Inventor Kathryn Carlson says the Buca Boot is a back-rack carrying device that combines the flexibility of a bike basket with the storage security of a car trunk.
Though it looks a bit steampunk in its design - like a set of IKEA cupboard doors that married a dollar-store plastic storage bin – seeing the Buca Boot in action is believing.
Carlson, a dedicated bike rider in Cambridge, Mass., was living in London and wanted a device for her bike that would give her the same feeling that a car boot or trunk gives automobile owners - that bit of extra space that would allow her to be out all day and be prepared with extra shoes or a gym bag, or have room for purchases.
At first glance, the Buca looks like a container - a slightly more stylish version of what you see on the back of scooters to hold helmets. But once a user unlocks the Buca and pushes back the wooden doors, two nylon canvas panniers are revealed on either side of the middle plastic storage area. In addition, there's a strong elastic drawing cord that works like a bungee, fastening items securely in each pannier by looping over the door handle.
When the Buca is closed, the gasket lid creates a waterproof container that could shelter various items, like your lunch, your helmet, and a rain shell.
The locking mechanism, though not foolproof (what bike lock is?), runs through the width of the boot, so that both of the doors must be unlocked and opened for the Buca to be removed from the back rack.
It is when the Buca's doors are completely open that its functionality really shines. With the combination of the pannier pouches and the center storage, the Buca can hold a bag of groceries with room for a yoga mat, running shoes, extra sweater, bottle of wine and any other assorted tidbits you want to toss in.
At this stage, three colors are planned for the Buca's nylon panniers: tomato, navy, and steel.
Carlson is hoping urban cyclists will help her raise $85,000 on Kickstarter to help start manufacturing of the Buca, and a donation of $195 is required to actually get a Buca Boot once they are finished.
While that's a big ask, aren't we always complaining as urban cyclists that carrying stuff securely and easily is one of the areaa where bicycle innovation is most needed?