The Delivery

The other day I received a bread order for three boules. I knew that at some point I should  install a suitable rack/basket on my bike to tote the bread but I had kept putting it off, searching the internet for the right solution. With the delivery eminent, I decided to break down and by one of the least expensive racks I could find at the bike shop and zip tie down a paper tray basket on top. I was quite happy with the outcome: 

I admit I hastily installed the rack in between baking. I noticed that the screws that came along with the rack were rather short and just allowed the accompanying nuts to be attached by only a few threads. It seemed sturdy enough. 

So I set out. Within 2 mins of my ride, I heard a clanking sound, I quickly noticed that I had lost two of the nuts that connected the rack to the frame of the bike. Nothing a couple of zip-ties couldn't fix I reasoned. After reattaching the rack I realized that there was another potential fault area....the attachment of the rack to the hub area of the frame. So I grabbed two additional zip-ties, just in case. The ride was going pretty well, until I unexpectedly skidded to a stop, of course right next to a couple of women who were out for an evening walk. They were concerned, but I told them that I was ok (I'm constantly embarrassed on the road). I looked back at the rack which had turned side-ways. Fortunately the bread was anchored down by a pinned-down dish towel. I dragged my bike to the side of the road to inspect it. The rear wheel was completely immobile. One of the arms of the rack had, as suspected, came unbolted and had managed to make its way through a spoke wrap around the hub 180 degrees. The somewhat thick alloy was completely lodged, tangled around the spokes. I called for backup and fortunately was able to still make the delivery, though shattering the whole concept of my bread by bicycle service. 

So now I must ask, what is the proper solution that will allow for about 6 loaves of bread in a safe, stylish way. Before you balk at my insistence that the rack must be stylish, let me assure that in my opinion most good options are stylish and will compliment my bike. 

There was a time when I thought the bread on body option was the best idea. I mean just look at this Swiss Army bread bag! 

Those are a really a great anything bag (especially camera bag) 

As far as on-bike cargo space we basically have two options: the front rack or the back rack. The front rack is something I love both aesthetically and functionally. You can see your goods while you ride, something slipping off? You see it. The problem with the front rack is that it can get a little tricky seeing that I have drop down handlebars. But all is not lost, enter Velo Orange

Velo Orange always seems to come through for me. The key to this design is its low profile. Of course Velo Orange would look toward classic french porteur racks to develop this design. Newspaper boys used to use these types of racks in the France of yesteryear. For $160 this rack might seem spendy, but it really is one of the lower cost racks like this on the market. The problem for me though is that it may be a little too small. 

Then there are back racks. Which are great because you can really load these up but it makes for a more difficult mount and dismount. 

I really enjoy the idea of attaching something like an orange crate to the back of my bike. It's very appropriate for Redlands too! Which brings me to this point, if you have an old crate laying around, send it my way! 


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