In early 1991, my husband and I accepted his transfer to Europe. Our two kids and I quickly learned that leaving the car at home and using our bicycles made our adventures more fun. What facilitated this dramatic transformation were our European Market Baskets.
We became quite comfortable pedaling our way over the narrow cobblestone streets and bike paths of our little Dutch village to the open-air markets full of wonderful cheese, crusty European breads, beautiful flowers and other delights. Oftentimes, the wonderful aromas would draw us to the many enchanting sidewalk cafes for a “koekje” and hot chocolate.
On weekends, my husband and I would fill our baskets with picnic supplies, and the four of us would pedal through the forested dunes along the coast of the North Sea until we found a spot that suited our fancy. Springtime was my favorite, and I can still envision the fields of crocuses, daffodils, and tulips that marked our way to the beach.
We returned to the U.S. and settled in The Woodlands, Texas in 1993. We – along with our new beagle, Freckles – continued to bicycle to our various activities. On almost every outing someone asked us where we got our terrific baskets. After a thorough search, I concluded a European Market Basket was not available in the U.S.
When I initially tried to convince friends and relatives to ride bikes to grocery shop etc. their biggest obstacle was how to carry things on bikes. Until they complained, I did not even realize that my European bicycle basket that I had brought from Holland was the key to getting them to use their bikes for transportation. I designed a bicycle basket that fits American bicycles and am now marketing them to bicycle shops, gift shops, bicycle distributors and outdoor outfitters throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The design was key to the basket's popularity. My basket is very large, made of strong willow and has big built-in hooks that allow you to drop it right on the handlebar. It has a handle that allows you to pull it off and take it in the grocery store and fill your basket without using a paper or plastic bag, which are both bad for the environment.
The bicycle industry is finally starting to see that I had a good idea. Many are starting to try to copy my designs. If I can influence people to ride their bikes just once or twice a week for their errands that will make a huge impact on our environment.
I'm hoping to hear from others who want to do their part for the environment. I would also love to get pictures of my happy customers out and about with their puppies in their baskets or doing any fun activity using your bicycle basket. Please let me know if it's okay to use your picture on my website.
Recently, I've found some cool new products and taken some fantastic trips with my bicycle and hope to share these experiences with you all soon. I hope that you can take your bike along on vacation to make it healthier and a lot more fun!
Tot Ziens! (til later)