A lot of our friends are surprised that we don’t have car here in London. Even those who are living in London themselves. Well, it’s not only that you don’t need it. It really would be a burden. “But how do you manage the weekend shopping?” usually is the next question. The answer is rather easy: We got our Bromptons.
Time and again I’m myself stunned by the fact how much stuff you can carry on those tiny little folding bicycles. Probably things would be more complicated if we had kids. But a typical two person household in central London can easily sustain itself without any car.
We usually jointly ride to the supermarket once a week. Quite often, one of us waits outside and has an eye on the bikes. Alternatively we lock one bike and put the other one into the shopping cart. If we really have to buy a lot of stuff, we take two shopping carts (each one then carries one bike).
Here’s an example of a typical Saturday shopping spree to our local Waitrose. Among other stuff we’ve bought the following items:
- two six-packs of 1.5 litre Buxton (18 litres of water)
- two six-packs of Beck’s alcohol free beer (3,3 litres of beer)
- 3 litres of milk
- 6 apples
- 8 pots of milk rice
- 4 post of yoghurt
- 6 smoothies
- 1 toilet cleaner
All of this stuff has been carried home on our two bikes. The most important thing for such an endeavour is the folding basket for the front carrier block. For the second Brompton we have an O-bag, but compared to the folding basket it only carries a fraction of the stuff. On top of that I have an Ortlieb backpack.
Here is how we’ve packed: One six-pack of Buxtons and 2 liters of milk went into my backpack. My wife carried the second six-pack of Buxtons on the rack of her Brompton. The beer bottles were put into the O-bag (separately, we left the cartridge in the store because the six-packs would have been too bulky. ) The other stuff was put into the folding basket
You could carry even more stuff with two Bromptons. All you need is a second rack, a second folding basket and a second backpack.
And you will never need any plastic bag again!