You Can Buy in Bulk With a Bike

Video screen capture. Youtube/ Family bikes to and from Costco with $900 worth of groceries in tow

You just need the right bike, like a custom triple tandem, and a little help from the kids.

Recently I complained that shopping in bulk at stores like Costco was difficult for people who didn't have cars or lived in small spaces. Toronto's Derek Rayside demonstrates that I was wrong; he goes to Costco with his entire family and buys by the grocery cart, about C$ 900 worth of stuff, by bike. It's a hike, at 13.5km (8.3 miles) each way. He does it to prove a point, telling Paul Hunter of the Star:

“Going to Costco to do your shopping is like the ultimate task in family transportation,” says the 42-year-old. “If we can shop at Costco by bike, we can do everything else by bike too.”

His ride is a custom Onderwater XL Triple Tandem made in Amsterdam, modified to carry even more kids and to get a little electric boost. Rayside tells the Star why he does it:

Rayside is a passionate supporter of bike lanes and cycling because of both the health benefits for riders and economic advantages for a city. He believes the only way to reduce traffic congestion is to provide people with alternatives to driving. Though he calls Toronto’s improvements for the cycling community “slow baby steps” he believes it is possible for families to use pedal power for most errands and outings.
Derek Rayside and family

© Derek Rayside

His Onderwater bike is unusual for a tandem; the controls are in the rear. Writing in the bike site Dandyhorse, Rayside notes:

The Onderwater XL and the Hase Pino put the captain in the rear. The captain is the person who steers the bike, so these bikes have a mechanical linkage from the captain’s handlebars to the front wheel. Being in front gives the stoker a better view, and makes it easier to have conversations while you’re riding.

He notes that it is good for cargo: "I have used my Onderwater XL to carry a step-ladder, a fifty pound roll of flooring underpadding, some lumber, a stationary exercise bike --- and more ordinary things, like hockey equipment or groceries."

So I shouldn't have been so quick to say that you can't shop at Costco in Toronto without a car; Derek does it all the time.