I see amazing pics of folks in third world countries 'strapping it on'. And get your mind out of the gutter...what I mean by strap on is how much crap can you actually load on your bike and actually still ride.
This was running through my mind Friday, as I was ready to leave the work fitness center for home. Here is how my commuting schedule works. Monday - drive to work and take all the clothes I think I'll need for the gym and changing after commute rides. The rest of the week is committed to figuring out which days would be the best for riding, and whether or not I took enough clothes for changing into once I get there. Along with this, I haul my normal daily Carradice kit and lunch bag. Friday - drive to work and haul all the gear I dragged in during the week back home. Sometimes, however, I decide to ride on Friday (especially on super nice days). So here I sat, wondering how I was going to get my pile of laundry back home. If we plan on being in the area during the weekend, say, at the grocery store we might drive in just to pick up my gym bag. Sometimes, that's just a pain in the arse.
So here I was on Friday afternoon wondering how I was going to get this big pile of clothes home. Hey, I've got a bike, a couple of bungee cords and a nice Tubus rack that should be able to handle a good sized load. I stuffed my gym bag completely full....when I mean completely I could not get another item in there without it bursting at the seams. Grabbed the Carradice bag, the lunch bag, and the massively stuffed gym bag and dragged it all to parking garage, commuter bike waiting.
It took me a couple of trial and error runs but I managed to figure out how to lash everything somewhat semi-securely to the rack. Was it a bit precarious? Was it a bit top heavy? Did I look like a third-world cycling pack mule commuter camping trip experiment? Yes, yes, and YES.
Actually as long as I kept moving carefully (no sudden turns, stops, or stiff breezes) it wasn't too bad. I just had to make sure when I stopped I didn't lean too far over. And I did have to stop twice and readjust my load as it tended to shift a bit. And I didn't really mind the extra 30 pounds or so of laundry hanging off the back of my bike. I just crossed my fingers and kept pedaling.
The picture (which I will attach soon...I haven't quite figured out how to do this on my iPad yet so I'll have to boot up the laptop) is worth a couple thousand words. Next time I'll tow a bob trailer :>)