I had this idea for inexpensive, functional grocery panniers for my bike. I just got done constructing them and they seem to be holding up really well!
It seems like every grocery store is now offering those reusable grocery bags. Turns out they can be easily reconfigured into some panniers!
The materials are really simple:
- 2 reusable grocery bags
- 1/4" thick 2'x4' piece of masonite (or "hardboard" at Home Depot; same stuff used for clipboards)
- 1 bungee cord
I got my bags from Kroger. Other possible places include Target, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Meijer, Walmart, Publix, and Ikea. They also make insulated ones which would be great for refrigerated items.
Tip: You can get a piece of the wood deeply discounted if you look for one that's damaged. This one was $2, normally $3.75.
Cut some of the wood to fit into the bags:
I stapled the wood inside the bags to keep them in place.
Then cut two of the handles in the middle:
Sew the bags together:
Then, throw them over your bike rack!
Use a bungee to keep them in place, and voila! You have lightweight panniers that fold down flat and that you can take into the store with you!
I loaded up the panniers with random items to test them out and they work great! I'll go do some shopping tomorrow so I can use them for real! Sure beats paying $50+ for ones from the bike shop.