One of the many things that makes the Twin Cities cycling scene great is that there are a lot of people making the parts necessary to ride and commute. Nikki Halverson is one of those people. We caught up with Nikki and the Swap Meet on Sunday and checked out her impressive hand-made panniers.
CTC: How long have you been making panniers?
Nikki: About one year.
CTC: Of all of the bike bag makers around the Twin Cities, very few are making panniers, what made you decide to get into the line of pannier making?
Nikki: My husband (Travis) who is an all year biker purchased a pannier, brought it home and wasn’t happy with it. He suggested that I make him one. He wanted something original that didn’t look like all of the plain black panniers at the bike shops.
CTC: How many different designs did you go through before you settled on what you have now?
Nikki: It wasn’t so much the design but many hours of sewing, tearing it apart, sewing, cocktails and discussions with Travis about what works and what doesn’t as far as attaching it to the bike.
CTC: Cocktails and design work? Sounds like fun! What type of material do you use in your bags?
Nikki: I use cotton, canvas and recycled Peace Coffee trailer covers.
CTC: Do you do custom work for people?
Nikki: Yes! If they have a favorite material I would gladly make them a pannier or a set of panniers. (You can contact Nikki via Facebook or at nikki057(at)gmail(dot)com).
CTC: Are you a cyclist?
Nikki: Yes, I ride April through November. I have a chrome cruiser (pictured above) that I ride to work, the Co-op and all around town. I’m also riding in my first duathlon this August.
CTC: Where can readers pick up a set of your panniers, any shops yet?
Nikki: They aren’t available in any bikes shops yet, but you can find them at our Facebook page or find a few different styles posted on my Etsy page.
CTC: Anything else that you want to add?
Nikki: I love riding my bike! Minneapolis has to be about the best place ever to ride.
CTC: We can’t disagree with you on that one.