I use my bike mostly for function – getting to and from places, shopping, going to dinner, etc. One of the best purchases I’ve made was getting pannier bags, which make it easy to carry items and more comfortable than using a backpack or handheld bag. Pannier bags attach to a basic bike rack (front or rear) and are a convenient way to carry goods, or to carry camping supplies if going for a long recreational trip.
A couple of years ago I bought a used set of Avenir pannier bags for $10 a piece. They have some nice features like:
Reflective trim to increase visibility
Two bottle holders
One large pouch for large items (I’m usually carrying a laptop or papers) with clip straps to secure and expand or shrink height
Small zippered pouch for easy access to wallet, keys, etc.
Clips to secure bag to bike rack and reduce chances of falling off
Waterproof with drawstring tie on opening
I went to the grocery store the other day and took some photos to show what a shopping trip by bike looks like. I sometimes see newspaper articles or comments online about how non-functional it is to buy food items on a bicycle. I strongly disagree – the parking is usually much easier, it’s cheaper than driving, and with a couple of good bags carrying your items home is a breeze.
Here’s my bike with two pannier bags full of groceries – I didn’t put the chips in the pannier bags for fear of crushing them although there was room in the expanded upper portion if I wanted to use it.
On returning home, I unpacked the bags on our table and took this photo to show the amount of food that can easily fit in a pair of bags. We were cooking for a get-together so some of the items are in bigger quantities than usual but overall a pretty good idea of an average grocery shopping trip for me by bicycle.
We’re fortunate to live in an area with a number of grocery stores within a mile. I often walk instead of biking, but often pick up a couple of items in other areas when I’m coming home from work or other activities. Pannier bags are a great addition to any bike and I highly recommend getting a pair.
2017 marks the 6th Annual Ride for the River Park, benefiting the San Diego River Park Foundation (SDRPF). This 2 day, 1 night tour begins at the Pacific Ocean in the neighborhood of Ocean Beach, and follows the path of the San Diego River from the ocean to the headwaters in the mountains near Julian. This is a challenging ride of 70 miles each direction, with about a mile of elevation climb on the first day. At the end of the first day we’ll enjoy camping at Lake Cuyamaca and a beautiful night’s sleep. The return trip on Sunday, October 22 is all downhill – a well deserved easier return trip.
All participants are strongly encouraged to make a donation to the SDRPF at http://sandiegoriver.org/give.html. Please also send an email to organizer John Anderson at john.patrick.anderson.com. The event organizer and volunteers will provide snacks and water along the way and a support vehicle for carrying small overnight bags and gear. Food and drink are the responsibility of each participant as is accommodation in Julian on Saturday night. Julian is a popular tourist destination so reservations are recommended as soon as possible. There are a variety of hotels and other accommodations and many options on VRBO or Airbnb. There are also nice campgrounds nearby like Heise County Park and Lake Cuyamaca**. Please note that the campgrounds are a few miles from Nickel Beer Company where we will end the first day’s ride.
This ride is challenging and is on open roads, some with fast-moving automobile traffic. We welcome participants of all skill levels but please be aware that this will be a difficult ride for those not used to elevation gains or long-distance riding (more than 50 miles). Please note that the average group pace for the first day is 10 mph and 15 mph for the second day. If you’re not comfortable with this pace for a long day’s ride please bring a friend to ride along – we don’t want to leave anyone riding alone.
Starbucks Coffee – 10406 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92120 (Grantville)
7-11 – 10195 Riverford Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040 (Just before Highway 67)
Iron Mountain Trailhead / Parking Lot – Intersection of Highway 67 and Poway Road
Thai Time (Lunch Stop) – 2330 Main St, Ramona, CA 92065
Dudley’s Bakery / Santa Ysabel Grocery – 30218 California 78, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
Lake Cuyamaca Campground (Finish Line!) – 15027 Highway 79, Julian, CA 92036. We’ll grill out for dinner, have some drinks at the lake and enjoy some star-gazing and conversation. I’ve reserved Campground 26 and 27 at the Chambers Park area, which has showers and nice restrooms. Capacity is 8 per site but there are additional spots that we can get the day of event if needed.
Day 2 Stops – Sunday, 10/22/2017
Breakfast – We’ll cook up some coffee and eggs and bacon at the campsite before heading off in the cool morning mist.
7-11 – 10195 Riverford Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040 (Just before Highway 67)
Mission Trails Visitors Center – 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119
Finish Line – Pizza Port Ocean Beach – 1956 Bacon St, San Diego, CA 92107. All are welcome (non-riders included) to enjoy some pizza and conversation at Pizza Port at end of ride, estimated arrival time is 3:30 PM on Sunday, Oct 22.
Hope you can join us for this great event and even if you can’t enjoy the ride you can support the work of the SDRPF by learning more and making a tax-deductible donation at: http://sandiegoriver.org/give.html.
A few years ago when I started biking to work it was primarily due to a desire to improve my fitness. I was working a lot of hours and found it difficult to find time to get to the gym. I figured that a little moderate exercise (like walking) to start and end the day would be a good way to ensure at least a nominal amount of physical activity each day.
I’ve continued to bike since that first trial and now bike for most of my daily tasks – groceries, meetings, work, etc. I’ve been pondering the exercise impact of the biking I do and wanted to do a rough estimate.
This online calculator is pretty handy to ballpark the calories burned biking. There are many others but the few I tried out gave similar results.
For a typical 3 mile ride in the city I burn about 200 calories so a round-trip would yield 400 calories burned. For a daily commute and with 2 weeks off for vacation that’d be an even 100,000 calories in a year.
If you’re looking for a way to get a bit of exercise each day, trying out bike commuting might be worth a try. Bonus: it’s really fun.
CORRECTION: After posting this I received feedback from a couple of people with more knowledge than I that calculators like the one used above overestimate the calories burned biking by quite a bit. Per their estimates, including a tracked ride, the rate per mile for biking should be around 25 calories.
Based on this number, the total for the 3 mile ride, 6 miles round trip would yield a total of 150 calories burned and an annual total of 37,500 (not 100,000).
I’m leaving the original post and this edit in case others have a similar issue regarding online calculators for this purpose.
Excited to announce that I’m working with Ryan Woldt of Socalsessions.com on a project we’ve dubbed “Bike Sexy”. Basically we think that riding a bike is sexy and we want to encourage people to be loud and proud about it. Being healthy, having fun, helping the planet, saving some money, connecting with your community – how much better does it get? #bikesexy
Our first Bike Sexy product is a sweet black t-shirt with silver reflective ink. The material is light combed cotton that is super soft. You can order online here or hit one of us up personally.
Props also to Ryan for last week’s debut of Night Rider, a film produced with Cool Guys Productions giving a view of the joy of biking in San Diego at night. I’m looking forward to many more video projects highlighting the cultural importance (and fun!) of biking here. Check out the short film below with great music from local band Dead Feather Moon.
Bonus thank you to Ryan for putting together the first Undie Bike Ride in San Diego which took place in Pacific Back on September 17th. Thanks to everyone that came out and hope you had a great time!