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!
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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.
BE A GOOD AMBASSADOR
- 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 pedalshift.net/society.
Mark Van Raam