thank goodness we have saddlebags


The Bendigo Club has been delving into the history of Panniers

The French and English moneyed classes adopted a fashion from the early 1700s called pan- niers, a basket like contraption worn on each hip.
The first panniers were simply large hoops bound together with tape. These were known as “panniers a? gue?ridon”. A second style resembled arches springing from the waist and were called “panniers a? coudes” because the wearer could rest her elbows upon them. (The first personal armrests?) Some panniers grew to enormous dimensions until they reached six feet from side to side.

The ridiculous width was inconvenient for the wearer as well as others. Two ladies could not sit together on a sofa, or pass through a door side by side. When passing through a doorway a lady had to walk sideways until some bright spark had the idea of collapsible panniers that could be lowered then raised again. Ladies walking the streets annoyed pedestrians who were forced to go around these wide loads.

What is the point of this? Well next time you see a panniers on a bike, keep in mind the ori- gins are women’s underwear.