For a long time we were hacking our way through carrying stuff on our bike. If it fit in a pannier: great. If it didn’t: not so great. We started experimenting with bungee cords when we carried our Christmas tree home on the Kona MinUte. But things slid around. The Christmas tree was okay with enough cords, but a bag of groceries or a box of CSA vegetables was a disaster.
I don’t remember why I thought to try a bungee net. It may have been during the period when I was scouring Amazon for any recommended bicycle accessory that would help us carry things. (I have an Amazon Prime membership through work, and during this time I tested the patience of both my office receptionist and of Amazon’s generous return policy.) I think the bungee net cost maybe $6. It is possibly the best money I’ve ever spent on my bicycle.
Most of my grocery shopping happens at work—there are three grocery stores within walking distance, hooray for urban living, and they are never crowded on weekdays at lunch time. But I tend to overestimate my ability to carry groceries on the bike, even if I remember a second pannier, and frequently ended up putting the bike on the shuttle and carrying a couple of bags of groceries and some boxes on board. This is a hassle and the timing never worked well. Enter the bungee net.
I have yet to discover the limits of my bungee net. We have used it to carry a box containing 20 pounds of apples on the rack, various bulky items including a bulk pack of pull-ups (when the preschool still demanded them for naps), and I strap paper grocery bags directly to the rack when I go out of town and come home to discover that no one has been to the store in my absence so we need milk and fruit and vegetables and cheese and yogurt and cereal and bread. We used it once to hold a balance bike on the MinUte deck. Nothing has ever fallen off, except for one time when we neglected to use all four hooks.
Now I think that every bicycle should come standard with a bungee net, maybe as a gift with purchase. Some of my more intrepid co-workers have used one to strap items directly to their bicycle frames. I carry mine on trips where I’m not sure I’ll be riding a bicycle, just in case. Is it the best bicycle accessory ever? It’s definitely in contention.