Bike Panniers for Groceries
No recipe this week, kids. Instead, we’re going to talk about food logistics. Namely, how do I get everything home if I’m riding my bike all the time?
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been walking and riding my bike a lot more since The Assistant implemented the 1km and 2km rule. In the past month, I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve gone carless every Tuesday and Thursday, alternating Mondays and most weekends. I could add Fridays to the list, if not for groceries.
When I first got the trunk bag a few years ago, I assumed that I was going to be using it for storing an extra jacket, maybe a bike lock or the occasional book. And the panniers are fine for that. What they’re not fine for is grocery shopping. There can be no impulse watermelon purchase with the panniers; a gallon of milk or a large cauliflower were too wide for the opening of the bag. Heck, even a half gallon was pushing it.
I then discovered that there are better, more grocery-friendly panniers out there, and after some debate, I ordered a set instead of buying a new bike, the cruiser with the wooden crate that my friend, Luke, suggested. (Ok, I may still buy it, but until then….)
So now I have these lovely bags with a bigger, wider opening. I can take them with me into the supermarket, bag my groceries directly into them, and then return to the bike to clamp them on and go.
But even with the bigger bags, space is still limited. I’m looking for suggestions for small scale grocery shopping. Assuming that you need to start with at least a half gallon of milk each week, what else would you purchase that would fit into something that’s the rough size equivalent of two plastic grocery bags, plus maybe a backpack for extra storage? Let’s presume that there are two primary trips: one supermarket run, and one farmer’s market run.
I made it home with two half gallons of milk; one large and four small containers of yogurt; eggs; tofu; carrots; celery; peppers; lemons; kiwis; red onion; a whole chicken… and I forget what else. Everything is obsessively sealed in plastic because of my fear of chicken juice leaking into my lovely panniers.
What would be your must-have items to get through the week?