What a “crate” idea for bike rack cargo box
Wednesday evening (July 20) I was happy to see the particularly clever way that a cyclist re-purposed a green plastic milk crate to serve as a cargo box atop the rack over her bicycle’s back wheel.
I was even happier when she enthusiastically allowed me to photograph her handiwork (“I guess so”, was how she put it), in order that her example might inspire the whole world.
You see, this woman didn’t just tie a purloined plastic milk crate onto her bike rack, as millions of scofflaws have done over the years and will continue to do, so long as there is a supply of milk crates to meet the demand for free, light-weight, industrial-strength, storage add-ons for bicycles.
No, this woman nicked a milk crate and then innovated it, which is to say that she took the thing and then made it 100 percent her own—kind of like Apple has been known to do!
Always work with the grain of the HDPE plastic
Not only did this do-it-yourselfer cut the sides of the milk crate down to turn it from a box into more of a tray (to suit her specific needs), she approached the modification the way that a sculptor approaches carving marble—by working with the material and not against it.
Rather than just cutting straight horizontal lines through the four sides of the box, she wisely chose to make her cuts along the lines and diamond shapes already deeply embossed into the plastic.
The result of her careful effort looks clean and natural—like an original design, rather than a crude modification imposed after the fact.
If I ever feel inclined to “borrow” a milk crate to make a cargo box for a bicycle, I think I will also “borrow” the idea of how to make it from the example provided by this smart woman.
To close, here are seven (because I couldn’t think of 10) examples of reusing, re-purposing, or “upcycling” stuff easily found in cities:
- Cinder blocks for book shelf supports.
- Milk crates for personal storage and/or shelf supports.
- Shopping carts for homeless homes.
- Wooden pallets for mattress or futon platforms.
- Large wooden wire spools for coffee tables.
- Skis as all-weather slats for furniture and other platforms.
- Popsicle sticks for arts and crafts (old school).