I ran out of some of my pantry items in the house this week, so today was a good day to resupply at Costco. So, the independent sort that I am, I decided to save some gas in the car and do my shopping with the bicycle. What! How is this possible? We all know how large the packaging at Costco is! Well, here is the story.
When I worked, I commuted to work for nearly 20 years and I commuted every day, all year, all seasons, unless I was sick or injured. Even rainy or snowy weather did not stop me. Most of the years, my commute was about 13 miles round trip and the last two years, it was about seven miles. In 2004, I bought my Cannondale Disc Cross Bike. It is my most expensive bicycle that I have ever bought. With the disc brakes and the fenders I added, it was my choice of a great all weather commuting bike. Just before I retired, I added a lightweight rack and also bought a set of small panniers as well as the "trunk" that can mount on top of the rack. The idea was that I could use this bike for running errands like the one I did to Costco today. And I did use it for going shopping. I ride it to other stores and it has been convenient for taking to Seattle when I go to marine hardware stores for boat items. My favorite place for boat parts is on the north end of Lake Union near Gasworks Park. Seattle has a great trail system and I can ride most of the way to Lake Union and back without riding on streets. This has worked well as long as I am not trying to carry large, heavy loads like a gallon of antifouling bottom paint. But I soon found out that even moderate loads would bend the rack. Once three, 110 ft lengths of line for new halyards bent it down to the fender.
Last week I mail ordered a new, stronger rack and installed it. Today was the maiden voyage for this rack. I wanted to see how it handled the load, so I decided to test it with my supply run to Costco. It was a nice day even though the temperature was in the lower 40's. It is an 18 mile round trip to Costco. I only had a few items to purchase, but with Costco portions, the weight was 16 pounds. I could tell the load was on the back as some of the steeper hills took more effort and lower gears to crest. The new rack did a great job and did not budge a bit.
So today I did my shopping without burning any gas, putting any miles on either of my trucks or on the motorcycle. I have actually gone two days without starting a vehicle. This is even cheaper than driving an electric car or motorcycle! Since I only fill up a vehicle about once every three weeks, I don't use much gas. And I got some good exercise too!
My 2004 Cannondale Disc Cross Bicycle
Inside the panniers and trunk are 16 pounds of Costco items.