A serious cycle-man uses his machine to commute to work, visit friends, go out to bars, and ride to fancy restaurants on dates. That's all very cool, but I would argue that shopping for groceries on your bike is the true measure of sustainable, eco-machismo.
My favorite gear is my basket that unhooks and goes into the store with me. Take that 'grocery Explorer' in and gather up that organic lettuce, condoms, wine, ice cream, Italian salami, toilet paper, Sports Illustrated, and a baguette so people think you are cultured. Then strut up to the counter with pride.
Paper or plastic? Neither, thanks. Just throw it in the wire basket, please. Then you pedal home with everything out there for all the world to see. This is where attitude is required. Think to yourself, yeah people? I buy toilet paper. Wanna make something of it?
Most folks on the street will give you huge smiles, seeing you as the hero provider you are. Your lover or flatmates will be amazed.
But remember, steering with a basket full of groceries can get squirrely, so hold on! Here's where those biceps come in. Remember to pack a balanced load-heavy on both sides at the bottom. And what if you have more than one bag's worth of groceries? Remember, you wisely also bought a back rack, and equipped it with a few bungee cords. This "gear unit" can easily hold two more bags of groceries.
I watched SFBC Executive Director Dave Snyder move a fax machine from the Haight to the SFBC office on a back rack with bungees. He claims to have moved entire stereos before.
When you shop for groceries on a bike you become one with your inner pack mule. You can now sell that car and never pay insurance again. Best of all, you now shop just like your macho brothers (and sisters!) from Beijing to Copenhagen. You are finally using your bike the way God intended.
Now have a great dinner-you've earned it, pal.