One of the easiest trips that people can make by bike, is to the grocery store. With the use of reusable bags, people can typically get out of a simple grocery trip with 2 bags of stuff. Without store bought paniers, it can be difficult and dangerous to transport these groceries by bicycle. Below is a cheap and easy way to make homemade paniers to help on these short trips.
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
Tip: You can get a piece of the wood deeply discounted if you look for one that's damaged.
Cut some of the wood to fit into the bags:
Staple 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!
Sure beats paying $50+ for ones from the bike shop. You could probably make them even stronger by double-bagging, since by now all of us probably have about 12 of these give-away canvas bags piled up in our closets.