Balanced Loads and Capacity for Grocery Hauling

Cargo Haulers

For everyday utility riding around town, I prefer a bike that can carry a pair of grocery bags in back and at least one up front. This allows me to carry a week’s worth of groceries on one bike if necessary (this is assuming a “normal” sized bike, not a cargo bike). A bike set-up for hauling this type of load will typically have a full-sized touring rack in the rear and some sort of basket or porteur rack up front. Alternatively, it could have a “lowrider” touring rack up front and a second set of smaller panniers. Besides providing extra capacity, having the ability to carry weight on the front of the bike balances the load between the front and rear, improving stability on most bikes.

People talk about the need for low trail geometry for carrying loads on the front fork, and perhaps for touring or randonneurring that’s true, but I haven’t found it necessary for utility riding. More important is a good center stand that holds the bike upright and steady when loading. A centering spring or strap to hold the wheel straight during loading is a good idea as well. When we’re talking about short trips to the grocery store, ease of loading and overall carrying capacity are more important than light steering for long days in the saddle.

If you’ve considered a porteur/front cargo rack for your grocery getter, but you’ve hesitated because your bike’s geometry isn’t optimized for carrying a front load, I’d encourage you to give it a try; personally I feel it’s a non-issue for the typically short distances most people travel for grocery shopping and errands. More important is a set-up that’s optimized for the loading process; once the bike is loaded and rolling, you’ll quickly adapt to the steering and you’ll be glad for the extra carrying capacity.

People Powered Movement Photo Contest

Photo Contest

The Alliance for Biking & Walking has brought back their popular People Powered Movement Photo Contest for 2011. The submission period officially opens on August 1st, so it’s time to dust off your archives and line up your best photos for this year’s contest. From the Alliance for Biking & Walking:

The People Powered Movement Photo Contest addresses a critical need for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations: To make your efforts professional and appealing you need high-quality images of biking and walking. Our nationwide contest builds our online Photo Library, which provides hundreds of images for Alliance members to download and use at no cost.

For the 2011 contest, participants are invited to submit their photos in multiple categories and winners will be selected based on public voting and evaluation by a panel of expert judges.

This year the contest will open on August 1, public voting will begin in October and the winners will be announced in early 2012. We’re finalizing the categories and nailing down all the details, so check back soon for the official launch!

We have some great prizes lined up this year, including:

  • An all-expense-paid trip to Tuscany from VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations
  • A new bicycle from PUBLIC Bikes
  • Bags from Ortlieb
  • Helmets from Bern
  • Great products from Planet Bike
  • PLUS, winning photos will be published in Momentum magazine

More at the People Powered Movement website

Royer Bridge

Royer Bridge

On the way home from Sunday morning coffee.

Upcoming Reviews

Breezer Uptown Infinity
Breezer Uptown Infinity
Spot Acme
Spot Acme
Moulton TSR 2
Moulton TSR 2

Keep an eye out for upcoming reviews on the Breezer Uptown Infinity, Spot Acme, and Moulton TSR 2.

Breezer Uptown Infinity
Spot Acme
Moulton TSR 2

USPS Bicycling Forever Stamps

Bicycling Stamos
Zoom

The Postal Service announced today that they’ll be issuing a bicycle-themed set of stamps for 2012. The stamps were designed by art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA using illustrations by John Mattos of San Francisco, CA. The four stamps depict a young child on training wheels, a commuter (!), a racer, and a BMX rider. More information is available at the “Beyond the Perf” website.

Beyond the Perf

Public: Now in Black

Public in Black

When I had a powder blue Public D3 on loan for a short-term review this spring, I joked with my rep/friend who provided the bike that it was “too pretty” to the point that I felt a little self-conscious riding it. I provided the feedback that Public should consider offering at least a few of their models in black for us less flamboyant in the crowd. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, as Public is now offering their V and C models in black. From Public:

Public in Black

When I had a powder blue Public D3 on loan for a short-term review this spring, I joked with my rep/friend who provided the bike that it was “too pretty” to the point that I felt a little self-conscious riding it. I provided the feedback that Public should consider offering at least a few of their models in black for us less flamboyant in the crowd. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, as Public is now offering their V and C models in black. From Public:

We get more requests for black bikes than for any other color. People love black on cars, pens, shoes, jackets, and “we’re learning” on bikes. Black looks good and is used on just about anything except objects that are supposed to be sanitary like toothbrushes or Band-Aids. Black has been the most traditional, most classic, bike color since the 19th century. So why don’t we offer a black bike? There must be a good, logical reason.

There isn’t.

So to make our customers happy and to curb our passion for bright colors, we’ve had a batch of beautiful black bikes made up. The first small order arrived this month. A limited number of both the V and C models are available right now. (They look especially classic with Brooks saddles). The addition of a white or silver rack (no black racks in stock yet) also preserves the timeless look. We’ve added a few touches of color just for fun – red cable housing and our classic fender stripes. Black D8s will arrive in December.

Public

We get more requests for black bikes than for any other color. People love black on cars, pens, shoes, jackets, and “we’re learning” on bikes. Black looks good and is used on just about anything except objects that are supposed to be sanitary like toothbrushes or Band-Aids. Black has been the most traditional, most classic, bike color since the 19th century. So why don’t we offer a black bike? There must be a good, logical reason.

There isn’t.

So to make our customers happy and to curb our passion for bright colors, we’ve had a batch of beautiful black bikes made up. The first small order arrived this month. A limited number of both the V and C models are available right now. (They look especially classic with Brooks saddles). The addition of a white or silver rack (no black racks in stock yet) also preserves the timeless look. We’ve added a few touches of color just for fun – red cable housing and our classic fender stripes. Black D8s will arrive in December.

Public

Mionske on Bike-Car Collisions

Bicycle Law

Bob Mionske, author of Bicycling and the Law, recently published part 3 of 3 of his series on how to handle bike-car collisions. No bicyclist wants to think they’ll be involved in a collision with a motorist, but this is good information to know.


 
© 2011 EcoVelo™