Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#234)...and a quick story

$72.57 of groceries, sundries, and other staples in two plastic crates from three separate stores.

The last of the three stores I went to was a national chain . I try not to shop at too many chain stores but actually like this one, not because of it's convenience and prices (which are pretty good) but because they have a bike rack located directly outside the store (where the Mundo is parked in the above photo). This is the same store where, in the past, an armed guard--an off duty police officer wearing a firearm--stopped me as I exited and said the reason for stopping me was because, "I was leaving the store without my purchase in bags" (meaning, I suppose, it looked as if I were stealing). Anyhow, here's a quick story at checkout.

Me: I don't need plastic bags; you can just put the stuff back in the basket (the plastic basket that the store provides).

Cashier: But how will you get the stuff out to your  car?

Me: I'm not in a car; I'm on a bike, and I'll just carry it in the basket, load my bike and bring the basket back in.

Cashier: You can't do that.

Me: Why not; I do it all the time?

Cashier: Because the baskets are not allowed outside the store.

Me: But the shopping carts are allowed outside the store.

Cashier: (after looking at the guard at the door, getting a nod, and then rolling her eyes at me) OK.

As I left the store, walked 10 feet to the bike, loaded it, and returned the plastic basket to the store, the guard eyed me suspiciously. 

Then, after returning to my bike and as I bent to unlock it, a couple came out and there was a plastic bag attached to the guy's foot. It was a windy fall evening, and as he kicked it free he grumbled, Damned bag! The bag flew off into the distance.

I in turn hopped on the Mundo and pedaled away with the wind to my back.

I am most definitely not a "bag fanatic" because I bring things home in them on occasion (and they are useful for cleaning up after my dogs). But, on the other hand, if I choose not to use bags I feel I should not be made to feel guilty as I leave the store. At the very least the store will save a couple pennies. 

To read more about people not using plastic bags click here, here, and here


the_big_smile said…
Here in Germany shops started back in the late 70' not to give plastic bags away for free. You had to pay 10 eurocent for the bag in most stores.
This applies mostly for grocery stores.
Most non-food stores give the bags away but many people are used to have their own bags with them.

This is, because we were told plastic bag are bad for the environment and everyone accepted it.

Shopping by bike is not that unusual here in Germany.
But with a Mundo you are always looked at.

DanT said…
Hi Joe.

I am always shocked when I see you load your rear deck as opposed to the side racks. Have you ever considered mounting a strong but light plastic box. It should be more stable.

Myself, I use a yuba getter bag or strap it on the wide yuba front rack.

BTW, I moved from Toronto this past Spring to St. Catharines.

Joe said…
Stefan, There are a few stores in My city that charge 10 cents for bags but not many...I wish more would do it. From what I understand it is more popular on the west coast.

Dan, No need to be shocked...the system is strong and stable. I haul things mostly on the top deck because it seems the easiest and most sensible to me...but depending on what it is I sometimes use the side carriers as well. I though about getting the Go Getter bags but I'm not sure I want to smash groceries into side bags...especially bread. How do you find they work for you? Also, you mentioned the wide front rack, do you have the Mundo Bread Rack? I am thinking about one of those. How do you like it? Anyhow, you may have seen this post before, but if you havn't follow the link below for a bunch of different things I've carried (if you have anything interesting you've carried and want them posed send them my way). :)
the_big_smile said…
Joe, you are right about smashing groceries in the Gogetter. I do that, but I am allways carefull to pack hard things first and things like vegetable on top.
Still some "collateral damage" happens every now and then.

DanT said…
Hi Joe.

Indeed, I do have the yuba bread rack. It is okay. I think that I will fasten something like a plastic milk crate so as to facilitate small loads. It should be able to handle 20 pounds.

As for the getter bags, they aren't good for brak, crackers or eggs but they are useful. I only keep one on the bike, on the left side.

Max said…
I haven't had much problems with the go-getters, other than a couple poorly stowed soft fruit fiascos. They're ugly, but essential in my world. I've got home made kid seats on the top rack, which when empty actually hold big bulky things well. You don't really need to buckle the go-getters to tightly. You could always have stackable crates inside the go-getters. I had contemplated these nice, cheap wicker baskets I saw.

We have 5 cent discounts per bag here. I am totally hooked to canvas bags now. I can carry more, and don't have to worry about them breaking.
Max said…
Another thing I forgot to mention, was the speed factor. With bags, I can just toss stuff in and go. And I always have kid accessories to haul (snacks, foul weather gear, bikes, etc.).