Friday, October 8, 2010

Added Benefits: Bicycle as Shopping Cart

One side effect of owning a bicycle with a large carrying capacity, is getting accustomed to having a "shopping cart" wherever you go. As a result I often ride my bike even to the grocery store that is within walking distance from my house, because it is easier to transport the purchases that way.

Interestingly, some of my friends who've recently had babies say the same thing about strollers: They've gotten so used to being able to hang their handbags and shopping bags on the stroller, that going out without it and actually having to carry all that stuff feels like a hassle. I suggested a bicycle for those times they are without baby and stroller, but they don't seem convinced that it can provide the same carrying capacity (plus, of course "it's not safe to ride a bike in the city"). Maybe one of those bicycle + stroller in one contraptions would do the trick.

21 comments:

  1. That's an interesting bike, but I think I'd rather have a Bakfiets! Actually, I'd love to have a Bakfiets, and I don't have kids!

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  2. So, do you take the bike in the store or do you have to move all those bags all around to avoid using the bike's wheels instead of a shopping cart?

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  3. Wow, seeing that bag with recognizable items in it really shows how huge it is!

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  4. last week, I was having dinner with some friends and nerding out on bike trailers while extolling the virtues of being able to shop for an entire Thanksgiving feast while car free. We've got a Burley Flatbed and they have a BOB Yak. Then they asked if we've seen or heard of the new Burley Travoy, which is basically a handcart that attaches to your seatpost and then detaches so that you can wheel it around in a store.

    It took me a second to get the concept, but then they showed me the photo on the website and I was blinded with the brilliance of the idea.

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  5. I like the ride-on stroller. Super design.

    That pannier of yours holds a useful lot of goodies :-)

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  6. I just told my local supermarket they're no longer getting my business unless I can use my bike as my shopping cart.

    Interesting contents: multi-grain Cheerios, Klondike bars and Whiskas cat food. I've had similar cargo on my bike.

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  7. What happens to me is that I will actually choose to shop at a market further away just to justify taking the bike. The one that is in walking distance is terrible for bike parking. Also, on Sunday mornings I like to go out to Russo's in Watertown to load up on produce (when I am not getting from the CSA). I have a set of Ortlieb's; they can carry a lot of food.

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  8. Steve - I have not tried to take the bike into a store... yet : )

    Amy - yes, and that' just towards the top of the pannier!

    Justine - and did they agree?.. As for the food, you can see how dedicated I am to wholesome nutrition.

    Moopheus - I normally shop at a grocery store that is beyond walking distance, but sometimes I need to nip out to whatever is closest when something vital runs out (like cat food or ice cream).

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  9. What is that pannier bag? It is great looking!

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  10. david...no the other one!October 9, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    Recently, I saw a video of a folding bike that was secured at the down tube. When the owner wished to go shopping. they would attact a two wheeled front end that had a "shopping basket" and would wheel this bi-tricycle into the store and use it as a cart. You may have seen it!

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  11. i had a relatively inexpensive pair of dutch-made "fastrider" shopping panniers, made from heavy duty nylon-reinforced (and waterproof) vinyl. i don't remember the exact capacity, but in the pair of panniers i once managed to fit four 1-gallon cans of paint, a bunch of paint brushes, paint rollers and trays, and a couple of tarps. they still had room leftover. i routinely stuffed them with full-sized shopping bags. i ended up selling them, and i now regret it!

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  12. Justine - I want to know if they agreed!

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  13. somervillain - Yes, some of those panniers' capacity would put my sissy faux straw Fastrider to shame! But I am happy being able to use this one as a handbag, laptop carrier and shopping bag in one - and easily switch it back and forth between all 3 of my upright bikes. The problem with those huge panniers, is that once you strap them onto a bike, they are basically meant to stay there - which of course is not a problem if you have a bike that's a dedicated "hauler".

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  14. If you have a grocery store within walking distance and you are home, the obvious thing to do is get a 2-wheeled folding cart that they sell at every hardware store in urban areas. Inexpensive and takes very little room folded up.

    But the advantage of having a cargo-ready bicycle is that you can stop on your way home from work and pick up a couple of bags of groceries or do an unplanned stop for some odds or ends you remembered you needed. Or any other spur-of-the-moment pickup while you are out. Like with a car.

    Getting a decent size shopping pannier on my bike made the biggest change in my using my bike for most trips. Sure, a bike trailer would hold more, but it's not always on my bike ready to go the way a pannier is. Trailers take planning.

    But your pannier is much prettier than mine and might even be bigger. Does it hold up to the weather( can it get wet?)

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  15. Peter - I find those shopping carts uncomfortable to roll, especially getting them on and off the sidewalk once they are heavy. A bicycle you can just ride, plus the spur of the moment aspect you mention.

    The pannier is waterproof; I carry my laptop in it without worries.

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  16. I have this same issue going to work, actually - I take lunch every day, plus my shoulder bag, and a camera (never leave home without one, right?) and sometimes a thermos of tea or coffee, or some other random thing(s). They all fit on my bike perfectly in the pannier bags (except the camera, which goes around my neck), and I don't even know they are there. Then I get to work, and I have to carry everything to my office, which gets a bit tricky sometimes.

    A bike is definitely a brilliant tool for carrying things.

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  17. Ha - so true! I've walked my bike a couple of blocks before so I could put a 30 pound bag of cat litter on her rack.

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  18. Hi

    Have a look at Basil products,http://www.basil.nl/producten/11057L.jpg
    lift off your pannier and take into the store.

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