Tip – carrying groceries home

This past weekend I stopped at the grocery store but didn’t have any panniers or backpack with me for carrying home my load. Luckily I had shopped light, so my friend showed me a quick tip for safely and easily transporting a bag or two of groceries home by bike (without the need for extra baggage or accessories).

Simply loop the plastic bag handles over the nose of your saddle and let the bag dangle behind your seat like a seat bag. For a short distance, this trick worked well and I’m sure I will use it again. Plus – it gives a reason for utilizing a plastic bag (which I’ll recycle!):

bags over saddle nose

plastic grocery bag

Please share your tips/tricks for transporting loads without the need for special gear or equipment in the comments.


  1. PsySal June 15, 2011 6:37 pm 

    Here is my tip for getting a fresh loaf of bread home. This is the most stylish and fun way to bring bread home, period (at least, without a handlebar basket, which is always the classic and lovely french way to bring home bread, at least if it is french baguette… but I digress.)

    This advice only applies to bread in a protected covering, such as a plastic bag. I can not vouch for the success in paper-bagged bread.

    The method is thus:

    Simply place the loaf in it’s plastic bag on top of your rear rack.

    Then, it becomes a lovely game of trying to not have the bread fall off on your way home. This is a good exercise in bike control and elegance. I have done this approximately 10 times and only had the bread fall off twice, once on a fairly extended detour. The other obvious advantage is there is no opportunity for the bread to become squished (as long as it does not fall off) and you have both hands available for piloting the bicycle and signalling as required.

    I wish you all the best of luck with this advice. It is really the most elegant bread-carry and I promise when you execute it successfully you will not want to carry bread any other way.

    Much love,

    Calvin in Calgary

  2. Dacius June 16, 2011 3:44 am 

    Well I wish one or two bags was my grocery list. But with my two boys and all their friends using my house as food central, the grocery store sees me and closes down shop when I leave. My trips to the store increases the companies stock margins.

    Anyways when I want to bike it I take my kid carrier trailer with me and use it as a storage trailer. I can actually put more in that trailer than my wife’s car.

  3. Ghost Rider June 16, 2011 7:24 am 

    What’s wrong with just hanging the bags from the handlebars? It’s a tried and true method for bagladies and hobos everywhere! Besides wrecking your steering and the bags contacting the front wheel, it’s perfect 😉

  4. BluesCat June 17, 2011 9:15 am 

    I’m with Ghost Rider. I take reusable bags with me to the grocery store all the time, and a while back I wrote about how well they work as front panniers on my Trekking handlebars: Poor Man’s Front Panniers.

    I have since discovered that regular, plastic grocery bags work almost as well as long as they’re double-bagged and not TOO full of stuff.

  5. Thomas Kohn August 2, 2011 1:20 pm 

    So far, the answers create hassles: bag over the seat is OK if your bike has a fender; bag over the handlebars is OK if you don’t have to turn much. Here’s my sugg:

    Pack the plastic tote(s) lightly. Pull the handles apart, stretching the web between the handles a bit. Place one arm through a handle. Reach backwards to slide the other arm through the other handle. Voilà! a bag-pack! You can do this with several bags, if needed.

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