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Women & Bicycles Tip: Try This One Great Grocery Trick


This entry is part of our Women & Bicycles blog series. Women & Bicycles is WABA’s outreach and encouragement initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes. These posts certainly aren’t exclusive to women, but they’re produced with and through the Women & Bicycles’ programming and staffing. Click here to learn more and get involved.


Do you have panniers, those bags that clip on the side of a bike rack? After years of using a messenger bag, I am now a faithful pannier user and call them my Mary Poppins bags.

Here’s a trick for other pannier users: When grocery shopping, clip your panniers on the front, inside, or outside of your shopping cart during checkout. It’s a simple way to load up and make sure the heavy stuff goes to the bottom, the lighter stuff stays on top, and that weight is evenly dispersed between the two bags.


My friend Meredith demonstrating the pannier method of shopping.

Panniers turn your bike into a pickup truck: They offer the carrying capacity of nearly two weeks’ worth of groceries, everything but the kitchen sink for a family trip to the park,  or simply all the odds and ends that you need daily. And with panniers, you don’t have to worry about the strain, weight, or sweat from carrying a backpack.

If you’re in the market for panniers, click here to read Momentum‘s reviews on over a dozen different options to choose from.

And speaking of groceries, biking, and WABA’s Women & Bicycles program, are you coming to the Women & Bicycles happy hour tonight at Glen’s Garden Market in Dupont? We’ll be there from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Click here for more details.

Gerald Fittipaldi
Gerald Fittipaldi

Nice post. I've been debating getting panniers for a while, but I have one dilemma. I often combine multiple trips. Grocery store, pharmacy, unexpected stop. I wouldn't want to leave the panniers on the bike while I'm shopping. This means having to take off and put back on the panniers several times, not to mention carrying them around as I shop (few stores besides grocery stores have shopping carts). Every video I've seen of people biking in Holland shows an abundance of bikes with panniers that are permanently attached to the bike. This is very practical, but it adds a lot of weight to the bike. The reason it works in Holland is that almost everyone has ground level bike parking for overnight locking up (indoor and outdoor), due to zoning requirements specifically calling for ground level bike parking. Here in the US, most people who ride bikes in cities have to carry their bikes up several stairs.


Two weeks of groceries?  Tell that to my kids!  ;-)

Neat idea albeit the cart is a bit wide for supermarkets during busy times.  

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