In bicycle news, I strapped my bag of tools (a tire pump, spare tube, and Clinique case containing a couple of wrenches and such) onto the back rack with a bungee cord. Removing this weight from the front basket really improved the handling. I have not been comfortable with more than a few pounds in the front. Plus I'm still trying to relocate my headlight from the handlebars, to avoid blockage due to stuff in the basket. For this trip I just had my lunch bag in the basket and the elastic in the back.
What I really need is a "trioband". These were utterly ubiquitous in Amsterdam and they seem super convenient. They secure the front, back, and middle of your load which keeps if from scooting around or squirting off the back. And, they actually mount on to your axle. This is very important. It prevents one of the major sources of bungee failure - slippage of the attachment hook - and reduces the chance of theft from a parked bicycle - I've had regular bungee cords stolen. I like the red one in the link, but there are plenty of others. The problem is, I cannot find them for sale on any American website. Seriously, do a web search. They only come up in the UK and The Netherlands. I will pay international shipping if I have to, but why haven't US distributers figured out how useful these things are??