A rack on every bike for the chicken in every pot

Don't be a plastic bag toting salmon! Not that there's anything wrong with salmon. If you are a salmon don't hang grocery bags off your handle bars. We're only teasing cyclists who ride the wrong way (aka salmon) because we worry about you so. Those plastic shopping bags could get caught in the spokes or break and you'd waste the liter bottles of Mountain Dew and bags of Doritos.

Here's a better idea and it's made in the US of A.

Ride your bike, be fabulous, get a rack, equip it with a basket. The rack itself is imported but check out the folding basket pictured in our profile.


Paniers (bags/packs meant to clip on a bike rack) are great but you can only use them if you have the bag itself. Want to pick up Theo organic chocolate or bags of dog chow on the way home and don't have the Ortleib bag? You're out of luck. And Theo chocolate will melt in your jersey pocket.

I test rode to the farm market. Folded flat to the side when not in use I could barely sense it there. I expected to hear rattles at least over potholes, the rail road track but it was quiet. K easily found the sweet spot on the bike mounting the rack far enough back that I don't hit my heel pedaling but not off the back of the rack. It balances well.

The rack assembled easily with readily available tools; hex wrench and a screw driver, a little time and patience, a gin and tonic.

The basket folds out quickly. A simple spring loaded clip at the top keeps it flat against the side of your bike when not in use. Just squeeze the basket further closed and it easily releases upwards, the basket opens up, fold the bottom down and there's a built in catch. All I needed was the shopping bag or could have just tossed in the bags of vegies and fruits.

Before I had this system I could pick up items that would fit in my pack or bag. But anything that could smoosh like fresh cherries and strawberries, fresh baked scones and even eggs were off limits. So I shopped till I dropped, watched the World Cup at the coffee shop, tossed the bags in the basket, tuck the straps in and take off.

How's the balance now with a bag full of groceries on my left? I experimented with a dirt path by the road. I'm a diehard road cyclist who rides an old mountain bike for errands, commutes. Generally I'm a wimp about off-road or even unpaved paths. A little gravel, some big tree roots and it was fine. I did not even notice the extra weight.

How's the balance with 2 gallons of Dexcool coolant? Also great. During a recent bout with car problems I rode to the local auto supply store to pick up coolant just in case I needed it to limp to the mechanic. Employees at the store thought I'd fall over sideways with the load. Off I sped balancing easily.

However if you plan to tour or will be using this for frequent shopping or larger, bulkier load get two baskets. The cost, weight and time to install is small. It would give you the chance to balance loads.

One possible extra benefit is visibility. The Wald basket can be mounted either on the right or left or both. Now that I have one I see a lot of my fellow Wald'ers have them on the right. Is that because most people are right handed? But we felt that set up on the left makes me seem "bigger" even though it only extends about 2" further than my pedal.

The increased visibility to drivers and maybe giving me a little more room is worth it.


I promised you good socks.

I tried my first significant foot event and got silver dollar sized blisters. See this post http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/2010/04/and-were-walking.html

Since that painful day I've been looking for the right socks. The Wright sock is made in USA, it is the first double layer sock I've found.

Ultra thin layer inside wicks moisture. Thicker layer outside. The two layers slide on each other instead of your foot. Your foot stays dry and friction free.

My fave shoe guys/gals at Fleet Feet said they might stop carrying these and called the technology outdated. Hey, who cares as long as it works. We're a retro family, we like lugged steel bikes and wool. So I gave it a try.

The inner layer is so smooth, felt like nylons putting it on. I feared it might bunch up but it stayed where it's supposed to be. Outer layer did the job of wicking. My one complaint is I like a bit of support in the toe from a sock, reinforcement or slightly thicker.

But I have a broken big toe so you, gentle reader might not miss that. Most of my socks have a bit of reinforcement there and I felt the lack of it. A couple long walks and I was sore on both attempts. But I'm going to give these socks another try on a longer distance and maybe at the track. To avoid blisters on a foot event my feet must stay dry and friction free.