You can't walk by a pizzeria in NYC without seeing 3-4 of these with precisely the setup dug describes. Not as pretty as the Cetma rack (which are very nice), but much less expensive.
Yeah, lots of NYC delivery people use the Wald basket. But cheap, quick and easy (and also flexible for other uses) might be:
- cheapest front platform rack you can find (you can also probably mod a cheap rear platform rack with enough hose clamps and creativity). Nashbar front rack, Pletscher, Wald, you can find something for $10-30, even brand spankin' new.
- you have an oven, right? Do you really use all of the racks inside it? No? Then take one out, and clean it off. Free-ish.
- Zip ties and/or used inner tubes. Or more hose clamps, if that's your thing. To strap the oven rack onto your platform rack. Make sure it's stable! And flat! Almost free.
- bungee net and/or bungee cords and/or whatever other straps you might want to use. Free (if you have them already), maybe $10 for a net at a bike shop.
I haven't done this before, but have seen it, and thought about it myself. Not to carry pizza, but copious amounts of sparkling water. And if you are not long for the world of pizza delivery via bicycle, you can always put your oven rack back into the oven, and use your front rack for other important things, like carrying six packs of beer to the lake.
Not sure how your corporate overlords at Papa John's might react to you delivering without a car, so I'd also look into getting a job at Jimmy John's, Potbelly's, or another sandwich place that does deliveries by bike. A lot easier to carry a 6" sub sandwich than a pizza, I think.
Thanks guys this gives me some ideas. Ill let you know how things work out.
I bet in many areas of the city delivering by bike would be easier and faster than using a car -especially at the busier traffic times.
I used to deliver for Domino's in Madison back in the 80's when I was in college to pay my way. That was a HUGE delivery area -too huge for a bike with the time constraints -but I bet in the smaller chicago delivery areas a bike would work just fine if not better.
The plywood rack sounds like the best idea. Just be aware that pizza is easily disturbed and the braking/turning forces on a bike can sometimes be much more than that found inside a car -especially if one is trying to make time on a bike cutting through traffic. Customers don't like pizza all wadded up on one side of the box ;) I'm sure it is something that isn't that hard to overcome as there are many pizza delivery guys who use bikes in some cities.
I bought cupcakes downtown last Summer and rode them home in thier "protective" box.
Wife and me had cupcake mash for dessert. Was still tasty though.