Carrying Your Daily Things by Bicycle

Most days when traveling around town or commuting by bicycle, there are two items that I use to carry the things I need on a daily basis: a bag and (sometimes) a basket.

grocery-shopping-by-bicycle

Carry

 Stuff by Bicycle

A bag and a basket are usually all I use to carry the things I need each day.

Keep in mind that I stow a flat tire kit to fix punctures in a separate saddlebag that is always attached to my bicycle. See this video for what I carry in my flat tire kit.

1. Carry Your Things by Bag or Pannier

During the weekdays when I need to carry a laptop (and sometimes an external monitor) I carry those items and accessories in a pannier that hooks on to the rear rack of my bicycle--like the Bergen Pannier Bicycle Bag.

Bergen Pannier

Bicycle Bag

Carry your things easily in a bag that hangs on your bike.

When I don't need my laptop, I carry my stuff in a bag like the Po Campo Bike Trunk Bag. It is roomy enough to carry an iPad, a paper planner (yes, I'm old fashioned), my clutch, sunglass case, folding bike lock, gloves, etc. yet it is small enough to carry as a purse when I get off the bike.

2. Carry Your Things by Basket

  • A basket is so handy to throw things in like my lunch, jacket or cardigan, extra water bottles and stuff that does not fit nicely in a pannier like groceries, flowers, wine bottles, baguettes, eggs, etc. I prefer baskets that hang from the rear rack of my bicycle while others prefer baskets for the handlebar of the bike.

    During the week, I don't do large grocery hauls because I like to stop at the market often to pick up fresh-picked produce. You'll be surprised at HOW MUCH you can carry on a bicycle with one or two baskets! Because of the amount of weight I tend to carry in my bike basket(s), I prefer the stability of carrying the load on the rear rack of my bike instead of on the handlebar where it could affect the ability to steer more easily.
     
  • The advantage of a basket over a bag is that it is open and you can easily throw things in or take stuff out while you are riding (or at a stop) without needing to unzip your bike bag to put away or retrieve things. That said, I would keep anything valuable (wallet, keys, electronics) inside a more secure bag or pannier. I have never had anyone walk up to me while on my bicycle and take things out of my basket--not even the wine, flowers or bread but better to keep those items secure than have them slip through the basket without you knowing.

One more thing I might take if I anticipate carrying larger things that will not fit in a basket or bag is a bungee cord cargo net. Then I can carry extra atop the front or rear rack of my bicycle.

From day to day, a bag and basket are all I need to carry things on my bicycle. What do you like to use to carry your things?

4 Skirts Fit for Bicycling

One of the questions I get asked often is, "How do you ride in a skirt?". I don't really know how to explain it...I just do it. In fact, I prefer a skirt or a dress over pants. To me, they are more comfortable and allow a greater freedom of movement than slacks. You could say that I almost always...wear no pants ;-)

While most of the dresses and skirts in my closet work for bicycling, there are some that are better designed or specifically designed for riding a bike yet are still office appropriate. And the skirts don't have to be full and flared either. There are some pencil or A-line pieces out there that could be classic staples in your wardrobe. Here are my four picks of skirts fit for bicycling.

1. eShakti Jacquard Knit Pencil Skirt

The back vent zippered closure is quite clever. Unzip to ride and then zip up at your destination. Plus side seam pockets to store your stuff. eShakti will remove the pockets and adjust the garment to your height at no additional cost. Yet you can customize the length to your taste for a small price.

 

2. eShakti's Graphic Print Crepe Skort

Looks like a skirt from the front but it is a skort. The functional side and back pockets can be removed at no additional cost. Wear this skort with a mustard or pink top or tights to make the hounds tooth pattern pop!

 

3. Betabrand's Bike to Work Skirt

In gray or black, this skirt has a classic pencil shape. It's fitted when you zip close the panels. Unzip them to reveal hidden godets that allow for a wider range of motion when pedaling. Stored inside one of the functional back pockets is a reflective flag you can deploy when riding at night. I have one of each color in my wardrobe!

4. Betabrand's Work-It Skort

Available in black, gray pin-stripe or navy pin-stripe, this A-line skirt has a short built-in. Plenty of pockets (hidden back pockets and in the short leg) to store your stuff!

Should you order from eShatki or Betabrand, use the links below to score yourself a discount.

$40 off at eShakti

Use the link above to receive $40 off your first purchase of $70 or more ($30+ after referral discount) at eShakti and I will also get $40 off my next purchase.

$15 off at Betabrand

Use the link above when ordering from Betabrand. You save $15 and I get $15, that's a win-win!

You don't have to bike in performance clothing or pants, especially if you are just riding around town or to the office. I usually ride in a skirt or dress and I prefer to for comfort and freedom of movement. And with clothing options like the ones I pointed out above, it makes it that much easier to bike in a skirt that is also office appropriate.

Also see related post for tips: How to Cycle in a Skirt Happy riding!!

You can ride a bicycle in a pencil skirt to work!

You can ride a bicycle in a pencil skirt to work!

How to Cycle in a Skirt

My husband, who was a young boy at the time, was on a road trip with his parents when nature called him. Since they were on a long stretch of highway far from the next rest stop, his parents pulled the car over to the side of the road so he could relieve himself. My husband, concerned about his dignity, pointed out to his Dad that other people who drove by would be able to see his private parts!

At this point his Dad, who always has the funniest yet truthful things to say, responded...

If they've never seen it before then they don't know what it is. And if they have seen it before then it's nothing new.

And that was settled.

Whenever I pedal down the street wearing a skirt or dress, this story flashes through my mind. I've mentioned before that I don't like to change in and out of my clothes (and carry them) to ride my bicycle and then have to change again when I get to my destination. So I wear the same thing for my bike commute as I do walking around the office. I also prefer skirts and dresses primarily for the freedom of movement and I wear them often. Even during a 53-mile round trip bikepacking adventure this past weekend! Check out Riding in Reno's Deer Creek Bikepacking Report blog post.

The skirt or dress material and length will determine how well it rides or not. Take it for a test ride!

The skirt or dress material and length will determine how well it rides or not. Take it for a test ride!

There are some things you can do when cycling in a skirt, if you have the same concerns about exposing more than you care to show to the public.

  • Wear tights. I love fashion tights because they also keep me warm during cooler months.
  • Wear shorts underneath. There are bike shorts and bike bloomers in the market to choose from that are designed to be less bulky when worn as undergarments.
  • Choose your skirt or dress carefully for the fabric and the length. But it can be hard to tell what it will do on a bicycle so try it on a short ride first.
  • There are clips and garters available in the market or simply use an office clip and coin to attach it to the liner of your skirt or dress. If you're interested in some suggestions, just let me know!
  • You can also try this little trick with a rubber band and coin. I've tried it and it works in a pinch!

We love bikes. We love skirts. But sometimes these two don't mix well. Which is why we came up with Penny in Yo' Pants. An easy solution to making your skirt bikeable.

  • There are also several skirts designed for cycling. I've worn one that is a pencil skirt that converts with a simple zipper and hidden placket to a skirt that I can easily pedal in. Imagine that! A pencil skirt perfect for the office that you can also ride a bicycle in!
  • When coming to a stop, I usually do not dismount from the saddle but getting off the saddle and standing over your bike could help the skirt to slide back down your legs and keep from riding up your thighs.
Use an office clip and coin to attach to the liner of your skirt to keep the fabric from flying away. Not only does it work while riding a bike, it also keeps your skirt down when walking around on a breezy day!

Use an office clip and coin to attach to the liner of your skirt to keep the fabric from flying away. Not only does it work while riding a bike, it also keeps your skirt down when walking around on a breezy day!

Lastly, it's what you make of it. I've been there. I thought my dress would be fine. Several minutes of pedaling and it rides up in the front or rides up in the back or flies up to my hips or flashes my Hello Kitty panties to innocent people passing by. When wearing a shorter skirt, I try to pedal with my knees together and make sure to wear pretty underwear with flowers and lace just in case! Also, having a bag or purse on the front rack can block the view of people nearby. Besides, I pedal so fast and roll by so quickly that they can hardly catch a glimpse anyway. Remember, there are far worse things than seeing undergarments that we all wear after all and if they've seen it before, then it's nothing new!

30 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 5 Minutes

Brrr...it is DEFINITELY fall season out there! And for me, it means all of my fun and colorful scarves come out.

I love neckwear and the many different ways I can style them. Below, you'll find 25 options to tie, knot and wrap them in a cool 4 1/2 minute video (no pun intended). And 5 more wears to wear them in a slideshow.

Certain ties and knots stay put better than others to keep them from unraveling while pedaling on the bike (:eek:). You can also tuck the ends underneath your blazer and keep your neck warm during the ride.

Part of enjoying the cooler weather is making it fun and staying comfortably warm while commuting. If you get too hot, just undo your scarf and slip it in your bike basket or pannier!