Friday, 8 February 2013

a case for baskets from a basket case

Do you like my new basket?

Before I had my basket I was a basket case. Life is full of stuff, right? Whether you're walking, or in a car or on a bike, you've always got stuff. I used to be the bag buddy, and then I got a basket and my balance and my back are both the better for it, and suddenly life is full of sunshine and lollipops.

Oh who am I kidding?  It still rains here in the rainforest, and I am still a basket case, only now I am a basket case with a basket. Why am I a basket case?  Because I have been through five of them in the two years I've had this bike.  I got a great deal on the bike, but now I've spent half again on baskets!

The last one lasted the longest, 

but it broke in the end

just like all the others.

 It doesn't make sense.
 I never throw more than a bottle of wine, my camera bag, and my purse in there.
And the bike never ever falls over.

I need a basket built like a tank.

Or a brick ...

Hey. S*!t stuff happens.

 Right, Dirty?  
 (Sorry about yer luck, sunshine.) 

from   Drunk Cyclist
Stuff happens a lot.  That's why I like hard things.
 Titanium suits me better than plastic, as sweet and springy as it can be. 

I love this Colnago, but my Lynskey suits me better, because
  I like to ride hard and I like to ride fast and I like to do it every day.

And I can be hard on things.

This appears to be a function of my tribe of genetic mutation.  I am definitely a carrier, because my son has the same condition, poor thing.

It's a good thing the man is strong. 
He put an industrial basket on one of his bikes. 

I put a ding in it. 

Just a little ding, but that is one sturdy basket - it looks like something out of Mad Max, doesn't it? I put a ding in it the very first time he rode with it, and I didn't even have to touch his bike to do it.
It's like magic or something.  

I parked my bike and walked away and a great gust of wind came along and blew it to the ground, taking his along as collateral damage.  His bike broke the fall and protected my wicker basket, and it shows. 

He didn't flinch. Just nodded and said "That's about right. Just under an hour."

It's always that way with Bea bike and baskets.  I'd blame it on basket gremlins, but grown-ups don't believe in gremlins so let's call it the winds of fate.  They come along and blow the bike over, and the basket bounces off the pavement, which is never good.

This new basket is wicker.  I love how it sits upright like that. So pretty. Did I tell you that it's wicker?  Lovely, bendy, biodegradable wicker.

I hear laughter on the wind.

 (Georgia St Viaduct, separated bike lane)

Yeah, it probably won't last long. 
I'll be a basket case all over again as I watch it fall apart, because life is full of stuff, and it's good to have a safe place to put your stuff when you're riding. Our landfills are full of stuff, too, and I have contributed more than my share of basket parts and pieces to the mix over the last two years. 

Only now that I've had a basket for a bit, I don't know how I ever did without it.


  1. You know, I've always been a big rack and pannier guy, but a basket could prove very handy sometimes I bet... the heavy one your man uses has got me thinkin' now.

  2. Two baskets enter one basket leaves.

    I'm a backpack guy but I kind of hate it in the summer when it gets hot. I like the man's front loader. Seems I've seen them before but can't remember where. Who is the maker of it? I think a heavy basket like that would look great on my commuter. The only thing I'm usually carrying around is my lunchbox which would fit nicely.

  3. I also got tired of the sweaty back and top heavy feel of a backpack or messenger bag, so I also went to a rack and pannier setup. The Axiom products are great! I also believe that they're a Canadian bikecycling products company...

  4. ...a limerick-ial poem of common sense & physics - by bikesgonewild...

    ..."...a tisket, a tasket,
    babbles got a brand new basket.
    but laws of physics be damned,
    in that basket she'll have crammed,
    too much stuff which will ultimately trash it..."

    ...okay...the wicker looks great on your daily electrababe but study that side photo & think of the 'lever principal' & how any weight in your wicker creates serious stress at the point(s) of contact...

    ...for eons, old style baskets had two leather straps that directly attached the basket to the handlebar & a third point of contact might be the back edge of the wicker riding against the frame..., without belaboring the point, your electrababe needs some type of rack-like support from beneath which could be simply fashioned & attached to the lower portion of the stem (thus turning with the bars n' basket) & ergo, thus relieving the lever principal & the ensuing stress...

    ...most baskets, dear heart, no matter their construct, prob'ly go on bikes that get ridden 'lightly' or 'on occasion' & it's no insult to say, that ain't you... of luck for years of riding with your (soon hopefully adapted) "a tisket, a tasket, brand new wicker basket"...

    ...smiley face thingy...

  5. ...addendum to my solution because obviously you use panniers as needed but it's also clear that you do enjoy the elegance & practicality of having a basket up front as well...

    ...besides, a white wicker basket sets off & looks damn good on 'bea', your electrababe... the risk of offending or stiffling 'the man' & his own creativity, i'd suggest finding the right clamp (gonna involve a bit of searching @ bike or hardware stores) that both fits the lower portion of the stem & could be adapted to fit two extension pieces in either round or flat stock in steel or thick-ish aluminum, which would simply project out & under the bottom corners of the basket & help bear the load, thus taking pressure off the over stressed original contact points...

    ...not really all that complicated & somebody gets to have her cake & eat it too...without having to buy a new cake twice a year because of shoddy, ahhh, cake making...

    ...just sayin'...

    1. The man said thanks. He's going to give it a go...

      Watch this space for an integrated basket brace a la BGW.

    2. ...good luck, bud & i hope i haven't opened a bigger can of worms here...

      ...the only 'problem' is that we're both looking to retro-fit a solution to somebody else's little 'engineering feat' with it's built in stress risers...(like so many modern day products)...

      ...the basket itself looks great & although i can't see all the plasticky mounting bits, i'm sure somebody thought it was all very clever with one doo-hickey fitting into this other thing-a-ma-jig but as i mentioned before, what was ignored was the basic, simple concept of suspending weight out & away using insufficient mounting points & how that multiplies the lever effect...

      ...might be easier & better to try & retro-fit it 'old school'...get rid of most of the plasticky bits, strap the basket directly to bars with toestraps & if the bottom edge wears paint off the headtube, so be it...

      ...either way, babble, if anyone will put to the test whatever solution is applied, it's you & that's a testiment to how much time you spend on a bike & thus a compliment...

      ...again, good luck...

  6. I looked around and found this bolt on basket It's a little smaller but I like how you can keep your current bar setup. Thanks to the man for the idea and you babs for posting the pic.

    1. Wow! You're good. I was just about to mention that it's an EVO alloy integrated handlebar basket, but you're already there!