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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Shopping by bike - carrying cargo and more


Bed, mattress, etc. waiting to be loaded You can haul a lot on a bike if you’re properly equipped. Some options include:

Some cargo:

• A basic backpack is very convenient, but doesn’t hold a lot and can make for a hot and awkward ride when loaded.

• A “messenger bag” has a single strap that rests on your opposite shoulder; also does not hold a lot.

More cargo:

Bed, mattress, etc. loaded on bikes & trailerA rack for the rear of your bike is extremely useful. You’ll need one to be able to use panniers, buckets, and some baskets.

• Panniers are bags that attach to a rear bike rack. These are usually waterproof, removable, and allow you to carry more weight.

• Baskets are generally a less expensive option for carrying more weight. Baskets can attach to the front or rear of your bike. Some are collapsible and others are easily removable to go in the store with you.

Plastic “bike buckets” are inexpensive and functional. Build your own!

Carrying two kids on one bikeMost cargo:

• Trailers attach to the rear of your bike, and are the best for carrying large loads, be it children, pets, groceries, or whatever else you can think of.

• Bakfiets, longtails, and other types of cargo bikes include integrated carrying capacity for when you frequently need to haul a load (e.g., riding kids to school everyday).

Hot tip: watch the on-line classified ads for inexpensive used trailers and panniers

Check out this article from the ORbike blog about various ways to make your bike carry more.


People putting together bike bucketsWant to build your very own bike bucket?  We’ve got detailed instructions on how-to.  

Click here to download a PDF file of instructions.   (310 kb)

And if you want to avoid running around to find the necessary parts, you can order a kit from a local craftsperson.


Bike bucket filled with groceries

Too busy to make your own but really want a bike bucket?  Buy one built by a local craftsperson.