Oh, my… – something I frequently utter when I come across something I really, really want. Especially if it’s something that is glorious to look at, useful and accentuates a slower lifestyle.

bluebell

My beloved bike (named Bluebell) is one of those things and more than just a trusty steed – she’s a companion for adventures on long summer days, with no more than a pashmina thrown in the basket next to my purse and keys, for impromptu picnics.

But as the autumn days draw in, I’ve fitted lights and dug out lots of reflective gear, and have now started to lust after some panniers for the back of Bluebell. So that I don’t have to lug all the extra stuff that goes with winter on my back, but also so a rucksack doesn’t obscure a driver’s view of me from the back, on the roads.

Because if you can cycle even through winter, you can drive less, see more and still get fresh air in a reasonably gentle manner. And as long as you’re wrapped up warm, it can be a wonderfully zingy way to get around – I always arrive with colour in my cheeks and the wind in my hair!

Here are my favourite three…

The Basil panniers in blue, £40ish. For obvious reasons – they’d match my Bluebell so well, and they’re waterproof.

basil-blue-panniers

This gorgeous bag from FastRider converts from a pannier to a stylish bag and back again… no more unloading at your destination, or carrying your panniers awkwardly over your arm. £45.99

fastrider-charley-pannier-bag

Last but by no means least, the classic Pashley saddle bag satchel… at £95 it’s the most expensive of the three, but oh so stylish while also being wonderfully practical. I’m undecided between colours though… it also comes in black.

pashley-saddle-bag

I have also seriously considered trying to make one from Lisa Lam’s glorious A Bag for All Reasons book… but as I’m yet to use my inherited sewing machine for a single stitch, that may be a tad ambitious. Perhaps for next winter…

Do you cycle? Are you ready for winter? I’d love to see photos of you with your bikes!