10 tips for planning a simply perfect bicycle picnic

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AquafinaSparkling #CollectiveBias Aquafina in basket by railing sqOne of hubby’s and my very first dates was a picnic almost 20 years ago. Since that day, we have picnicked our way through 9 countries and countless cities, and we’ve made it a point to picnic near home as often as possible as our way of reconnecting. We’ll hop on our bikes with our picnic essentials and ride the trails to our nearby Target where we’ll grab everything else we need for an amazing picnic lunch when we’re at the store, utilizing Cartwheel, of course. HUB

It’s amazingly relaxing and it’s a great way to spend the day together doing something we both love while staying active and exploring new areas. Over the years we’ve learned from our mistakes and we now have our picnic planning down to a science, and I’m going to hand all of that knowledge right over to  you.

Here are some awesome tips for planning the perfect bicycle picnic on your bicycle:

1. Bike accessories to hold your gear

Aside from a great big bike basket, you can also buy cavernous saddlebags {panniers} that attach to your rear bike rack. This is ideal for packing things from home as well as holding all your food, drinks, and treasures you pick up on your shopping trip or biking adventure. If you don’t have bike bags, you can always use a backpack from home – just make sure you don’t over-shop for whatever your storage capacity is. Aquafina in bike bag

2. Plan your route ahead of time

Lots of cities and counties have well-maintained bike trails, so pick up a trail map as you begin to plot your journey. Make the most of your ride by choosing to travel through a scenic area or a new part of town you want to explore. Then make sure you plan to shop and dine in fairly close proximity so you don’t have to cart your picnic and perishables across town.

3. Prepare for the elements

Watch the weather forecasts and pack your bags accordingly. Think sunscreen, windproof jackets, bug spray, and an extra layer in case it gets cold during your ride. Make sure that you’re also staying hydrated while you ride, no matter what kind of weather you’re braving. Aquafina bike ride

4. Creature comforts

From home, bring a packable picnic blanket. Ours is waterproof {hello, Washington!} and I love its bright and cheerful design that makes any picnic suddenly look like a garden party. I also bring a collapsible strainer bowl to wash fresh produce, and the bonus is that you can use it as a bowl while serving salad or snacks. You can also pack your own melamine dishes, cutting board, napkins and silverware to serve your feast or you can simply use the containers the food comes in for a laid-back and relaxed picnic.

5. A special location

The perfect picnic location doesn’t have to be picture-perfect, but it does have to be special. We’ve had some picnics in some really strange places throughout the years {mostly out of necessity}, but our most memorable picnics typically take place in favorite parks or at scenic overlooks. When you’re looking to reconnect and bond over bicycles and food, the place you choose to enjoy it is second only to whom you’re enjoying it with. Aquafina cheers

6. Amazing food

You can’t have a great picnic without great food, right? From prosciutto snacks, fresh veggies and fruits, to European-inspired breads, our picnics are nothing short of gourmet. But, the one thing all the foods have in common is that they are all super easy to serve and eat on-the-go.

I personally like to include little nods to some of our favorite picnics we’ve shared together throughout the years. For our main entrees, I chose fresh baguettes to remind us of our time in France. We top them with deli meats and cheeses like we loved in Germany, and pair them with sparkling drinks like we enjoyed all throughout Spain. Aquafina Sparkling vertical up closeWe always pack lots of veggies, like salads with peppers and then I make my own vinaigrette inspired by our travels that we bring in a cruet to enjoy with them.

The vinaigrette recipe is simple with only a few ingredients:

1/2 cup EVOO

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 squeeze of lemon

The dressing is delicious and still keeps our salad light and fresh. The bonus is that it also works as a condiment for our baguettes if they need a little kick. For dessert, I always pick up some fruits and berries for a sweet treat that isn’t heavy or calorie-laden. Aquafina Sparkling saladWhile this might sound like a whole lot of planning and preparing, I love that Target has everything I need for my gourmet picnic and more. In fact, they even have some really great already prepared meals in their refrigerated section that require absolutely no prep, like their ready made prosciutto and cheese, or snack tubs with sweet and salty pairings.

7. Refreshing beverages

Our recent picnic was made even more epic by the introduction of Aquafina Sparkling to our menu. It’s the perfect balance of fun with a hint of flavor and it has zero calories, zero sugar, and zero artificial preservatives. Serving drinks that are actually hydrating is important to me, especially when doing anything strenuous or active like bike riding, but I also wanted something fun and fruity and Aquafina Sparkling fit the bill perfectly. Aquafina in handWhen I saw that Target had the new Black Cherry Dragonfruit in an 8 pack, we picked that up as well as the Orange Grapefruit in an 8pk which we were already fans of. That way we could have some for the picnic, for the ride, and plenty to keep us stocked up at the house. Also, if you’re at your local US Target, be sure to check to see if there will be samplings of the Aquafina Sparkling line so you can taste before you buy. Once you taste it, you will definitely be buying! Aquafina at storeWe love both flavors we got, as well as all the other flavors we’ve tried in the past, but we were really excited that the Aquafina Sparkling 8 packs just so happened to fit nicely in my bike side saddle. I even placed a single can right in my water bottle holder where it was the perfect fit. Coincidence? Probably, but I still took it as a sign. Bonus tip: get 25% off any Aquafina Sparkling 8pk flavor using the Cartwheel app {5/21 – 6/17}Aquafina in bike bottle holder

8. Shop smart

Pick items with minimal packaging that ideally work for serving as well as transporting. While you may throw elaborate backyard picnics when your kitchen is just a few steps away, planning picnics on the go requires lightweight and easy to transport items so keep that in mind while shopping. Anything that feels even slightly heavy or bulky in-store will weigh approximately 10x more and feel 10x bigger at the end of a long day of biking and transporting. Trust me.

9. Leave no trace

Respect our public places and remember that anything you pack in needs to be taken out, and that includes garbage and dishes. Unless you are eating at a designated eating area with trash cans, you need to be sure to bring along a leak-proof bag that can hold any litter as well as items that need cleaned so you can take them back home with you. Aquafina Sparkling picnic

10. Plan to picnic

If you keep your picnic accessories handy and ready-to-use, you are much more likely to actually use them. For this reason, we keep a picnic blanket in our car, another in our bike bags, and yet another at the house for park days. We also have awesome collapsible coolers, lightweight serving ware, and everything else we could possibly need to make a picnic happen on even a few minutes notice. Aquafina Sparkling bike picnicI don’t know what your experience is with picnics, but I know ours are pretty well epic at this point. Our whole family looks forward to our picnic lunches while bicycling on family fun days and hubby and I eagerly plan our picnic dates whenever we can sneak away by bike. But, as fun as picnics are around home, we all agree that bicycle picnics while traveling is the best way to see as much as possible, meet new people, and feel like locals on our adventures. Bring your own bike, rent one at your destination, or borrow one if you can. It’s an amazing way to travel and see the world!Aquafina in bike basketHey, we’re famous – Check us out on Target.com! You can see our recipe pairings with Aquafina Sparkling and make your own European-inspired white balsamic vinaigrette. Be sure to also head over to the Aquafina Sparkling social hub where you can see our featured post as well as tons more summer inspiration to make the most of the warm-weather months.

Want to try Aquafina Sparkling? Be sure to follow Aquafina on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTubeHave you ever had a picnic lunch on your bicycle? Any favorite tips you want to add?

10 thoughts on “10 tips for planning a simply perfect bicycle picnic”

  1. I have to get the kids to do this picnic with me and ride our bikes to the park. They would get a thrll out of doing this and bringing the drinks and snacks with us in a basket!


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