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  1. #1
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    Grocery run (with pictures)

    This is my 3rd time doing a grocery run with a bicycle and my friend, Robert, joined me for today's trip. We hit Trader Joe's first and then Whole Paycheck (the local and organic food coop is closed on Sundays so it (and the extra traveling distance it entails) was not included).

    Robert came down 800 feet of elevation and 4.1 miles to our meeting point, which was level for me and 1.5 miles away. Once together our trip was about 6.3 miles out and slightly less on the way back. This is more efficient than my first two times making this run as I'm learning some alternate and more efficient routes. It's amazing how different the world looks from a bicycle versus a car, opening up all kinds of routing opportunities and shortcuts that I would have never noticed before.

    Here is our path. (I tried to embed it but that function is not working properly.)

    Robert rode his new 2008 Surly Crosscheck with a used 2-child trailer he got off of CraigsList, and I rode my wife's 1994 Schwinn Crisscross (it works a lot better on the road than my MTB does) with a used BOB Yak that I also got from CraigsList and refurbished. I've also put a fair amount of work into the Crisscross as it needs more adjustments and TLC as it ages.

    Here is my setup:


    A close-up of my Yak, with an old cooler strapped down and ready to go:


    At our prearranged meeting point on Double R Boulevard near Damonte Ranch Road (Reno, Nevada, USA), waiting for Robert. We timed it well as he got there just 2 minutes after I did:


    Climbing the little hill on Double R, about half way to our first stop:


    The bike rack at Trader Joe's:



    This was a lighter-than-usual shopping day for both of us but the loads were still respectable. Here are the bulk of Robert's groceries:



    This is one of two insulated bags he uses with his trailer:


    Here he is using a pair of towels to create sun shields for the insulated bags as his trailer's cover has clear sides and a semi-transparent roof and rear:



    Then we were off to Whole Paycheck, where I did the bulk of my shopping:


    Don't forget the beer!


    My fully loaded cooler, heavy to the front and low:


    Overflow items go into an old duffel bag that I strap down on top of the cooler:


    We're ready to head home! I know my eyes are closed but it's the only shot we got. That's me (Brian) on the left and Robert on the right:


    Back at home, safe and sound, with all the toys put away:



    Robert has a computer on his bicycle that showed our total travel time together at 56 minutes, with an average speed of about 12.5 MPH and a top speed of around 32.5 MPH (on the downhill side of the hill on Double R). That poor fellow had another stop, 4.1 miles and an 800-foot climb left to go when we separated.
    Last edited by Turmoyl; 08-17-2008 at 06:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great pics! Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
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    Good job you two!

  4. #4
    Now with 10% more!
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    Nice work! Haven't tried 32 mph with a trailer on the back.......

    Oh and nice job on purchasing Mothership Wit to round out the going green theme (made in my city), though it is not the best beer New Belgium makes...

  5. #5
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    You are such hippie.

    And going over 32 with the trailer starts getting a bit hairy.

  6. #6
    Professional Amateur
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    I just got a similar InStep kid trailer off craigslist for $25. When my 1 year old isn't in it I thought about using it for groceries. Thanks for sharing

  7. #7
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    I'd do it if I had to, but I am lucky enough to be able to walk to the grocery store and push a medium sized cart.

  8. #8
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Excellent! I've been doing it lately with a rear rack and bags that I can get 4-5 decent sized grocery bags worth of stuff in/on. Messenger bag or backpack for more if needed. Not having to go quite so far, I just end up making more frequent trips rather than trying to load more on at a time.

    Hmmmm... Digging the used kid trailer idea, even more than the Extracycle thing. Easier to swap differing bike duties, since the grocery getter is also my commuter. Just swapped on an 8-speed internal Sturmey-Archer hub to make things a bit easier with big loads - I'd been running it as a fixed gear. Grocery run early next week to see how it works out.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  9. #9
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    I was debating on getting rid of my kid trailer, but now I'm thinking twice about it!

  10. #10
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    I have two kid trailers, one for hauling kids and the other for the samething your doing. I like using it because cars give you plenty of clearance, (they think there are kids ridding in the back not groceries). I was thinking about welding a cage on it and making it into a utility trailer with sturdier sides on it.

  11. #11
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    The comments on this thread have me thinking. I'm single and college aged, so I can do all my grocery shopping with a backpack if I go twice a week. (Beer runs = extra trips....)

    So if you guys were going to grocery shop for the family and take kids along, what do you do? Xtracycle and trailer?

  12. #12
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    You could always run tandem trailers!

  13. #13
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    The comments on this thread have me thinking. I'm single and college aged, so I can do all my grocery shopping with a backpack if I go twice a week. (Beer runs = extra trips....)

    So if you guys were going to grocery shop for the family and take kids along, what do you do? Xtracycle and trailer?
    Wife, no kids, soooo...

    For those with kids, I suppose you'd either cram it all into one trailer, or have ma and pa riding with each towing a trailer. One for kids, one for the goods. That could all change once a kid is old enough to ride a bike of their own.

    Grocery day today! No trailer yet though; got a little kid one one the way!
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  14. #14
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    That's such an awesome idea. I'm going to keep an eye out on Craigslist for a trailer like and if the price is right, I'll be able to eliminate to-and-from campus and the grocery store, leaving only a commute to a job with no showers, and other misc. errands, for the car.

  15. #15
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    Nice pics! I have been running errands by bike too. I get some fresh air, excersise and a great perspective on a bike, plus I get a few things done while having fun. I use an xtra-cycle, and am looking to add a child seat on the back, so I can carry groceries and a child. I have an 8-week old, who will soon be traveling with me.

  16. #16
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    I do the bulk of my grocery shopping via bike and backpack. Unfortunately, I've yet to find a way to carry beer home without shaking it to oblivion.

  17. #17
    utilitarian biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcruz8
    I do the bulk of my grocery shopping via bike and backpack. Unfortunately, I've yet to find a way to carry beer home without shaking it to oblivion.

    Drink it on the way home.
    Long live long rides.

  18. #18
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    Nice post. Although you ruined to facade of being a health nut...unless those brats were turkey...lol
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  19. #19
    183 BRO's before hoes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcruz8
    I do the bulk of my grocery shopping via bike and backpack. Unfortunately, I've yet to find a way to carry beer home without shaking it to oblivion.
    I never have that problem, house is within 5 blocks of two liquor stores, a brewery, a grocery store, a movie rental store, multiple bars and restaurants, auto parts store, radio shack, bike shops, ski shops, two hardware stores, a good doctor, a dentist, a vet, world class road biking out the door, pretty decent XC out the door and amazing freeride and downhill within minutes. To name a few things. Not lucky, just worked ****ing hard for years and years to move here.
    Last edited by ChromedToast; 09-14-2008 at 07:53 AM.

  20. #20
    Accident prone (owie)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJeff
    Nice post. Although you ruined to facade of being a health nut...unless those brats were turkey...lol
    Those were Robert's groceries. The sausage my family uses a few times each year is soy-based.

    I make a great sausage and peppers dish over penne pasta. Mmm...

    Neither my friend or I are trying to be health nuts anyway, though it's obvious that things like this certainly have health benefits. We're just trying to do things a little better, a little smarter, and with less of a footprint.
    - Brian

  21. #21
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    We do farmers market runs w/ 2 adult bikes, 2 panniers on mine, trail-a-bike for 7 yr old, trailer for 3 yr old, and distribute the load among my panniers and the trailer. We have verified back when the 7 yr old was 5 and less and in the trailer w/ his sister, that they really meant it about that 100# limit.

    For costco runs I would like an xtra/big dummy.

  22. #22
    Bike Jewelry Maker
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    Kudos to you. I think both of you are very cool for making the effort to do that. You now have me considering biking up to my local Wally Hell with some sort of rack attached to carry groceries. I'd love to bike to Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Fresh Market, but they are at least 15 miles away from me and I'm not *that* good yet.

  23. #23
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    That is sooo sweet!

  24. #24
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    That looks awesome guys... thanks for helping the environment. I only hope to be able to do the same sometime soon, but the area I live in is sooooo packed with cars on the main roads

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