I never used to even think about carrying stuff on my bike. If I needed to carry anything it went in my backpack, if it didn’t fit in my back pack then it didn’t get taken on the bike. That was until I started cycling on the cycle path. Then the idea of carrying stuff on my bike didn’t seem like such a big deal, not a danger or drama as I had always thought it.
Once I settled into cycling on the path, I think I became a different type of cyclist. Before I think I felt more like a road user. I was on a bike but in reality I was just a road user getting to and from my destination in my chosen vehicle. Now however I actually FEEL like a cyclist. I know that sounds crazy but that seriously is the change I feel now I’m on the paths. I don’t look at bikes now as; how fast is it? How light is it? Will it make hills easier?
Now I think “oh that looks nice, I could get my cake box on the back”.
I think the change is that when you are on the paths you can actually enjoy cycling, enjoy using your bike as your method of transport. On the road you can’t think about anything except safety, your road positioning, other road users etc you don’t get to take a deep breath and smile.
That in turn has changed me and my perceptions, I still choose to wear a yellow jacket when the light isn’t sunny and bright, I still wear a helmet because I do think it is sensible but I understand why other people don’t and I do enjoy seeing the things other people wear. So I thought I’d honor some of the best bike clothing and luggage use I’ve seen.
This is Harry and his boom box
Harry rides a “priest” bike, a dutch style bike built for everyday use including carrying your shopping etc. This picture was taken at the recent Pedal on Parliament event here in Edinburgh. Harry rode at this event with a group called Critical Mass which he organised and…. he provides the sounds for. That is a serious boom box you see strapped to the rack on the front of his bike.
Before I enjoyed path cycling I would have been appalled at this but when you are on the path it’s all about the pleasure of the actual bike ride and I did love cycling behind him.
They live in Boise, Idaho and Arlen is a keen cyclists and cycle luggage user. This photo however I think is fantastic, this is from when they took part in the “tour de fat” which is a cycle ride event in Boise and looked like great fun.
I am secretly envious of Diane’s basket but I think I’d be laughed of the path if I had a cycle basket on my racer.
This next one probably shows what a cycling family we are, this is my dad.
My dad is probably the very reason why I’ve always had such an issue with the whole carrying loads of stuff on the bike thing. When my dad goes for a cycle, even just a short cycle to work and back, he will be packed with so much stuff that he could survive a tropical storm. Hence the massive bike trailer.
In reality he doesn’t need half the stuff he carries, but that’s just his way. He never goes anywhere without waterproofs and a jacket and a whole heap of other stuff.
I see things on the internet now and think – cool. Like this beer growler carrier.
I don’t think I’d ever use this as my beer would be all shaken up but I love the idea of it. It’s that lifestyle of cycling being your absolute transport and you use your bike for everything.
Lastly I suppose I should tell you of my journey into the world of carrying stuff on your bike.
We have a thing at work where we all take turns baking and I was getting really frustrated with having to get the train each time it was my turn. That along with the fact that I sometimes pop into the home-brew store on my way home from work and pick up grain (which has to fit in my bag) meant that I finally took the plunge and fitted a rack to my bike.
It’s not perfect cause my road bike isn’t designed to have a rack on it, but I can now bungee my cake box onto the rack when I have baking and I can then cycle to work with my cakes.
One word of warning though…. gluten-free cakes don’t survive the journey. I got to work with a cake box full of gluten-free dust one time.