A-Shopping We Will Go

March 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm 4 comments

March 6, 2011

Topeka broke a record with the snowiest February ever.  I should’ve bought studded bike tires, but convinced myself spring was just around the corner and it would stop.  It didn’t.  Embarrassed to admit to slackerhood, I have not been posting because I’ve not been riding.

It’s finally March, though, and the weather has improved.  Today dawned sunny and relatively mild, with temps quickly rising above freezing.  It was a great day for riding the streets and trails in town.  A report on the new extension of the Shunga Trail will appear in a future post.

Instead, this post will address the end of the ride, when I headed over to the neighborhood big-box store to tackle the week’s grocery shopping.  I’d hooked a couple of empty panniers onto the bike rack before leaving the house, and was committed to buying everything on the shopping list even though I didn’t know if it would all fit into them.

After chaining up the bike at a rack outside the store, I passed through the sliding doors and immediately committed a consumer stupidity by getting taken in with a display of strawberries and angel food cake.  They weren’t on the list.  The stocker, busy arranging strawberries, saw me pause and said, “Mmmmm, these are really, really good.”  One of each went into the shopping cart.  Yes, I get the irony of bicycling to a grocery store and buying fruit trucked in from Florida.   I stuck to the list after that.

Not surprisingly, the teenaged bagger didn’t know the intricacies of pannier pockets, and there were several large items leftover, most notably that darned cake and strawberries.  I rolled the cart outside to the bike, dumped everything, and spent a few minutes repacking.  It all fit except for a bunch of kale.  After a few seconds of indecision, I stuffed the kale very hard into the top of one pannier and left for home.  Mission accomplished.

It’s pretty cool that so many groceries can fit into just two panniers on a rack.  Granted, there wasn’t any toilet paper, paper towels, or cat litter, but this bodes well for the success of future trips.

Panniers filled with groceries, including kale--the green stuff on the right.

Here’s what fit into just two panniers:

1 box shredded wheat cereal
1 can lentil soup
3 cans tuna
1 box baby spring mix lettuce
1 log goat cheese
6 containers yogurt
1 package flour tortillas
1 box pasta
3 baby crookneck squash
2 avocados
1 bunch kale
1 loaf bread
6 oz. snow peas
1 roll trash bags
1 can styling mousse
1 carton strawberries
1 angel food cake
2 Cadbury creme eggs

It was satisfying to eliminate one errand by car.  And the strawberries were indeed very tasty.

Goals update:  one commute and one trip to the grocery store.


Entry filed under: Bicycling, Commuting. Tags: .

First Commute Riding the Waves

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andy Fry  |  March 15, 2011 at 6:03 am

    I strapped a box of Krispy Kremes to my rear rack last year! wrap your brain around that one!

    • 2. getspoked  |  March 15, 2011 at 7:17 am

      Now that’s a pretty mental picture! Much better than the toilet paper I strapped to the rack last weekend.

  • 3. TomG  |  March 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I divide my shopping trips into two categories – will it fit in the panniers? Or do I need the trailer? The trailer is for the trips where I need cat litter, 50 lbs of dog food, bulk items. Everything else is a
    pannier trip.

    Tom in Lawrence

  • 4. getspoked  |  March 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Tom, sounds like I need a trailer. A friend of ours has one and swears by it.


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Passionate about Bicycling

I don't bicycle for a living, but I do bicycle to live. It's that simple.

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2012: 3,624 miles total
2011: 1,632 miles total
2010: 3,132 miles total
2009: 2,840 miles total


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