How To Bike To The Farmers Market

On Sunday, April 15th, Heirloom Farmers Markets is teaming up with Living Streets Alliance to host Bike to the Farmers’ Market––an annual event that encourages people to hop on their bikes and ride to the Rillito Park farmers’ market. Bikers will be rewarded for their efforts with a free and secure bike valet, prizes, and entertainment. At first thought, the idea of biking to the farmers market on a sunny April morning seems quite idyllic. However, the logistics––like how to store your food, keep it cool, and get a dozen pastured eggs home safely––can seem daunting. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can bike to and from the market with little hassle or concern.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bike panniers or a large backpack
  • Reusable bags
  • Ice packs, for safely transporting meat and cheese
  • Tea towel
  • Tupperware container

Begin your preparation at home. Use the “Fresh at the Market” list on our website to make a list of what you need at the market and organize the items by category: produce, meat, dairy, dry goods, etc. Once you have a tentative idea of what you’re getting at the market, you can begin to plan the best way to transport everything safely and efficiently.

The easiest way to transport goods to and from the market on two wheels is with bike panniers, which prevent you from having to carry a heavy bag on your back; however, a large backpack can serve your needs sufficiently. Be sure to bring a reusable bag or two to gather your goods as you make your way through the market. Once you’ve collected everything you need for a delicious week of local meals, take a few minutes to step away from the market festivities and repack your bags for the ride home.

To safely transport cold-storage items like meat and cheese, pack a few frozen ice packs in your bag and use them to keep these items cool on your journey home from the market. Store these highly perishable items, along with ice packs, at the bottom of your bag. Protect fragile items, like eggs and tomatoes, from breaking and bruising by wrapping a kitchen towel or t-shirt around egg cartons and packing delicate produce in a lidded container. Store these items at the top of your bag and ensure that no heavy items are placed on top of them. Bumps in the road can prove to be a bigger threat to delicate foods, so take The Loop––and extensive and well-paved bike path––for as much of your ride as possible. Once you experience how easy it is to bike to the farmers market (and back), you’ll want to do it every week! Happy riding!