What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

03 February 2016

Carrying Capacity

While I was in college, I tended to use my bicycle as a mobile library. This was pretty rough on my panniers, since I ignored the suggested weight limits and just packed stuff in as long as there was space. As a result, I tore through two sets in four years.

Rather than get a new set right away when the second one came apart (mid-ride, alas--that was quite a day), I pulled out an old crate that I've had since I was about 15. My tastes in colour schemes have changed just a bit in the intervening years:

Yep, I'm dressed as Elphaba. It was Halloween.
I was not dressed as Fiona, despite many people who guessed her first. Eeep.
But in recent weeks, the crate has started cracking a bit and the bungees were getting frayed, so it was time for a new solution, especially since I don't carry massive grad school books everywhere I go any longer.

I was looking for something that was easy to get on and off, preferably carry-able. I settled on this one (a pair of this one, that is) from Green Guru that's made of recycled banners, which is a nice bonus here in Su-Land.

And as another nice bonus: they fold flat against the bike when not in use, so I can leave them on the bus, even the three-slot racks where the bikes are super close together.

What's also great about these, as opposed to the crate, is that having the crate was affecting the way I was sitting, which changed how my muscles and everything else operated. No prizes for guessing how bad of an idea that is if you don't want worn-out quads. There's nothing wrong with using a crate and bungees, of course, but I do recommend that anyone going down that road take a bit more time than I did to consider its effect on your body and adjust as necessary.

Being able to carry things is a big part to being a transportation cyclist. It's easy enough to just wear a backpack, but putting it on the bike makes the trip a lot more pleasant, and having something that properly hooks onto the bike will work a lot better than trying to hold things or hang bags off the handlebars (please don't do that!) while riding. The best solution, as ever, is the one that works best for you. Just keep in mind that the weight limits on panniers are a thing.

2 comments:

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

Since I've been an adult, I've wanted a bike with a big basket on the front. Then Incan ride to the market and buy huge bouquets of fresh flowers and baguettes every day. ((Sigh)) But I've never lived anywhere this is possible.

Su Wilcox said...

Big baskets are fun! But they can interfere with how the bike feels when it steers. Of course, if you start from the beginning with a bike with a big basket, you can adjust to all of it at once.

Bummer about not living anywhere it's possible, though.