Milk Crate Bicycle

I’m working on DIY solutions for storage on my bicycle. Looking around at useful stuff I see, one of the most common, hipster, useful, cheap, and crunchy things to do is to simply bungee a plastic milk crate on to your rear rack.

Milk Crate Bike in the reading area in Klyde Warren Park.

Milk Crate Bike in the reading area in Klyde Warren Park.
(click to enlarge)

The Dallas Morning News Reading & Games Room area in Klyde Warren Park is one of my favorite spots in the city. It is a quiet, leafy, relaxing spot, with games and stuff to look at. I was there for a few minutes to catch my breath. The powers that be came by and made this woman move her bike (it was leaning against a tree) – but she didn’t seem to be too bothered by it all. I’m afraid that I had already given in to The Man and had my bike locked up on the official bike racks.

So sue me.

2 responses to “Milk Crate Bicycle

  1. Hi Bill,

    Having commuted with a rear crate for a while, I discovered a few things:
    a) top heavy, especially if you are carrying something more than a lightly loaded backpack. When carrying a box of books, this was murder, I could barely keep the bike upright when walking it around.
    b) butt-room: the crate often ends up too close to the seat and can be uncomfortable
    c) u-bolts are better than bungees for keeping it on

    So, there are a few other things you can do if you have bungees and 4-gal square buckets: you can pretty tightly bungee square buckets to either side of your rear rack, the flarings on the buckets often rest well on the sides of the rack. Also with a pair of 6″ 1×2 wooden flashing and u-bolts, you can attach the boards to your front fork with the u-bolts and mount a pair of buckets with bungees low in front. This forward area is the most stable place to put a heavy load.

    Also, square buckets come with lids (think rain, wind) and also present better mounting surface for reflective (and subversive) stickers.

    Also if you’re going around with a load, I suggest keeping an eye out for a two-footed kickstand.


    • Thanks for the comment and the ideas. I’ve looked at the plastic bucket DIY panniers, but am working with two military surplus “mussette” bags. I do have some big, cheap Wal-Mart panniers that work well for grocery trips.

      I do have some light plastic boxes with locking lids that work well (you can see a small, blue one on my front rack in a lot of my photos). People make fun of all the stuff I strap on my bike – but for me it’s about organization. I want to have everything pre-packed so I can go out for whatever reason (commuting, photography, writing, laptop, hot weather, rain etc.) without having to think to much about what to take..

      I’ll write up a “how-to” when I come up with a system that I like.

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