|As a matter of fact a whole watermelon WILL fit in my Linus Panniers!|
Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day for a ride here in Boston and I took full advantage by running errands all day! The advantage of running all your errands by bike is that you can be out in the fresh air, getting a bit of exercise instead of cooped up in the car, shuttling from parking lot to parking lot.
I don't think I'm unusual in getting grumpy and irritable when I slog through a day of errands in a car. I've come this close to being reduced to tears in a Target, feeling overwhelmed by all the options, and just dragged down by a day of necessary inconvenience and artificial light. But on a bike, any frustrations of the retail experience get soothed away on the ride to my next destination, and the worst complaint is getting hungry!
I've always been a "trip chainer" but on a bike, even for someone who prides herself in being able to carry vast amounts of stuff, there's a limit to how many errands can be run before I have to head back.
On a bike, I tend to organize my errands in loops, stopping and dropping stuff off before heading out again. Sometimes there's things to carry away from home which needs to be factored into the capacity equation too. Very occasionally I find myself playing the fox the chicken and the grapes problem, where I can't combine two errands, even if it would make sense spatially. Yesterday, I had two giant bags of compost, after doing a massive post-vacation fridge purge. Even though the route to the compost dropoff passes the library, I didn't want to either risk dripping compost juice onto my books, so I went oe.
Once I've done the big errands, like a big grocery shop that fills my bags with one stop (5lbs of onions, a watermelon, half gallon of milk), I can do a longer loop with more stops, picking up only a couple of things each stop- filling my panniers over 5 or 6 stops. I generally don't worry about theft from my panniers. It would be a real pain to remove and re-attach the filling panniers at each stop, so I take a small purse with my keys/wallet/phone, and run in to get coffee beans without worrying that someone is going to steal the bread or cheese out of my bag. I do worry a bit about leaving things strapped on top of the panniers, that seems like it's tempting fate, and if I have to do it, I try to organize things such that I'm not leaving the bike somewhere where I feel it would be easy for someone to mess with it.
By the end of the day, after three loops of errands (brunch, grocery store, home, compost, other grocery store, library, home, bank, third grocery store, hardware store, cheese shop, coffee shop), and a bike date to get indian food and see the new Batman movie, I was as tired as is I had gone for a long ride that was just about riding for its own sake.
Do you run errands on your bike? What's your strategy for multiple stops and combining trips?
Do you consider running errands by bike "a real ride?" or is that only a trip that involves no errands?