Detours Ballard Market Pannier
Vermont is home to some of the best farmers’ markets accessible by bicycle. Pedaling to pick up produce is a noble feat, an activity that requires a royally equipped bag. Enter, the Ballard Market Pannier, a versatile pannier that converts into a backpack.
Two side clips attach this bag securely to your bike with ease and release just as smoothly. When not in use, the clips are hidden behind a zippered stash pocket and the bag transforms into a regular tote. For a hands free option, padded tote handles transform again into adjustable backpack straps. This transition is helpful when carrying up to 920 cubic inches of fresh fare back to your bike for the ride home.
The Ballard pannier can stand on its own thanks in part to a sturdy waterproof base and durable water shedding fabric. Based in Seattle, Detours designs its bags to withstand weather. The mouth of the bag expands for taller veggies and zips to keep strays from bouncing out (also good for keeping water, debris or pests from getting in.) An internal adjustable strap compresses loose items to the sidewall of the bag or can keep a laptop secure on commutes to work or school.
Safety features include reflective details on the forward- and rear-facing light loops as well as a clip to hold straps down to help prevent them from flailing when you ride like the wind. I found it also helps to tuck loose straps into the pockets.
The Ballard Market Pannier makes transporting farmers’ market finds a treat, city commutes comfortable and picnics more pleasant. My bag came in a fun radish print, making me feel like the market comes with me wherever I ride. $80
RockyMounts Locking Tailpipe 4
‘Tis the season to pack the car, load your quiver of bikes and explore Vermont’s many cycling trails.
The Locking Tailpipe is a solid hitch-mounted bike carrier sporting features you’d expect from higher priced models. The Locking Tailpipe comes with two, built-in locks to keep your gear safe. A lock pod secures the rack to your hitch and a cleverly designed cable lock keeps your bikes safely secured to the rack.
RockyMounts is a Boulder, Co. company familiar with the need to travel on bumpy back roads to reach the trailhead. They built this rack with attachment points on the rubber bike cradles to strap down both the top tube and seat tube. Bikes stay in place as the extra “FlexStrap” on the seat tube helps prevent sliding or shifting on your way to the trail. I didn’t experience a noticeable amount of sway or bounce with a fully loaded 4-bike model unless the road was substantially uneven.
When you want to access your vehicle cargo area, the base of this rack tilts 60 degrees (after bikes have been unloaded). The Locking Tailpipe’s arms also fold down so you don’t have to uninstall the entire rack in between rides. Available in 2-, 3- or 4 bike capacities, the Locking Tailpipe provides your crew a solid and affordable option to transport your fleet safely and securely on your next adventure. The 4-bike carrier fits 2 inch class II hitch receivers. Two and three bike carriers fit 1 ¼- or 2-inch receivers. $249.95
Fiddlehead Brewing Company Second Fiddle Double IPA
Originally released last year, the Second Fiddle is back again for summer sipping. Fiddlehead’s double IPA is also the brewery’s second variety available in cans (Hodad Porter is its first). Second Fiddle is a big, hoppy, honey-hued IPA with floral, spice and citrus aromas and a fresh, crisp citrus flavor. Its bitterness comes from two varieties of hops, Citra and Simcoe, contributing to the full-mouth feel and 80 IBUs. A nice balance of bite and smooth drinkability makes Second Fiddle a tasty treat to enjoy during Vermont’s warmer months.
Don’t, however, be fooled by the ease in which this brew flows down the hatch. Second Fiddle is a heavy hitter weighing in at 8.2% ABV and comes packaged in 16-ounce cans. The second run of cans are now available for a limited time. It flies off the rack, so if you happen miss it make sure to stop by the brewery and tasting room in Shelburne, Vt. to try samples and fill up a growler to go. The brewery is located on Route 7 about ¼ mile south of the Shelburne Museum.