Most business travelers opt to eat out for every meal. As always, I am the anomaly. Not only do I prefer riding a bicycle instead of renting a car, but I also prefer grocery shopping over eating out at restaurants.
One of the most convenient aspects of owning a Brompton bicycle is the ability to take it grocery shopping. Clarice is able to morph into “cart mode,” and with the capacious touring pannier attached, she essentially becomes a vehicle for hauling groceries as I stroll about the store.
The tricky part is, as I place items into the pannier, to not look like I’m shop-lifting. Most of the cashiers know me by now as the traveling girl with the folding bike, so they are well aware of my eccentricities.
She has the easy wheels, but without a rear rack (which would act as a rolling platform while folded), she isn’t the most stable in “cart mode.” This is especially true if I have the pannier attached to the bike with my heavy laptop inside. For that reason, I sometimes opt to wear the pannier as a messenger bag as I pull Clarice along.
After checking out, I load up the pannier as I unfold the bicycle and leave the store.
On this particular shopping occasion, in addition to large-volume groceries, I also had some things with me from work. The bag was filled to the brim, but the unrolled height of the bag ended up blocking the headlight beam to the point that I had to angle it upwards to be seen.
On other occasions, I only require something small, so I lazily leave the pannier at the office and hang the grocery bag from the handlebars as I ride back to work.
Overall, this rolling feature has been a great convenience for me, and reaffirms the decision to buy a Brompton. I only wish I had gotten the rear rack option!