Involuntary Car Free Weekend: Part 4 - Grocery Shopping
I had a whole lot of baking to do yesterday - bread, bagels and Christmas cake. But unfortunately we were out of bread flour, and most of the ingredients needed for the cake.
The only option was to head off to the shop to stock up - I bake quite a lot of bread, and hate running out of flour, so there was no point just buying what I needed for the day’s baking.
Still no car, so the only option was to cycle. I took a pair of panier bags and set off to see how much sensible shopping they could accommodate. The answer is . . . quite a lot!
6kg bread flour, 2kg granary bread flour, 1.5kg plain flour, 1kg butter, 1/2kg each of brown sugar, sultanas, and raisins, 1.5 litres of milk, 1/2 pint of cream, some almonds, an orange, a lemon, three pies for lunch during the week, a pork pie for lunch yesterday, some chicken satay sticks, a cucumber, some cherry tomatoes, and 6 eggs.
The first snag I hit once I’d paid and loaded the panier bags onto the bike was that they made the bike too wide to get out of the rack it was parked in. A more sensible person would have taken them back off to get the bike out. I opted for lifting it out.
Then there was the bike handling - distinctly light on the front end. I had the feeling that if I tried pedalling hard, I’d pull the most fantastic wheelie! There was also the worry that I’d over-loaded the rack. The last thing I wanted to do was hit a pothole, and have the rack snap, become tangled in the rear wheel, and throw me and my groceries all over the road. So I took it really easy, and picked a course along the road avoiding every bump that I could.
When I got home, I was curious to find out exactly what the extra weight I’d had on the bike was. So before unpacking, I weighed it on the bathroom scales.
Now here’s a thing - Dutch bikes with racks tend to specify the maximum load (like this Opafiets from Workcycles). When I’ve been looking at them, I’ve been fairly unimpressed with the capacity - the Opafiets example has 35kg for the rear, and 25kg for the front rack. HOWEVER . . . having now ridden with just over half that capacity on the back of my bike, I’m just utterly amazed.
Amazed that people would buid everyday bikes as sturdy as they evidently do at Workcycles, but even more amazed that people might ride using the full load carrying capacity of their racks - that’s a combined 60kg, which in the UK is 9.5st, or in US money is 132lbs. I know adults who weigh less than that!
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 12/14/2008
- Total Time: 00:31:00.00
- Calories: 404
- Distance: 7.9 miles
- Average Speed: 15.29 mph