As most of you already know, I'm a big fan of bike boxes, which are small storage compartments you can put on the back of a rear rack. They're secure, roomy, look different and weatherproof. Best of all: it shows the world you are not a 'serious' cyclist.
But what's serious to me is getting a Whole Foods rotisserie chicken home while it is still hot. Not every bike box (or bike bag, for that matter) can do that, so if transporting the heroin of poultry is serious business for you too, only a large bike box will do.
This is course is my even better bike box which was made with an old Perry Scott motorcycle trunk box I found in the Metal Only bin. After stripping out the rusty metal rack and replacing the lock I had myself a beautiful trunk box that could hold two chickens and a variety of produce (and of course bike tools). For the moment it's on my $8 'winter only' bike as I've found the cargo space useful for bake good runs to Lorca.
(By the way: if you haven't been to Lorca yet, you need to go: not only is my bike themed art still displayed there, but their alfajore cookies are the opposite of an 'enhanced interrogation technique' if you get my meaning).
Regular readers are also familiar with the first, non-chicken carrying bike box I made as well as a cargo trailer I built using the hardware for a Bike Friday suitcase. The trailer is great but I know not everybody can afford or have space in their homes for one - you may be interested in getting a bike box on a budget.
If you don't want to go the box route, you can get a trunk bag like this one, which has panniers that fold out of the side compartments and fold back in when not in use.
You can also buy bulky saddlebags, and if you are so inclined you can add plastic inserts to the inside so they keep their shape.
A local bike shop will help you out with both options - and a few may even carry a bike box or be willing to order one for you. However, I have found a loophole in bike box shopping that I will share with you here.
First, go to eBay.
Second, type in a search for: "hard scooter motorcycle luggage box."
Third, feast your eyes on the magnificent search results.
I will cut to the end of the page here: I have bought one of these black things that resemble a space alien's head. While the prices vary, I can tell you that most of them are less than $40 - and are shipped free.
Now these may not be not super high-quality boxes but they're fairly light, and if they're good enough for a motorcycle or a scooter, they're good enough for bikes too. They also come with the hardware to allow them to be attached easily to your rear rack. Here's a bottom view:
And the one I got has a backrest built it. So if you own a recumbent and your shoulders rise above your seat, a strategically mounted 'Made in China' trunk box will fit perfectly on the back.
Inside there is room for all the tools you'll need and a rotisserie chicken. Because the lid opens forward, this won't work on most normal bikes because the seatpost would get in the way of the hinge.
I mentioned the boxes aren't the greatest quality; when I rode I found an annoying rattle but I dealt with it swiftly by covering the latch with a piece of black electrical tape.
Best of all: because it is a hard surface I can put my site name on the box.
So there you have it. Like I said, your local bike shop will help you out if you're looking for cargo space for your ride (and that is the first place you should go) but if you need a slightly wacky but practical cargo box that can carry a rotisserie chicken - and aren't inclined to make a bike box on your own - eBay is waiting. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.