This holiday season, many people are going to find themselves in the same quandary: how you adjust your bike so your friendly extra-terrestrial can travel with you? Sure, Eliott in E.T. made it look easy. But not every alien can safely fit into a standard bicycle basket. Here’s a how-to guide to help with transporting even the most unusual off-worlder.
A classic for a reason. While an economical choice, it won’t work with every bike, or every alien. Bicycles with “drop” handlebars—the curved ones you can hunch over—usually don't have the space for a basket. Even if you have standard handlebars, some aliens have sensitive lower apendages, which can’t be comfortable against the aluminum wire of the basket.
A plastic placemat cut to fit your basket will keep any loose tentacles from dangling, and a folded towel can increase the comfort for your other-worldly pal—and absorb any excess fluid they might secrete over the course of the ride.
A back rack, or rear rack, is an excellent choice if your alien has a hard shell or a chitinous carapace. Just use a couple of bungee cords and you can strap your buddy right to it!
If you’re willing to put in the cash, get yourself some panniers. These saddlebags designed to clip to a back rack come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles. Whether your alien needs a large, waterproof sack to keep in all their bodily juices, or a thermal-lined bag to stay warm this far from the life-giving sun, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need!
These elastic cords can easily tie down a small alien for short trips. It may not be the most comfortable ride, but if you’re trying to escape government agents who want nothing more than to slice your friend from another planet wide open, you take what you can get.
Even if you’ve got a basket or a back rack—or a basket AND a back rack—you still want to have a couple of these, just to make sure your alien accomplice is secure on bumpy roads. Of course, if you’ve got old bike tubes, laying around, you can make you own, by chopping them in half and cutting off the valve. This is an especially good option if your little visitor from another world is allergic to nylon.
When evading the Men in Black, or just taking you newfound star-crasher on a tour through the neighborhood, your most effective tool is your own ingenuity. Got a football-sized alien and no basket? Use your jacket to swaddle that bundle of extra-terrestrial joy close to you, papoose style! Left your bungies at home, and worried about your buddy flying out when you hit a pothole? Shoelaces will do to secure that alien!
You don’t want to make a habit of riding with an alien in one hand and your handlebar on the other, but when it comes to giving evil scientists the slip, it’s better than nothing.
Once you’ve got a handle on what you carry on your bike, you’re ready to bike anywhere, with any alien! And with any luck, concerns such as “safety,” and “proper balance” won’t matter as your alien friend’s magical powers allow to fly into the night sky!