Bike Baskets

S on SnowdoniaRemember how in my last post about my new bike, I said that I had a stuff carrying problem to solve? Well, consider it solved, courtesy of baskets.

But first–we’ve had our bikes for two weeks now, and let me tell you, my life has changed. As weird as it may sound, it is so much easier to get around. Especially because I don’t have to worry about where to park if I go downtown. I had a dance rehearsal right in the middle of downtown during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade/giant pub crawl. And I got to rehearsal twenty minutes before anyone else because I was able to just get off and walk around the parade instead of sitting in traffic all the way around town. I get places much more reliably now that traffic is less of a factor and parking is a non-issue. Plus getting places is 1000% more fun.

Now back to the baskets.

Our bikes came with rear racks, which is definitely more handy than bikes I’ve had in the past. With my old bike Leggy, I had a big front basket but it didn’t really hold all that much and it was hard to get the bike to stand up on its kickstand, since the weight of the basket made the wheel swivel around a lot. So I knew with Bluebird, I wanted to carry stuff mainly on the back of the bike. Bungee cords are the most obvious solution, but that created a few problems on its own. I found it to be a serious pain to bungee my purse on back, I didn’t have room for anything besides my purse, and it was difficult to get things out of my purse (like my keys). Bags made specifically for bikes are another option, but we already spent so much money on the bikes I wasn’t too  keen on buying a bunch more accessories I wasn’t sure would solve my problem, at least until I know how I ride and what I need. So I put a basket on the rack. Which is pretty much the best ever. And then the Architect was jealous, so we went to an antique mall and got him an antique wire milk crate for $18.

Here’s how we put the baskets on the bikes. First, gather your supplies.

what you needWe had a basket in the house already that fit into a side table. I used that because I didn’t want to spend any money. Plus it was the perfect size and looks adorable on my bike.

center the basket

tie it onWe used four or five zip ties in total and tied some of them on both the horizontal and vertical parts of the rack until it felt very secure. That’s it! Pretty and functional!

It’s very easy to toss whatever I’m carrying in there–my purse, a water bottle, extra clothes for dance rehearsal, groceries, or whatever else.

S basket doneAnother thing I like about the basket is that it makes my bike look bigger from behind, which makes me feel a little safer in traffic. I know looking from the back at my bike that if I was a driver, I would give more space with the basket attached. Here, have a look:

basket before and afterSee how much wider it looks? The basket is narrower than the handlebars, so it didn’t make the bike wider at all, it just put some more width where drivers can see.

(P.S. — that round thing we attached to the top of the basket is to solve another problem. I bought lights for my bike for riding after dark, but I didn’t have anywhere to mount them. So I bought a belt buckle at a fabric shop and we attached that to the basket)

Here’s the Architect with his more manly version:

architect basket

Damn, that’s a fine looking husband.

Now that we have baskets, we can go shopping. This weekend, we went grocery shopping, bought $70 worth of groceries and carried them home on our bikes. Here are our bikes all loaded up with the groceries and my purse. There was still room if we had wanted to carry more. Especially if I used a smaller purse that didn’t take up a quarter of my basket.

bikes full of groceriesRecognize that outfit?

Here are the groceries we carried. The eggs made it home–even over railroad tracks–without being broken. That’s two boxes of cereal, two bags of chips, two cans of beans, two crescent roll doughs, two jars of salsa, two containers of mexican rice, two pounds of turkey, a pound of bacon, lemon juice, three packets of yeast, two grapefruits, eggs, and the most ginger ever. (I guess it was twin day at the grocery?) groceriesYeah. That all fits on our bikes. Because we’re basically BAMFs.

S with sunglasses

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5 thoughts on “Bike Baskets

  1. Great job on the baskets. I also noticed the outfit you made. I remember my grandma had a three wheel bike and a basket. She went everywhere on it and also went shopping. I guess it runs in the family.

  2. Yes, he is a fine looking husband. 🙂
    Clever idea with the baskets. And since you are not endowed with a natural wide rear clearance (lucky you), the basket is definitely good for that. Love the whole look in the last picture. The red frames, the red belt, the red vest and most definitely the “tude”. 🙂

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