Sunday, July 3, 2011

Party Bike

We're having a BBQ tomorrow, so I headed to the grocery store today for supplies:

In the left pannier:  a good sized watermelon,  a half gallon of ice cream, plastic cups, bowls and plates, mint tea bags, and kitchen sponges.
In the right pannier:  a pound of cherries,  a couple of nectarines, regular tea bags, and three bags of chips (they were on sale).  Cokes down the middle on top of the rack.

I went to the store (also by bike) yesterday for other stuff, and will probably go again tomorrow for ice and hotdog buns.  I suppose that if I had an enormous freezer and a big car, I could do one giant shopping trip, but given that I always seem to forget something I need, it's not a huge hardship to me to do it in medium size chunks,  which are perfectly manageable by bike.


  1. Awesome! Folks can learn from your example.

  2. What's the stability like with all that weight over the rear wheel? What I've learned is that panniers are great for light to medium-weight things that you might bring with you on your commute, or on a tour. But for heavy water-laden fruits and other things comparable to bowling bowls, I see panniers and racks as less than ideal carriers. For really heavy things (>40 lbs) being carried with a non-cargo bike, I find a trailer to impart more stability and comfort for the rider.

    In this pic, the trailer (a low-end kid trailer that we bought new for $60 and ripped the seating hammocks out of) has four full TJ's shopping bags, a styrofoam cooler of frozen items, a large item purchased from tags, a bag from Shaws, and a small bag of things from CVS:

    The bike (a tandem, no less) felt no stability loss.

  3. Love reading about biking adventures.

  4. somervillian- It actually was fine- I could feel that it was there, but I think having it reasonably balanced in the back helped. I wouldn't want to go super fast (partly because of stability, partly because it was just heavy), but I was fine to ride home on residential streets.
    I would like either a trailer or a cargo bike, but it's not in the cards (or the storage space) at the moment.

  5. in the past, when we've done thanksgiving shopping by bike, I've carried a turkey in one pannier and a 20 lb sack of potatoes in the other, and bike handling in the city has been fine. So long as the weight was centered over the rear axle, it didn't have as much of a handling penalty as, say, a lighter weight cantilevered off my handlebars with a bar bag.

    We've also taken the flatbed trailer for Thanksgiving shopping (mostly because the amount of produce that we wanted/needed wouldn't fit in the panniers) The trailer certainly adds a certain amount of drag to the bike and does make the bike feel 'funny'. You have a different platform with its own momentum attached to the bike, and that momentum can be felt in turns and stops.