I was on a local recreational ride and my route took me past a large factory that makes baked goods for supermarkets. Well you know how that smells and I had to stop at their retail outlet store.

I don’t always practice what I preach on this website and I had the wrong pannier and had difficulty stuffing in all my groceries.  In this situation the pies were going for half the prices of discount super markets and bread started at 25 cents a loaf so I just had to pick up some. I was able to load the pie carefully on and my trunk pannier and get it home in one piece. My only regret is that I could have purchased one of the larger pies if I had a different pannier. But hey, this one worked.

My cycling colleagues and myself have a variety of cycling panniers for different situations – bicycle touring, day rides, recreational rides, bike commuting etc. One of my friends even has three trunk panniers including two where the sides drop, handy if you come across some unexpected shopping or garage sale.

As mentioned I use different panniers depending on the situation:

Under the seat – light riding for local recreational rides with only basic tools and a spare bike tire tube.

Rear trunk bag – used on day trips with tools, sunscreen, spare tube and my lunch. Sometimes a camera and light jacket depending on the destination and weather. I also trunk bag with expandable sides for bike commuting and if shopping along my journey as I require more capacity than with the basic trunk bag.

Handlebar bag – I use only when bicycle touring for lunch, camera and things I need to get at quickly but I know others use them when recreational riding.

Picking the Correct PanniersBicycle touring panniers – these obviously have greater capacity as  I must carry my clothing, toiletries and bike tools. I find that I only require two rear panniers plus a handlebar bag for 2 to 3 weeks of cycling, but then I pack light.

Others who are camping along the journey will most likely require front panniers as they have a tent, sleeping bag and stove to carry.

Bicycle baskets – I never use them but many people who do mainly local rides use them when shopping.

Bicycle trailers – for pets, children and gear. Trailers with gear are used by many who pack fairly heavy.

So as you can see the cycle panniers you use will depend on what type of cycling you are doing that day.


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