The Mistress bicycle basket panniers

willow basket bicycle panniers by Katherine Lewis

Katherine made this pair of bicycle panniers last November. They were a custom order for Ben Ferencz at Freeman Transport, who hand build bikes in Missoula, Montana. Ben wanted a pair of willow baskets for a tandem bike.

willow basket bicycle panniers by Katherine Lewis

Ben sent us a Freeman rack so that Katherine could figure out attachment using willow and leather straps.

willow basket bicycle panniers by Katherine Lewis

They also wanted these to be picnic baskets, so Katherine added a removable cutting board on the inside of one lid. The lids are held on by a leather strap and buckle on each end.

willow picnic basket with cutting board for bicycle pannier

Here’s what the basket panniers looked like on an old bike we have with the Freeman rack tied on. They looked great even on this old beater, but it was going to be a pleasure to see them on a hand built tandem.

willow basket bicycle panniers by Katherine Lewis

We knew the baskets were going to be mounted on a special tandem that Freeman was building, but we didn’t know who the actual customer was. Ben had briefly mentioned the name Mistress. We had no idea that Mistress was a “creative agency” in Venice, CA. It was kind of amusing to come across this video and see Katherine’s baskets riding around the streets of LA.

The next short video shows the tandem bicycle being made. There are some good shots of the baskets again near the end. The tandem bike is apparently now for sale as The Mistress.


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