Veggie Hauling with the No-Brainer DIY Box ‘n’ Rack


Ever find yourself in a pickle like this:

You’re at the farmer’s market with your so-called girlfriend getting all carried away with sampling apples, debating pumpkin varieties, and haggling over prices of buckets of yogurt.  A mere 40 minutes of local-food perusing and $30 later, your limbs are loaded down with re-usable grocery bags like nobody’s business.  Good thing I spent all those evenings bouldering and I have tons of finger strength for lifting groceries, because lord knows there is no other reason for all that finger strength…! Oh yeah, and you borrowed your friend’s roommate’s bike and there’s a good 25 minute ride ahead of you.

What to DO, Bike Commuters?!

Not an unlikely situation if you are visiting your friend, Mo, in DC, the same weekend as the National Women’s Bicycling Forum, and you are a veteran Pike Place Market veggie hawker like me. The combination is ruthless. You end up with two enthusiastic cycle ladies in a pile of vegetables, and a rear rack with bungees is just not gonna cut it. Damn those floppy cloth bags and that pumpkin! Yes, we bought a pumpkin, hauled it, cooked it, and ate it like the good green-blooded NorCal hippies that we are.


Anyway, the solution for the Farmer’s Market overload?

Enter the last-minute Veggie Hauling No-Brainer DIY Box ‘n’ Rack. Recipe below:

Prep Time: 20 minutes for collecting ingredients

Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • (1) plastic cube/crate free from the bread vendors
  • (6) removable neon zip ties from the CVS across the street
  • (1) existing rear-mounted bike rack
  • (2) opposable thumbs
  • (1) friend, also with (2) opposable thumbs




  • First, sit on your bike saddle and have a friend with opposable thumbs position the crate  with a couple inches of clearance for your bum, so you don’t end up crowding your bum with the Box ‘n’ Rack as you pedal. Center the box on the rack.
  • Second, have said friend hold the rack in place, as you zip tie the hell out of it in 6 different places from the bottom of the rack to permanently secure the crate.
  • Third, throw in your veggie bag and pedal on home, without grocery bags swinging from the handle bars!




The DIY Box ‘n’ Rack is such a no-brainer, almost any farmer’s market/flea market-goer can pull it off in a matter of minutes. So worth the minimal effort for no dangerous swinging bags of groceries near your front wheel on the bike ride home.

Try it, you’ll like it!




  1. IdahoSpud

    Transportation/commuter cyclists learn to be resourceful, and these ladies did us proud! One of the few down-sides to riding a bicycle everywhere is the down-sized ability to haul stuff.

    How do I deal with it?

    Well, occasionally I’m dealing with one (or two or four) “dangerous swinging bags near the front wheel.” I tend to do this when the ride to my destination is short and slow over VERY well-known terrain, and preferably where I’m not sharing a lane with motor vehicles.

    When I KNOW I’ll be transporting stuff during my day’s or trip’s activities, I hook up the trusty BOB trailer… that thing will haul a buttload of stuff!

    I also mostly have available a particularly cool fanny pack – it’s called the Kelty “Cardinal.” Usually deployed as a standard fanny pack, with enough room to haul my sack lunch, checkbook, MP3 player and ‘phones, sunglasses, small digital camera. BUT… it can be expanded into a full-fledged small daypack-like device, with shoulder straps and enough room for about a good-size shoebox worth of stuff. Pumpkin? No way! But a cantaloupe and a pound of apples and some asparagus would do just fine.

  2. Mir.I.Am (Post author)

    @Spud – Glad you liked our last minute ensemble. The best part is, Mo had been meaning to put some type of basket either on the front or back of her bike, “Cherry” for ages. The pumpkin was just the catalyst we needed for our makeshift farmer’s market setup! I just encountered the same issue today with my bike, also a Schwinn, that is rackless and basket/crateless. I ended up very slowly riding home and walking up the steep hill with three bags of veggies and a backpack with my computer. Looks like someone needs to get a Box ‘n’ Rack of her own.
    IdahoSpud, link me up to this crazy fanny pack/backpack! I want one!

  3. Mo

    Woooo! The trick is having a friend who finally makes you get stuff done, rather than just talking about it. I love my new crate even though right now it’s so snowy again that I mostly just gaze admiringly at my bike and crate as they sit in the hallway.

  4. Ward Campbell

    Mo–you make your parents proud. Now, we will never have to buy you a car.
    Miriam–your a hoot. Thanks for saving us all that money buying Mo a car someday!

  5. Ward Campbell

    Actually, Miriam “you’re” a hoot

  6. Ghost Rider

    I love it! I saw hundreds of milk crates strapped to bikes last time I was in Minneapolis…it was like the “official” must-have bike accessory there.

    Pray tell — where is this farmer’s market you speak of? Because, you know, I am moving to that area in a few short days. Mo, feel like giving a stranger a bike tour of the city?

  7. IdahoSpud

    Oops! I referred to the Kelty Cardinal as a “fanny pack,” and I guess that’s old school. Now they call ’em “lumbar packs,” probably to avoid fanny offense.

    Here’s a writeup I did when I bought it. (Five years ago, and it’s still going strong.)

    I found it available at the Cabelas website.

  8. Quien

    For all of you who are following Clara’s Big Ride, she’s biking another 109 km on her charity bike ride, making her way to Kitchener today. You can learn more about the planned events for the evening and amazing things to do in the city here

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