“Every Bike Needs a Basket and Every Basket Needs a Betty”
Everyone knows that a cruiser bicycle needs a basket, if not for function, than for looks alone. What most people don’t understand is that every bike basket needs a Betty. The math is simple: bicycle (basket + adorable liner + tote bag at your destination) – stuff escaping while you ride = X, which is the perfect combination of form and function. If you solve for X, the answer is clearly Betty Basket Liners. If you didn’t come up with Betty Basket Liners, you might want to check your math. Remember it’s First, Inner, Outer, Last (FOIL). And that’s the last math tip I will ever give you. Promise.
But, lucky for you, I’ve got tons of tips to help you accessorize your bike. Once I found a bike that I loved and that fit me perfectly, hubby and I spent most spring and summer weekends on our bikes. Weeknights were harder to plan long bike rides around with that pesky work obligation, so hubby and I began to look for any excuse to ride after we both got home. We decided that instead of driving for dinner out, from now on we would bike there. It was great because it gave us a chance to connect while we rode and it at least made you feel better about the french fries you enjoyed while dining. The problem was where to put my purse, cell phone, and a jacket for after the sun went down. And then on the way back there were leftovers, dessert if I was lucky, and anything else we picked up on the journey.
A bike basket was a given, but the problem was finding one that looked good on my Electra Townie and carried the maximum amount of stuff. I ended up with a minimalist wire rack that worked perfectly for carrying my bag and other big items, including groceries once we decided that biking to Safeway made more sense than driving the 15 blocks. And then when we decided that Safeway was far too close and started grocery shopping 5 grocery stores away just so we could have a better ride, the basket was a lifesaver. I could fit a surprising amount of stuff in that basket, and it looked great on the bike. But the problem was how to pack it best without stuff falling through the grids of the basket. I found that plastic bags were too pliable and as I rode, the bags would shift and settle, allowing the items to slip into the crevasses and sometimes even dump the contents along the roadway. Paper and the reusable shopping bags you can buy at most local marts were better, except that the bags are taller than the basket by a long shot and make it really top heavy when full. Not to mention the fact that they covered the handlebar light, making it completely unsafe after dusk.
Once baby arrived, the problem got even more apparent as now I had a purse, diaper bag and whatever groceries or goodies I needed to haul, as well as a 24 hour supply of Gerber Puffs – even for just a small outing. I started to search for Basket Liners at local bike shops and was finding extremely disappointing industrial designs or flimsy, flowery numbers that looked like they wouldn’t last an hour in my daily routine, let alone hold it together on my Electra for a season or two. I had honestly given up hope when I happened upon Betty Basket Liners.
What are Betty Basket Liners? They are double lined and quality crafted bags that fit perfectly in your bicycle basket, folding over the top of the basket and tying on for whatever ride you have planned. Inside there are two larger pockets, one business card or i.d. / credit card sized pocket and a great little key strap with a clip that keeps your keys or other small goodies from bouncing out of the basket while you ride (yes, this actually happens. A lot.) They have sturdy tote straps, which means that when you get to your destination, you can just untie the Betty and lift it out for use as an adorable and lightweight tote. Genius. But what is a Betty, you ask? Betty: /be-dd-eee/, noun. 1. The term betty refers to a hot chick. One that is attractive, stylish and self confident. A betty is typically a looker. — Urban Dictionary Yep, that sounds like us.
I was sold. It was as if these little Betty’s had been created just for me, incorporating all the loves in my life flawlessly and with style to spare. It was crafty mama meets biking chic meets handmade goodness and I was in love. And when I found out that these adorable liners actually lift out upon arriving at your destination and become the coolest totes ever? I might have cried a little in a “I must have allergies” sort of way. Ditto for when I held my handmade Betty for the first time, instantly being transformed into euphoric and energized version of myself as I imagined all the roads my Betty Basket Liner and I would soon travel.
And oh, do we travel together, my Betty and me. Besides using the Liner as a tote at the weekly Farmer’s Market or on a shopping excursion, my Betty doesn’t leave my bike. And why would it? It’s gorgeous, functional, and quite frankly, my bike now looks naked without it.
Betty Basket Liners come in three different styles of liners to fit in all sorts bike baskets: the EDGE (15"l x 11"w x 10"d) that fits most large rectangular style wire baskets, mine included, and the CURVE ( 13"x9"x9" or 14.5"x9.5"x9") which fits wicker and mesh oval baskets and small rectangular wire baskets. Neither the EDGE nor the CURVE the right size? No problem. There’s that third “style” of liner to choose from, aptly called “custom” in which Betty (not her real name) stitches you up a Basket Liner that is sure to fit. And here’s the best part…. Betty Basket Liners come in 5 adorable designs, or six if you count that “custom” design in which Betty (still not her real name) creates you a one-of-a-kind pattern or design you can dream up. I did the math and with all the fabrics out there in the world, there are more Betty Basket Liner variations than my calculator is equipped to handle. Trust me.
My one complaint? That Betty doesn't make panniers, saddle bags, rack bags and rear bicycle bags as well. My rear bike rack could use a little Betty, too. Betty (again, not her real name) is always coming up with new ideas and is working on an oilcloth bag (more to come on that front, hopefully!) and ways to add even more functionality to the Original Betty. Who knows, maybe she will bring Betty to the back as well!
Price: $59 for all standard designs.
Looks: Attractive and stylish, like the Betty that it is.
Overall: Wherever your biking takes you, Betty Basket Liners are perfect for corralling all your necessities. With infinite customizable possibilities, this little Betty will work with whatever you’ve got – from cruiser bikes to urban workhorses. And, to my delight, it’s a perfect compliment to the full line of Electra accessories.
Thank you to Betty Basket Liners for creating a one-of-a-kind Basket Liner for us to review - my Townie has never looked so beautiful!