The Pedalshift Project 188: Grocery Store Strategies on Bike Tour

The Pedalshift Project 188: Grocery Store Strategies on Bike Tour

Almost everywhere, the cheapest bet to stay fed on bicycle tour is a town’s grocery store. On this episode, I cover my grocery store strategies on bike tour… from prep to pedaling off with panniers full of treats to chow on later!

The Pedalshift Project 188: Grocery Store Strategies on Bike Tour

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Hey, I’m presenting at the National Bike Summit’s Active Transportation Leadership Retreat in March. National Bike Summit is the biggest collection of bike advocates and it happens in DC. This will be the first time I’m lawyering it up in the bike advocacy space, so it’s going to be fun. Look for a DC meetup for attendees and generally Pedalshift-inclined types in mid-March.

Grocery Store Strategies on Bike Tour


  • Map them out ahead of time or at least scope them out the day of
  • Have room in your bags or a strategy to get your food protected
  • Know what meals you’re buying for (i.e. tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast and snack) if not a list


  • Scope out bicycle parking options
  • Did you bring a lock?
  • Should I be afraid people are going to rifle through my stuff?


  • Check to see if they have wifi. Download/upload stuff while you shop
  • Hit the bathroom – might be a nicer one than you’ve seen in a minute. Clean up as necessary.
  • Start at one end of the store and sweep through to the other rather than aimlessly walking aisles
  • Favor fresh food and veggies for the very next meal – it’ll keep
  • Favor foods that can stand up to a little jostling over more fragile options (i.e. apples over berries)
  • If the store has one, check out the hot bar or prepared foods deli for eating at the store
  • Weird trick: least expensive and smallest bag of frozen veggies can keep beers cold
  • After checkout, grab a seat if they have one. Look to charge up and eat while you continue to up/download


  • Go directly to recycling (rare) or garbage bins outside the store
  • Radically reduce bulk by removing dry items from boxes and discarding all unnecessary packaging.
  • Sturdiest stuff on the bottom, most fragile/brusable on top
  • Cold sinks, so put those frozen veggies on top of the beer 😉
  • Tie plastic bags to hang from rack if you need to, but that won’t stand up for more than a few miles.


  • Don’t get in anyone’s way unreasonably
  • Do not leave a mess
  • Get to camp or wherever you’re ending the night and enjoy the spoils!

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at

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You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields’ latest album may be their best yet. Go get it.