Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cargo Capacity!

The Beau has helped solve my grocery capacity issue with a new Wald front basket and matching rear rack. Holiday gifts. All shiny and matching. That's a man after my own heart!

The Takara with her new accessories. She likes to coordinate.
I've always had a rear basket, or just a bag over my shoulders. I'm adjusting to the new setup. I don't really deal well with change, so it will take a while for me to get comfortable this way. And of course, front baskets put weight over the front wheel, which makes it handle differently. So, I took her out for a test ride today with the front basket unladen, to get used to it.

We stopped in midtown to visit a friend and enjoy the chilly but beautiful day.

Several other cyclists passed by, including this girl with the faux fur trimmed jacket.

I ended up at the grocery store, where I got more than I meant to, as usual. I put a couple of heavier items on the rear, but others, including a bottle of wine, went in the front basket. Testing time! Honestly, it felt very unwieldy. I could hardly take a hand off the handlebars. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but the first trip was pretty awkward. In addition, items kept trying to bounce out of the basket. I rode for about a block with a can of tuna in my hand, before I had a chance to stash it. Extra bungee cords will be required. Or perhaps some more elegant restraint system. I may also experiment with pannier style bags for the rear, at least for grocery trips. I wrapped up the day by riding home with a friend.


  1. Most bike shops sell small cargo nets, about $6, which would work well to hold down the goods in your basket.

    I sometimes see a young woman on Highland (always heading the opposite direction) riding a new yellow Schwinn Jenny. She has some pretty sweet panniers. What do you think of these or these?

  2. I'm with Kyle, I picked up my bungie net at Intown bikes for about 6 bucks. Works great!

  3. Ahh, but these things require consideration. Is a cargo net the best option or just the most readily available one? Would something else work better?

    As for panniers, 'the beau' and I have been discussing this. The Basils are pretty but feel too much like luggage. I want something very lightweight that I can fold/roll up when not in use. There has been talk of nylon webbing. Or maybe leather straps. Perhaps I could crochet something?

  4. Waxed canvas for the panniers, maybe? A basket liner would not only look snazzy, but may help absorb some of the shock traveling to your groceries, thereby inciting them less to leap.

  5. A cargo net is both the best and the most readily available... Seriously -- don't give it another thought and just get it.

    That said, a very nice (but pricey) alternative would be this:


    I've always used a single-sided rear pannier for just about everything. Pops on and off without a thought; folds when not in use (and you can throw in a wallet or U-lock even when folded); I've never had groceries jump out of them. Not elegant or artistic, but just super practical and functional. Don't leave home without one!


  6. Well, I will have to try a cargo net - it seems to be highly recommended. Can I get a beaded one? That would be pretty.

    I am coming up with a pretty specific list of requirements for a pannier. I like the mesh they use in the Avenir Metro and Hunter, but not sure about the size. I'll post my pannier "specs" sometime this week!