Carrying stuff on a footbike

Nags Head Kickbike I

Kicked to the grocery store and picked up 18 lbs. (8.16 kilos) of groceries and distributed them between my two 488 cu. in. (8-liter) panniers and my 1000 cu. in. (17-liter) handlebar bag. When I got the loaded footbike moving it felt as stable as a motorcycle, but when I got home I had to take a slow little S-turn around my parked car in the driveway and almost lost it! (The same thing happened to me once on a motorcycle, too. Hang on to those grips!)

The handlebar bag is nice, but it’s suspended from the ‘bars by one bracket, and I didn’t like the way it sagged under the weight of the groceries (maybe 8 lbs. or 3-4 kilos worth).

So I’ll be moving to the late touring cyclist Ken Kifer‘s solution – a rack trunk bag mounted on top of a front rack.

There’s a Cannondale trunk bag that’s almost as big as my handlebar bag, which is perfect for bringing my food to work for the day. (My office isn’t footbike-close to any restaurants or groceries.)

And there’s still one front rack with a top that I know of.

Of course, reading Kifer’s day-by-day accounts of his tours is making me consider touring on the footbike (in motels, not camping).

(BTW he rode his bicycle with a solar panel mounted across his rear panniers that charged a battery during the day, which he used to power a laptop in camp at night!)

I saved these pages as text files and converted them to Palm documents with open-source Macintosh software and read them on my ancient Palm Pilot. (I do the same with books from Project Gutenberg). Very entertaining adventure lit, along the lines of Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World and Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki etc., but a little less extreme. Though not without danger – Kifer was killed by a drunk driver in 2003.

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One Response

  1. […] an earlier post I complained about my handlebar bag, which is one of the footbiker’s first solutions to […]

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