I am trying to decide whether to buy panniers or cycling shorts, both would make riding easier, I can only buy one or hte other right now, but I can't decide on which to buy, I need them both. HELP !!!!!!
Well, do you find yourself saying "dammit I wish I had more storage capacity" or "my gosh derned balls are killing me" more than the other? That should answer your question right there.
Though coolmax padded cycling liners can be had for about 15 bucks a pair at alot of cycling shops, you could get one or two pair of those and still have enough left over for a cheaper set of paniers.
I need both, but I need panniers more, I often go to the library and I need a way to carry home books and the panniers would do it, on the other hand I do a lot of cycling, but I could get away with riding in shorts which is what I am doing right now, but sometimes it is uncomfortable and I have to stop and adjust everything, so I will probably go with the panniers.
If you were carrying a load of books in a backpack, then the pressure on the saddle would be a _lot_ higher with associated discomfort, so you might think bike shorts.
OTOH, put those books in a pannier and saddle pressure would be OK.
How's your saddle - comfy enough? If so, get panniers. As for shorts - time is the issue, not distance. I ride twice 90 minutes daily, just normal undies and poly shorts, no problem. I keep my bike shorts for multi-hour trips.