't wear lycra. My bike doesn't "do" commuting. But it does get me to the grocery store and once I get there, I don't have to wonder what I can buy to get home.

"I still surprise people just about every grocery shopping trip. (Bagger who sees the helmet in my hand) "You're on a bicycle? How are you going to carry four bags of groceries?" "

Happens to me as well. I just tell them not to worry because I have big (and I spread my arms wide) baskets. I said I got tired of trying to decide what I could buy based upon what I could take home, so I fixed that.

I have to be a little bit careful. If I put more than 40 pounds in the front, I need to put at least 25 pounds in the back to cantilever it. Else, the steering gets a bit dicey.
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Old 03-13-08, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Old_Fart View Post
I love destroying people's preconceived notions about what you can do with a bike.
Me too I also love destroying their preconceptions about WHO can do things with a bike - I'm not particularly athletic in any other way, but I am proud of my ability to move myself and my stuff a LONG way - and what kind of equipment is needed (old bike, ordinary clothes, milk crate). It's not rocket science after all
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Old 03-13-08, 11:19 AM
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I like the idea of keeping my helmet visible when going into a store. I have always stored it in my backpack or some other way, but this does nothing to help. I think I will change to showing the helmet in the hopes that more people become aware of cycling. Thank you for the example.
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Old 03-14-08, 07:25 PM
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Some tips for people thinking about hauling groceries home:
1. I like paper since the bags stand up nice and straight
2. If you get plastic, then knot the bags at the top so things don't fall out
3. Make sure you balance your bike left and right, front and back
4. If you have a spare jacket or a sweater with you, put it under the eggs and beer
5. When you go through the check-out lane, group all the cans, all the jars, and all the breakables.
6. Ideally, each paper bag will have some weighty cans or jars in the bottom and some lighter/breakable things in the top.

If any one else has some tips, put them here.
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Old 03-15-08, 02:59 AM
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I regularly stop to buy groceries on my way home from school, and I carry it all in my backpack (where I also keep my lock and all the school stuff). Had about 12 lbs of groceries in there yesterday, in addition to the 2.5-lb lock. When inside the store, I hang my helmet on the backpack.
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Old 03-15-08, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by vey View Post
Some tips for people thinking about hauling groceries home:
1. I like paper since the bags stand up nice and straight
2. If you get plastic, then knot the bags at the top so things don't fall out
3. Make sure you balance your bike left and right, front and back
4. If you have a spare jacket or a sweater with you, put it under the eggs and beer
5. When you go through the check-out lane, group all the cans, all the jars, and all the breakables.
6. Ideally, each paper bag will have some weighty cans or jars in the bottom and some lighter/breakable things in the top.

If any one else has some tips, put them here.
1. agree on paper over plastic (some stores no longer have paper BTW) I use the Reusable Bags

4. Eggs and beer go in the front basket, or buy canned beer

5,6 I usually bag my own groceries to get the bags balanced the way I want them the first time. The people at my store are used to it by now. In fact I stopped by one day on the way in from work, and forgot to bring my reusable bags with me and they weren't quite sure what to do

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Old 03-15-08, 06:59 AM
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People bag your groceries for you??? What the hell for???
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Old 03-15-08, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
People bag your groceries for you??? What the hell for???
Service?

Some stores will even roll them out to the car for you! Others have a nice covered area where you can drive up and they will load them in your car. The store(s) I frequent will roll them out if requested, but it is usually reserved for the handicapped and elderly.

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Old 03-19-08, 04:53 PM
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I shop at the local farmer's market, and usually put everything in the panniers. My set of panniers will just nicely swallow a bushel of carrots. Of course, the carrots come in a big, sturdy plastic bag so they also bungee nicely over the top of the panniers when I do something stupid like buy 15 pounds of meat and THEN pick up a bushel of carrots. I'd have put some carrots in my backpack, but it was already full of oranges.
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Old 03-19-08, 05:12 PM
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I have some medium to large sized paniers and until recently was able to take my bike to the grocer and walk my bike through the store like a two wheeled shopping cart so I could get a really good idea what I could carry.

I figure that on many occasions I would be getting 40 50 pounds of groceries and the paniers would be filled to their max. For anything more I built a utility trailer that will accommodate a few carts full of groceries and and am presently working on a new hitch assembly so I can pull it behind my Phillip's Twenty folder.

I put a dual drive on my Twenty this week so I would have an adequate gear range for commuting and errands as well as doing things like carrying 40-50 pounds of stuff as well as towing my trailer when needed. The low centre of gravity and outright toughness of the Twenty makes it great little worker and a really nice bike to ride.

The bike with my paniers... I found the factory side stand to not be up to the task of supporting the bike when it was loaded and it had a habit of dropping down where I would then end up hitting it with the crank arm. I removed that stand and installed an old school centre stand which works much much better.

I was packing a good deal of weight when I took this picture... the bags were filled with my usual kit, extra clothes, and bike parts.

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Old 03-19-08, 05:15 PM
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And Buglady...you indeed rock.

Perhaps we should be looking at an Alberta BF meet up in the future since there seems to be a lot of us here.
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