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Old 05-31-08, 03:11 PM   #1
wdr61
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What is the best way to carry groceries?

Suppose you are shopping for a family and want to go to the store on your bike. Lets say you have like 3 bags worth of groceries. What are the options?
Thanks,
Bill
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Old 05-31-08, 03:44 PM   #2
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Paper or plastic?

The two types of bags hold vastly different amounts. Typical loading of plastic bags at my grocery, means I can carry 6-8 bags easily in my Nashbar Townie Basket grocery panniers. They're sized to hold a standard paper bag, so you could fit only two of those.

The trouble with many grocery panniers, is that at roughly 12x14x8, they really only hold a half of a paper bag. The rest sticks out the top and the paper is hardly enough to contain shifting groceries over bumps, stops and starts in traffic. Larger ones, like those from Arkel will swallow up a full paper bag. But you still have only two sides available on your rack.

I get around the problem by shopping more often. I'm single and shop three times every two weeks. Shopping daily may be needed for a family if using regular grocery panniers. A trailer or an Xtracycle may be the better alternative.

Ask your question down in Utility Cycling for details on those.
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Old 05-31-08, 03:53 PM   #3
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I know many people are against backpacks, but if the commute home from the store is reasonable, a backpack can hold a lot of stuff as well. Combined with panniers and perhaps a basket on the front, you might get most/all of what you need.

Another thought here is that the packaging of stuff is overdone these days and you can save tons of room by breaking the stuff down out of its main packaging before placing in whatever you are carrying your groceries in. Won't work with everything, but I buy granola bars and stuff like that on occasion and each one is individually wrapped, so the main box gets stripped and the bars go in individually.

Get creative with your packing, 3 bags of groceries doesn't seem like too much there, but it would depend what you're buying.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:00 PM   #4
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I usually load up my two panniers, then if I have a lot of extra stuff, I bungee a duffel bag on top of the panniers and rack. If I need even more than that, I wear a backpack. I've carried over 80 pounds of stuff home on my bike before.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wdr61 View Post
Suppose you are shopping for a family and want to go to the store on your bike. Lets say you have like 3 bags worth of groceries. What are the options?
Thanks,
Bill
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Old 05-31-08, 04:14 PM   #6
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I'm single, but I do all my grocery shopping with a back pack.
Lighter/fragile things like chips or eggs get hung on the handlebars. I have stout friction shiftere, so I just strap the "ears" of the cheap plastic store bag between the shifter bosses.
I try to limit myself to about 25 lbs. max, since I'm 60. More than that an it gets uncomfortable and distracting.
I only have a 2 mile RT, so when the store has a good sale, I've made up to 3 trips in one day.
I have carried 4-12 packs of cola. 2-12 packs + 8 loose cans in the back pack and 2- doubled plastic bags with 8 cans each. Only because sometimes the sale is for 4 cases w/coupon. Not my favorite load!
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Old 05-31-08, 04:15 PM   #7
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You could easily put a front rack on as well, and an extra set of panniers and carry four bags... add a front basket for more capacity... plus whatever you can strap to the rack in the back.

Personally I've never needed a front rack.... I've easily hauled 90lbs of groceries and 'stuff' on the back rack with two grocery panniers.

And there's always the option of getting a trailer for even more capacity... a converted kiddie trailer can easily carry 100lbs... a trailer built for hauling can be purchased for loads of 300 lbs (Or more!)
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Old 05-31-08, 04:17 PM   #8
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my novara transfer panniers hold a lot, plus I can lash bags to the top of my rack with a bungee net; and here's a trick: I hang a bag or two on each side using a cheap carabiner. Attached to a loop on the panniers, they don't drag the ground unless I do.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:22 PM   #9
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Being that I don't mind having to go back a second time. And going back to the grocery store only adds additional miles. Why go just once. I have two panniers that can carry two sacks. I just fill up the two panniers and go back a second time. Two trips. That increases my daily mileage by an additional five miles.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:32 PM   #10
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If it were me, I'd use a trailer. If I didn't have a trailer, I'd use panniers plus a backpack.
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Old 05-31-08, 04:55 PM   #11
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I do what someone from the foldies forum suggested--bungee cord a cat litter box (or similar box-shaped bucket thing) onto the rack, then bungee cord panniers on top of that. Delicate stuff get put in the box, bags get put in the pannier, other little stuff get hung on the handlebars, and *if* there's extra, they go into my backpack. Larger purchases, like water bottles or those multi-pack cans of chicken stock, are bought at our monthly costco run.

I go to the grocery everyother week, or when my mum wants me to get something on the way home from school.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:39 PM   #12
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I've started doing this recently. What I do is take open top box panniers in to the grocery store with me. They clip onto the sides of the cart, so you can fill them as you shop. This way you don't end up with too much. Then, just have the cashier bag your stuff right into the panniers. This way you don't need to get plastic bags.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:46 PM   #13
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Can anyone furnish me links for inexpensive Panniers? I am grateful for all the information.
Thank you,
Bill
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Old 05-31-08, 05:46 PM   #14
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I've started doing this recently. What I do is take open top box panniers in to the grocery store with me. They clip onto the sides of the cart, so you can fill them as you shop. This way you don't end up with too much. Then, just have the cashier bag your stuff right into the panniers. This way you don't need to get plastic bags.
I do the same thing, including filling up the duffel bag and backpack. I do re-use the plastic grocery sacks for trash can liners, disposing of cat litter, waterproofing my work-clothes and various other things, so when my supplies get low, I let them bag stuff again. Right now, I still have more than a dozen of them waiting to be used.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:47 PM   #15
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Here's check it out, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7tHgzllZko, it's funny, but cool video, anyway, I'm not sure if I do get Trike from Terrratrike, or Wizwheel, can I taken TerraTrike Cruiser inside to Wal-mart to buy groceries, I mean it's lot money for me from http://www.terratrike.com/cruiser.php, dont want somebody steal it!
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Old 05-31-08, 05:47 PM   #16
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I also use my panniers and stop more frequently. Or you can get one of these:

http://www.bikecommuters.com/page/2/

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Old 05-31-08, 05:48 PM   #17
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http://www.rei.com/product/733820
These are the ones I (and someone else) referred to.

Then, you always have this...
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Old 05-31-08, 05:53 PM   #18
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My grocery bag is my backpack. It works really well, seems simple and uncomplicated.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:19 PM   #19
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I have yet to commit completely to shopping by bike but I do stop for periodic things on my commute home. You almost have to get the grocery panniers or shop like they do in Europe, Everyday.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:26 PM   #20
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I have a rack on the back of my bike with 2 collapsible baskets oh each side. Along with my Chrome bag I've had no problems grocery shopping. Hell I've even gone to Sam's club and gotten stuff in bulk
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Old 05-31-08, 07:02 PM   #21
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Go the trailer route, you'll find a lot of other uses for it. So far I use it to bring my dog to the dcr park and to get groceries. I was towing 4 full S&S bags and a large value pack of tissues in these pictures.


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Old 05-31-08, 08:53 PM   #22
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Grocery panniers are awesome. I don't use a bag with them though, I just take the panniers in with me and load them up. Same is true for a backpack or regular pannier. No sense complicating things.
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Old 05-31-08, 09:40 PM   #23
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Over the years, I've used backpacks, panniers, and trailers and will continue to do so. I don't see it as an either/or proposition, use all three, tailoring the carrier to the load.
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Old 05-31-08, 10:18 PM   #24
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I load up both rear rack panniers. After that point in time it's usually most convenient to just take multiple trips over several days since I can ride past the grocery store on the way home from work.
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Old 05-31-08, 11:37 PM   #25
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Maiden voyage for my new panniers. They work quite well, better than the last pair.

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