The dogs were barking at me.  Everett was crying and holding an empty bottle.  I think the refrigerator flipped me off…  It was time to stop messing around with pannier shopping and hook up the trailer for a heavy load.

I thought I had a great grocery-getting system figured out.  I bought a large plastic tote that fit inside the trailer.  Once I arrived and locked up at the store, the tote was going into a shopping cart and all my groceries would go into that.  Then they would all come out at checkout, go back into the tote again and then I would put the whole thing in to the trailer and ride away.  But the tote didn’t quite fit in properly.  It bounced around and tipped over because of the lowered foot area of the floor.   I wasn’t ready for a 30 – 40 pound container to spill groceries everywhere.  So I turned to my old friend the Ikea Bag…

I brought two with me to Kroger.  I had a pretty long list and wasn’t sure if two bags would cut it, but in the end everything worked out great.  After emptying my cart at the checkout, I opened up both bags and placed them in the cart, telling the cashier to put everything in those and not to use any plastic bags.  Note:  Bringing your own shopping bags hasn’t quite caught on yet at our Kroger.  I’ve given my bags to the baggers many times and turned away to pay only to find that they bagged the groceries in plastic first (heavy items double-bagged) and then put them in the cloth bags.
Once outside, it was super easy loading everything up.  Here’s what it looked like:

My cargo weighed in around 85 pounds – about half of the trailer’s weight-carrying capacity.  The ride was obviously a bit slower than usual, but the braking and maneuvering of my Bianchi Volpe remained excellent.

The Ikea bags had a very useful advantage over the tote – they’re flexible and shape themselves to utilize the maximum space inside the trailer (and also keep items from shifting too much.)

Before I partook this bike-trailer grocery-quest, I had built up this idea in my over-thinking head that I really needed to figure out how to lock everything up once at the store.  Should I bring two U-locks?  One U-lock and a cable lock?  One giant chain?  Should I just bring my dog and leave her tied up next to it? I researched this a bit beforehand, but the interwebs didn’t have much information when I googled .  In the end, I locked up to the front door shopping cart corral – Bike with U-lock and trailer with cable lock.  I think this is sufficient, though I will probably use two U-locks in the future (just in case.)

So finally, the dogs are quiet, the baby’s asleep and the refrigerator and I are back on good terms…