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Bulk Freight Carrier: a Triumph and a Failure

March 3, 2010

Yesterday I made two trips with my (I thought) trusty bulk freight carrier.  I went (where else) to the Lowe’s to exchange some of the human-electricity interface devices and to purchase some plumbing supplies in the afternoon.  Then that evening Jennifer and I met at Home Depot to pick out the kitchen floor, cabinets and counters (she in Michigan and I in Philadelphia).

The shopping at the Lowe’s went well, I thought I got everything properly picked out for exchanging, and got nearly all of my plumbing supplies.  At that point I looked to see what time it was and panicked a little.  I had only 20 minutes until Jennifer thought she would get off work at which point I was supposed to be ready to leave home for the Home Depot.  So I rushed to the checkout figuring I could pick up anything I missed here later at the Home Depot, made my purchases and went out to load it all up.

That was when I realized one of the things I hadn’t gotten was extra bungy cords.  Part of my shopping had included 3 pieces 1.5 inch diameter 10 foot lengths of PVC Drain-Vent-Waste pipe and 1 piece of .5 inch 10 foot long copper pipe.  The last time I’d transported long items from the Lowe’s (trim for the bathroom) they were all I’d been bringing back, so I slid the back end through the rack on the back of my bike and bungy corded the front to the handlebars.  This time, however, I had my bulk freight cargo hold on the rack and it requires a bungy cord to hold it (and the cargo) in place.  I, having only 1 bungy cord to use, had put bungy cords on my list.  I even wrote it in all capital letters so I wouldn’t forget them, but in my panic over the time hadn’t picked them up.  So, I just went ahead and loaded everything up.  I bungy corded the back and hoped that my handlebars being lower in the middle would be enough to keep everything going in the right direction during the trip home.  And it was.  I was also concerned about the width of the pipes bruising my legs or making the bike unrideable or something.  They were definitely awkward, but didn’t hurt at all.

Hurray for the bulk freight carrier.

I got home about 10 minutes after Jennifer had thought she’d be off, but that worked out just fine because she wasn’t able to get away until even later than that.  So, when she called, I headed for the Home Depot, 4 miles away.  It drizzled on the way there, but wasn’t too bad.  (I’d checked the weather and it wasn’t supposed to start snowing until after midnight, so I was hopeful it wouldn’t get any worse.)  I even managed to find a place to lock my bike under their huge drive-through, awning-covered loading space.  Jennifer and I had a pretty successful conference on the kitchen stuff, and I picked out things that remained from my Lowe’s shopping list (even finding some electrical supplies that Lowe’s doesn’t carry and I had been thinking I’d have to do without).  I also looked into their rental prices for a hammer drill, which turned out to be only $20 less than buying their least expensive one, so I am now a proud hammer drill owner.

I crammed all that in my bag, then I walked my bike over to the BJ’s for a bulk grocery shopping trip while talking to Jennifer.  I made my selections, purchased them, loaded them into my cargo hold, and started for home.  And felt a thunk thunkthunk.  I stopped, got off my bike and found that the back tire was flat.  So, I got to push my bike home.  And had lots of time to think about how heavy it was.  I’d made a bit of an indulgent purchase and gotten a gallon of apple cider, which I’d been craving for a while.  That brought my liquids up to 4 gallons.  And “a pint’s a pound, the world around,” right?  Which brings water in at 8 lbs. a gallon, and I assume juice and milk similar.  I figure I probably had at least 50 lbs. on the back of my bike and another 20 or so in my bag.  And a 4 mile walk with it all.  I kept an eye out for a taxi.  I figured my bike probably wouldn’t fit in the trunk, but if I happened across one, I’d give it a try.  Unfortunately all the taxis I saw (and I did see several) were in the last mile or so.  By that point I figured that either the back wheel and/or tire already were damaged or wouldn’t be at all by the experience, and I wasn’t going to become any more miserable, so I just kept walking.  I did finally make it home, and all the frozen things were still frozen and the croissants didn’t look too smooshed.

Poor bulk freight carrier.

So, perhaps not a complete failure (though I haven’t checked the wheel or tire, yet), but definitely not something I’d label triumphant.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 3, 2010 5:44 pm

    😦 That is a sad, sad story. I am sorry and hope you have a better day today and with David tomorrow. Yay!

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