Author Topic: As Badass as Betty White: The Granny Cart!  (Read 3925 times)

Rachelocity

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Location: Montreal
As Badass as Betty White: The Granny Cart!
« on: February 10, 2013, 01:55:25 PM »
I don't drive and I don't ride a bike either.  But I have been schlepping groceries home for years using the unlovely but functional granny cart, a.k.a. folding shopping cart.  This is a useful tool, but has several functional limitations:  The capacity for carrying is limited.  If you shop more than once a week, you're okay, but try lugging stuff home from Costco with a cart!  Even two carts (my son and I roadtested this) can't hold enough.  The wheels are too small to make it easy to lift onto a bus.  Then, there's the pulling factor - pushing would be easier and I wouldn't be hunched over like Mr. Burns.  Since I am only 5-3" tall, you can imagine the shortness factor! 

So here's my plan:  Buy a cheap bike trailer that can convert to a stroller.  This could be the kids' model or the pet model, depending on the specs.  By removing the front bar which would attach to a bike and attaching a smaller (12") wheel to the front, I would have a useful, high-capacity cart that would fit in the stroller section of a city bus, be able to fold and nest on the lower rack of large-capacity shopping carts, and carry a nice food order home.  It should be a great ride because of the boke wheels and the fact that I'd be pushing instead of pulling.  Big wheels handle curbs, potholes and snowdrifts (I love Montreal!).  The small wheels on the typical carts have a hard time in more than 2" of snow, which means that six months of the year, it's a real drag. 

I am excited to get going on this project.  I am prepared to spend up to $200.00 on materials and labour, since I would have to have a bike repair person involved.  It would pay for itself in savings in taxis, order deliveries and cheapo carts, which don't have a long lifespan.  Not to mention that the more fun it is to use, the more motivated I will be to go to the fruit stores that are a mile farther from my house (where the bargains live!).   So I won't need a gym membership, with all that walking!

Any Mustachian feedback, experiences or words of wisdom?

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: As Badass as Betty White: The Granny Cart!
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 10:43:04 AM »
I used a granny cart like this one for grocery shopping for a few years (the most memorable day was the day I carried a show shovel on the way to the grocery store so I could get my cart through). When my cart had been falling apart for a while, I looked for a better replacement, but I just ended up buying another one. There doesn't seem to be a market for lightweight, heavy-duty, high-capacity, folding, personal shopping carts. Too bad, because the existing carts seem very breakable.

If you're aiming around $200, you might consider the Wike shopper trailer. While it is higher quality and easier to steer, it has the same cargo capacity as the above linked granny cart. This makes me wonder whether you're going to be able to construct one that's the right size for your needs. If you go too much bigger, bus drivers might start refusing rides. Imagine trying to get on a bus with something the size of a regular store shopping cart.

If you get a chance, could you post a sketch of what you're thinking?

ShavenLlama

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • Location: Orange, CA
Re: As Badass as Betty White: The Granny Cart!
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 10:54:52 AM »
I used to see this thing advertised in the back of Backpacker Magazine:



Maybe you could remove the pack and alter the frame to carry a larger/ different shaped load?

http://littlegreentracs.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/05/long-distance-hikers-trolleys.html

Rachelocity

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Location: Montreal
Re: As Badass as Betty White: The Granny Cart!
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 12:51:34 PM »
The Wike would be perfect, if only any Craigslisters would be willing to part with theirs!  It'd be around $350.00 with the tax, shipping, extra wheel, etc.  I'm new to the site but not new to penny-pinching, so it'd be cheaper to snag this from Kijiji and get a repair person.  NB:  This retails for $299 at Canadian Tire!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 01:05:17 PM by Rachelocity »