The economy is terrible, but my purchasing power has just undergone a significant increase. How, you ask? Ah, keep reading!
Yes: a set of Wald folding baskets - filled with enormous grocery bags, the contents of which I could never have fit into my previous set-up. We passed a bike shop today that happened to have the black Walds in stock, and I ended up buying them. Now that I no longer have the front basket on my Pashley, I needed something ASAP - at least to tide me over until I can get panniers.
Well, the Wald baskets did not disappoint! You can't quite tell from these pictures, but the grocery bags are very full, with the level of the contents extending far beyond the brims of the baskets. Technically, it is possible to haul more than twice the volume of each basket. We tied the handles of the bags together on top, so that the contents wouldn't bounce, and had no problems at all.
The bicycle remained just as stable with the grocery bags inside the baskets as without.
Just as easy to maneuver, too.
As we were about to head home from the grocery store, we ran into Biking in Heels. Talk about a sense of community! We compared notes about panniers and tires, as I eyed her rear rack with longing (I've been looking for a suitable rack for my vintage Raleigh DL-1 with no success).
I was a bit nervous about what it would feel like to cycle with so much weight in the rear of the bike, but once we took to the streets it was effortless. Mind you, I am cranky and picky when it comes to carrying stuff on my bike - so when I say "effortless", you can take me literally. When I carried groceries in a front wicker basket, I had to lower the gearing on this bike in order to cycle comfortably. With these baskets I happily remained in the same gearing as without the groceries.
These passers-by are clearly envious of my amazing baskets and of the abundance of groceries I was transporting.
Can't say I blame them - this is great!