Monday Grocery Shopping

My first attempt at grocery shopping by bicycle.

Ready to go.

I chose this ......


.... instead of this

Monday is my regular day to do grocery shopping. Since I work from home, I do this chore to help my wife, and she loves me for it! 🙂 It’s the one day a week that I drive. I make a run to the post office to check the box, and shop at two different stores. We buy most of our produce, bulk items and vitamins at Henry’s Farmer’s Market. We buy most of our dairy and a few other items across the street at Stater Brothers. Although I have large panniers, I knew there was no way I could get a weeks worth of groceries in one trip. But, it’s only about two miles to the area, so two trips in one afternoon wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

First stop was the post office to pick up mail. Then I rode around the corner to Henry’s Farmers Market. I locked my bike to a post, in the place where it would least interfere with pedestrian traffic. I removed the panniers and put them on the bottom shelf of a cart.

Bike on a post

Bike locked up to the post

Grocery Cart

Full grocery cart with panniers underneath

Instead of having them bag the groceries, I just had them put them back in the cart. Then I went to my bike, put the panniers back on, and then loaded the groceries into the panniers. It worked well, allowed me to adjust the load somewhat and make sure the soft items are on top and not the bottom. I easily carried the equivalent of three bags of groceries from Henry’s Farmers Market, in the four panniers. Riding home was no problem. It got a little more complicated at Stater Brothers. When I started unloading the panniers from the bike, I noticed one was still full. I had missed unloading it at home. As I was shopping, and reading my list, I noticed pizza. I nearly panicked. Where was I going to put the pizza? No problem. My Arkel GT-54 swallowed that pizza like it was nothing, and a half case of soda to boot! 🙂 And another half case on the other side. There was a half gallon of milk and half gallon of OJ in one front pannier. I don’t remember what I had packed on the other side, but I don’t think mass was equivelent. The bike did steer a little awkwardly on the way home. No worries, made it fine. On tour I would be more careful to balance the weight. I was only going two miles.

Right to the front door

Right to the front door

The one real advantage to grocery shopping this way is that I don’t have to walk so far. I can just roll the bike up to the front door and unload right there. The kitchen is right there, so it’s very convenient. Next time I may just use the kitchen door, which we’ve never used, because it’s inconvenient, unless you back in the driveway. With the bike, it’s not nearly so inconvenient.

I’ve moved myself one step closer to not relying on a car to do my chores. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get rid of at least one car. It also made the twenty-fourth day in a row I rode a bicycle.  My goal is to ride every day this year. Some will be long rides, and some will be short, like nine miles going for groceries. But all will be fun. 🙂

Go ride a bike!


1 comment to Monday Grocery Shopping

  • Tried this myself. In the end I resorted to a trailer as it was far easier to bung everything into that than it was to pack into the panniers. Though a combination of the two is very useful.

    I would say that the weekly grocery run has to be the single biggest waste of fuel. I see so many people buying just one or two items from the shop and putting them into the plastic bags (hate those things) and into the back of their car. They then drive half a mile down the road and get out again!

    Thanks for the interesting “ramblings” entertaining and informative.

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