I was a little skeptical when Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycles started talking up Wald wire bike baskets. They are super inexpensive, like $20, and looked pretty basic.
Then I started thinking about better ways to carry my suit jacket for my short trips from my home office to work appointments. In my job as a journalist I make regular trips to the Capitol and downtown from our home in southwest Washington. The fastest way, by far, is to ride. I get most anywhere in 15 minutes or less and I enjoy some fresh air in the process.
In really warm weather I was rolling my jacket carefully and carrying it on my back in one of those nylon backpack-sacks with the cords. That wasn’t the best solution.
Then, I heard Grant on a radio show talking about his book Just Ride. He said one way to ride in a suit was to fold up the jacket and put it into a front basket.
Voila! Now it made sense. I ordered a Wald 137 from my bike shop and installed it on my old Cannondale tourer that I use around town. It fit perfectly between the brake levers.
Installation couldn’t have been easier. The legs bolted to the front fork eyelets and the clamps fit over the handlbars. I bought a Topeak net to keep things from flying out. Total cost? About $30 for both.
Today I stopped by the store and picked up a few things that fit well into the basket without overloading the bike. I felt like I was in Paris riding home with my groceries from the market.
A cyclist looking to add carrying capacity without a lot of fuss will be glad to see one of these under the tree. It’s solid, inexpensive, and humbly stylish.
Tomorrow: the annual Randonneurmas chapeau post.