An awkward trip to town…

Momentarily flush, I ordered some replacement supplies from Amazon. Normally I would wait to pick up the box until the regular weekly water run but it’s a pretty morning and I wanted a bike ride.

This, I knew before I arrived, was going to put to the test a question I’ve had since I replaced the panniers in the Spring…


What if I’ve got a big box to haul, and no cargo rack to haul it on? That new bag, full of things I would not be comfortable leaving home, takes up the whole rack.

However it is easily removeable, as are the panniers. So Plan A was to remove it and one of the panniers, put the bag in the remaining pannier and lash the removed pannier on the rack under the box. This worked…


…not even a little bit. First try I didn’t make it out of the parking lot. I re-adjusted the box, tried again, and again didn’t get very far. And here I ran into an unexpected problem: I was in a town and there were people all around, very awkwardly placed, and Uncle Murphy decided to have a laugh at my expense. With the box falling off the bike I swung very slowly onto a side street followed closely by a car, only to have the car take the same turn. I tried to stop on the apron of a driveway to let the car pass me, only to have the same car want use of that very driveway. I believe he probably heard my yell of “Oh, come on!” All this time a big cardboard box was busily trying to fall off the bike, with me just as busily trying to prevent that while still somewhat controlling the bike.

Then all the time I was embarrassedly trying to rearrange the load, cars kept going by like I was some sort of circus sideshow. At home I could have done the whole thing nude without anybody being the wiser: Here, I seemed doomed to be an object of others’ entertainment.

I did get the load properly mounted…


Turned out the trick was to leave both panniers on and just let them get squished a little by the box. It gave me no more trouble all the way home.

And now – (Cue the “2 is 1, etc” theme…)


…among other things I have a nice new pair of SPARE boots! The ones I bought in Spring of last year are still in fair shape, the soles just now starting to think about going smooth, but the right one always pinched my meat foot so I got this pair half a size bigger and it’s much more comfortable even before breaking in. Always seems like quite an extravagance to buy new boots: I really procrastinated about buying a pair before the old ones are ragged. But just now it seemed like the right thing to do.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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12 Responses to An awkward trip to town…

  1. Spokes says:

    Did you consider loading the contents of the box into the panniers for the trip home?

  2. Joel says:

    That’s what I usually do. In this case the contents were too bulky, wouldn’t fit.

  3. When I take my bike to the PO, I take a backpack and transfer the package contents to my pack and toss the box.

  4. Regarding spare boots….does the fake leg take a leg-specific boot or can you go with a right/left boot on there depending on whatever you have available?

  5. Joel says:

    No the left leg has a very left-foot-shaped foot. I don’t know how easily a right boot would go on it. Probably wouldn’t be uncomfortable, though.

  6. JC says:

    Need more bungees. Always need more bungees. Get ’em cheap, like Dollar Store cheap, and keep a hank of ’em on hand. I do swear, everywhere I go, somebody asks ‘gotta bungee?’ Got ’em in my backpack, got ’em in my satchel, got a couple wrapped around the rack on my bike.

  7. 5hout says:

    Is that the interceptor boot that’s around 50 on amazon? I was just looking at them yesterday thinking I needed a mid-height boot for chores/general summer use.

  8. boynsea says:

    Off Topic, but: I had a LARGE colony of ants undermining a small concrete pad under an AC condenser unit. Your tip about AMDRO ant block “medicine” is greatly appreciated. No more ants. Thanks!

  9. Dave Mansfield says:

    Use whats best for your needs.

  10. Joel says:

    Is that the interceptor boot that’s around 50 on amazon?

    Nope. Oakley Light Assault 2.

  11. Mark Matis says:

    Good to see the BDUs apparently fit OK.

  12. Mike says:

    Nice Joel. I’m glad to see that you managed to get home safe. The boots look good, BTW. Oh, and before I forget, here’s an idea for carrying bigger boxes with the ebike.

    https://www.instructables.com/BICYCLE-UTILITY-CART-FROM-OLD-GOLF-PULL-CART/

To the stake with the heretic!