Today I loaded my bike up for the first time at the local grocery store. When I moved it off the kickstand I was completely unprepared for the weight shift and almost dropped it as the front wheel shot off to the right and the handle bars dived for the ground. Immediately I felt completely incapable of riding it home and was sure I would eat dirt before the trip was done. I decided to push the bike to the sidewalk and distance myself from the people going in and out of the store (didn't need spectators seeing me make an idiot of myself), so I got to the sidewalk and I'm standing there wrestling with the bike when a bus decides to stop and pick me up and I'm not even at the bus stop! He realizes his mistake and continues to the end of the block where a guy is patiently waiting for him. I venture a leg over the bike and take off down the sidewalk, hoping the bus will take off so I can stealthily slip onto the road and get home before eating dirt. Alas the bus driver decides to wait and watch me as I cycle by, possibly he wants another look at "that cool orange bike", but most likely he was hoping I was going to give him some morning entertainment by falling on my arse! Luckily I made it along the sidewalk, slipped onto the road, nipped down a side street and with amazing gracefulness I road home with no wobbling at all!
I attempted to balance the load by stuffing the smaller pannier on the left with really heavy items like milk, laundry detergent, a large jar of sauerkraut, two packages of tofu and a can of baked beans. I filled Jack's seat with easily crushed items like bread, tortillas, eggs and toilet paper. The large Go-Getter got stuffed with all the rest, including fruits, veggies, cereal, cookies, tea, coffee and butter.
I realized today that I might be one of the only long tail bike owners who does not own a single bungee cord, so I shall remedy that as soon as possible. I think a bucket attached with a bungee behind the smaller pannier would be really useful. This trip did a lot to boost my confidence with the bike and it felt really good to know I'd eliminated the need to use our vehicle.