Does the thought of carrying a heavy load of market impulse buys or a week’s worth of groceries stop you from riding to market? On Sunday, July 27, Citizen’s for Safe Cycling will be hosting “This little bike goes to market”, a display and information booth focused on how to transport market goodies, run errands, and carry the kids all on two-wheels. Local residents will be there to show you their bike systems (i.e. cargo bikes, long-tails) and chat you with about ways they get around.

But first, here are our top 5 reasons to carry more on your bike:

1. You have stuff to carry and you’re riding your bike. Panniers, front baskets, milk crates zip tied to your back rack are all great ways to carry your loads on your bike without having to carry the load yourself in a backpack.

Many panniers now convert to messenger bags. So if you’re carrying a lightish load, once you arrive at your destination, you can unhook your pannier, take out the strap, and comfortably carry your stuff.

2. Your children are too young to ride their own bikes part or all of the way.

Front and back seats, bike trailers, long-tail bikes and other cargo bikes are all great ways to carry young children. When the kids are getting old enough to ride their own bikes some of the time, it’s often convenient to be able to carry the child’s bike part of the way for longer trips. Sometimes you’ll want to carry the bike (and the child) through busy streets until you arrive at a bike path where your child can ride on her/his own without motorized traffic. Other times you’ll need a back-up plan as your child starts riding further on her/his own bike, but tires on the way home.

3. You went shopping.

Bike parking is often conveniently located and doesn’t usually require a long walk across a parking lot. Whether you’ve picked up a little or a lot, being able to put your packages on your bike without having to carry them very far adds to the ease of shopping by bike.

4. You need to carry something heavy or large a short distance.

Bungee cords are very helpful for strapping down the large object. Strategically placing the weight evenly in both panniers helps balance your bike under a heavy load. If your load is very heavy or awkward, sometimes it makes the most sense to arrange it on your bike and walk home.

5. It’s fun.

Most people who carry people or stuff on their bikes enjoy the companionship and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from being able to cart a load home and enjoy a bike ride.

Guest post by Kathleen Wilker, a avid cyclists and member of Citizen for Safe Cycling board.

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