Bike Friendly Richardson

Doing Errands by Bike

Posted in BFR Misc by jennyrilling on October 20, 2011

By Jenny Rilling

In addition to commuting by bike, this year I’ve been using my bike more for errands that would usually involve driving. It’s worked out so well that I even added large wire baskets to one of my bikes and made it my designated grocery bike.

So far, I’ve ridden my bike to go grocery shopping, get takeout, go to the bank, the drugstore, and to pick up food for our two dogs. I’m trying to use a bike instead of a car more often for trips of under 5 miles.  Besides the exercise benefits and reduced emissions gained from leaving the car at home, pedaling though neighborhoods and side streets is a lot more fun and feels like less of a chore than driving to accomplish the same errands.

Bike-thru banking - Like a boss.

Last weekend, my husband and I rode out to do some grocery shopping at Sprouts, which is on the other side of US 75 from where we live. We took the Central Trail to Campbell Rd. and crossed under the freeway at Campbell. There are conveniently placed curb cuts and signal request buttons that make it easy to cross on the south side of the intersection (Starbucks side). From the Starbucks / hotel parking lot, we hopped on Richardson Dr., then took Melrose Dr. to Mimosa and went north on Mimosa to Sprouts.

It was the Gluten-Free Jubilee...

The bikes wanted to take a break in a nearby park.

Between my baskets and James’ pannier, we were able to get a good amount of food.

There's some rice and lentils hiding under the clementines.

If you’re thinking of shopping by bike, I have a few recommendations:

A double-footed kickstand really helps keep your bike from falling over to one side and keeps it level and steady while you’re loading and  unloading. I love the Porteur Double Kickstand from Velo Orange, so much that I now have it on two of my bikes.

Load the bike as evenly as you can – if you have two panniers or two rear baskets, try to distribute the weight of your purchases evenly among them.

Invest in a cargo net and a couple of bungee cords for strapping things to a rack or covering the top of a basket.

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6 Responses

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  1. Paul said, on October 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Good job on the running errands by bike story. I try to do that some as well. Also great pics & cool B & W pic included in there. The makeover on the Mixte bike looks really nice. That kickstand sounds like a winner. I have purchased several items from Velo Orange & like that company & what they offer. Another excellent one is Rivendell Bicycle Works.

    • Jenny R. said, on October 21, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Thanks, Paul. The photos were all taken by my husband. The mixte is a re-spray and build of a 1970s Follis frame. It was fun going through the drive thru at the bank with it. The tellers didn’t bat an eye at seeing a bike roll up.

      Rivendell and VO are great. I like reading the VO blog, and of course, the Rivendell Reader.

  2. […] Doing Errands by Bike By Jenny Rilling        Bike Friendly Richardson In addition to commuting by bike, this year I’ve been using my bike more for errands that would usually involve driving. It’s worked out so well that I even added large wire baskets to one of my bikes and made it my designated grocery bike. … […]

  3. dickdavid said, on October 21, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Nice write up, Jenny. That is one of my favorite cross-town routes as well.

    • Jenny R. said, on October 21, 2011 at 8:56 am

      Thanks – you mean you don’t like getting run over by all the cars on the Collins St. bridge?

  4. Dennis Mccarthy said, on October 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I love the Wald folding wire baskets, but they nor panniers seem to do the trick if I have to bring home either kitty litter or beer. So I bought a trailer last spring. Not only does it hold more, you can use it to keep a two wheel from tipping over when parked too. Of course I’ve found another way to transcend the forces of gravity, 3 shall be my number.

    Empty kitty litter buckets make some pretty handy panniers if your not too fashion conscious (or if you’re rocking the grunge)


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