FAQ: Baskets and Stuff

July 5, 2009

I thought I would do a blog post answering some of the frequently asked questions I get in the comments section of the blog - they're easy to answer, but I figured I would post them if any of you were curious.

I've had inquiries into what kind of helmet I'm wearing. Ditto with the basket I've got on my bike.

I ordered both from Jorg & Olif when they were still open for business in Vancouver. The helmet works great for me, but has attracted some ridicule because it's not actually a bike helmet. I didn't know this when I bought it (the helmet was from a bike place) but the helmet is a black kayaking helmet that says "predator" in shiny black lettering on its matte surface! I still wear it anyway.

My basket is hard core! A reader correctly pointed out that I don't use the standard Pashley basket. The Pashley one is cute and wicker and all... but the wicker is thin and the base of the basket is quite narrow which makes it really difficult to carry lots of groceries. All the basket cargo ends up sort of spilling up and over the basket brim. It's alright if you have bungee chords to keep it all down so I still use it on my other bikes since it's easy to detach and attach with little leather buckles.

My non-Pashley basket that I use on the Pashley bike (I hope this isn't confusing you all) has a round and deeper base so the basket is shaped more like a cylinder and less like a cone. More volume means being able to carry way more stuff, and the wicker is thicker and stronger. It also has these two super strong metal prongs so it hooks onto the handlebars and is also easy to detach and attach. I lot of people like the idea of taking the basket to go shopping. I used to do that until I found out that the ends of wicker in the weave would bruise and poke open my peaches and tomatoes. I find it way more convenient to carry a reusable bag (the ones that fold into a little pouch) and just put the bag into the basket.

A tip for you basket users: I found that the basket bottom would bounce around and was putting a dent in that front, vertical tube. Sorry, I'm not a technical bike buff. The tube that the handlebars come out of. To fix this I bought a roll of velcro tape. Cut off a long strip. Wove it through the wicker at the basket's base to create a bit of a puffy cushion. Then I wrap the velcro around the aforementioned vertical tube so it stays put while I'm riding. Ta da!

So my hard core basket is from a place that is no longer in business. So sad. I went to buy Leanne a good basket last week and found a very nice one at redbbike so I'm sure anybody looking for a good wicker basket will find a suitable one. Things to look for are just making sure the mounting apparatus fits on your handlebars (I hate seeing saggy baskets), and that the cargo capacity suits your needs.

When Chelsea was looking for a basket for her Amsterdam we opted for one that mounts on the rear rack. Her handlebars has this gorgeous headlight on it and a basket wouldn't fit. I've also heard of lights being re-wired and mounted elsewhere to make room for baskets but you don't have to if you're satisfied with the back basket. Hers is wire and black. Looks great!

Don bought this one (above) for his rear rack. I find it heavy. He likes it fine, and puts bottles of wine in it with bungees to keep things from falling out. Lining it with some ghetto cardboard also helps keep things from falling through the big squares.

There are all these baskets that have wire cages on top for pets. I find that Dougal is just fine hanging out over the top. If you're bicycling with a pet make sure that his harness/leash are securely fastened to your handlebars. Pets are smart but there is no guarantee!

I heard from a friend that in Japan she would just see ladies put their babies right in their bike baskets! Believe me, I would do the same if I wasn't sure that I would probably get stopped by the cops here and subsequently get reported to social services. Here in non-Japan we're all about rules and safety and fearing for our lives. Yeah yeah yeah...

Even disguised as a bunny, I don't think Dexter and I could get away with it.


Carolyn I said...

Is that a folding bike you are riding in one of the pics? Those are so neat!

On Sat, I saw a couple from Yellowknife that had just got off the Greyhound. They had this very neat Bike Friday Folding Tandem bicycle! I had to check it out..pretty cool. They are going to bike to Prince Rupert.

I like the baskets. I saw someone with the same bike, and he had a basket on front, so I guess I can put one on mine too. :)

And re: shopping, I'm the same with panniers, it's easier to take reusable bags shopping and put them IN the panniers then it would be to take the panniers off and shop with them. I just take my chances with leaving panniers on bike.

Christa said...

Love the wicker basket.

I don't know what's cuter, dog in the basket or bunny baby. :D

Dottie said... absolutely adorable!! he is such a sweetie!

i like your helmet, too, but not as much as your baby :)

Sigrid said...

I'm glad to know about the basket for your Pashley at last. I think I asked you right before the big birthing event. I wonder if there is any way to find out what it is - you know Jorg&Olif just borrowed it from someone, it can't be specific to them. I agree with you on all points on the basket that comes with the Prin.Sov., but I've been limping along with it all summer and using a tote I made that I just tie at the top. Next summer I hope to upgrade. Thanks for the post!

Trisha said...

A baby! In a bunny costume! sorry, but I just can't think about bike baskets after seeing something like that. ;-) But I'll try to offer something more interesting: I prefer baskets that mount on the frame so as not to affect the steering.

inkandpen said...

Dexter is SO adorable in his bunny outfit!

Thanks for the basket roundup. I'm in the market for one, and am fussy about how they fit in front-- the velcro trick is super clever.

I love your blog, and your biking through the end of pregnancy is an inspiration. Thanks!

Lovely Bicycle! said...

Hey, thanks for this post! I was the reader who asked about the non-standard Pashley basket. I anticipate having the same problems you described on my Princess, so I've been looking for an alternative basket. I think that the one you bought from J&O is a Basil, either the Detroit or the Dover. Good tip re the wicker cutting into vegetables. And very cute bunny you got there!

Sigrid said...

LB ~ Basil was my assumption as well, but I'm not sure anyone here carries them. Have you seen these in person and how does the size compare with the Prin.Sov. standard issue? I'll be curious to see what you decide on so I can ask for it for Christmas.☺

Miss S ~ btw your bunny is indeed very cute!

Ladies ~ next summer...Pashley meet-up...

Morgan said...

I love all the practicality of this post and then the bunny surprise at the end, which is such adorable icing that it made me come completely undone. Oh. Mah. Gawd.... he's *adorable*.

burrito said...

1. I am generally pretty resistant to cute babies but that bunny photo SLAYS me with its cuteness.

2. I have the same kayak helmet for biking (I believe I saw it on you and went looking for it)... and I'm still alive.

3. Basil bags are awesome. I got my boy a chic laptop pannier, very functional and stylish. For Vancouver people, Rain City Bikes carries their stuff. I wish I could fit their girly panniers on my Dahon Curve.

4. Yay for being back on the bike!

Milady said...

I have a helmet like that too... a Bern Muse... in deep red. I really wouldn't been seen dead in a normal cycling helmet if I had any choice at all! I have to admit I don't often wear it but I don't cycle in traffic that much.
very cool info about the baskets! I was looking up for a friend to make her bike more adorable.
Actually really like that top you are wearing in the photo!

His Sir Legend Koolness said...

Well, I think that the baskets are obviously for women, but what about the men.This is why I had to make my own.

wicker storage baskets said...

Love the wicker basket. the little dog and baby in the baskets are so cute!

Girls and Bicycles All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger