I got my first basket on a bike when I was ten years old. We lived in Calvert City, at that time, and I really liked the freedom that small town life afforded me. Where I had to ask permission to go to the Dead End and ride back and forth, when we lived in Nashville, I could just tell Momma that I was taking off, and ride until I felt like turning around and coming back.
But, I had a problem, which limited my range. I would get hungry and thirsty and, if there wasn't a store around (or, usually, because I had no money), I would have to head for home to rehydrate and fuel up. I told Momma I really wanted to be able to carry food and water. So, off to Western Auto we went, and a basket was procured.
I got in the habit of making a couple of sandwiches, and filling up my plastic Army canteen before I would leave the house in the morning. Then, off to the countryside on two wheels.
We didn't have bottle carriers, or bicycle water bottles for that matter, for our bikes at that time.
And, the thought of wearing a backpack never occurred to me. I didn't even own a backpack. We still carried our books to school in a book bag, back in those days. And, of course, we had to watch out for dinosaurs on the way back and forth, in those prehistoric times.
Anyway, a basket still looks cool to me, and is still the best way to carry some loads on a bike. (Case of beer, anyone?) Porteur racks appeal to me, because they just seem like fancy baskets to me.
Oddly, though, I don't have a basket on a bike, right now. I'm thinking I might have to remedy that, soon.