Using buckets for panniers is a great idea. They are waterproof, can be used as kickstands, and most of all, filled with ice they can keep a lot of beer cold. Buckets can be purchased, but motivated souls can make their own. One motivated soul is reader Melanie who sent along the following.
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My "truck" has 2 - 5 gallon panniers made from Tidy Cat containers that are decked out with reflective tape and stickers. I went to a local business that makes reflective road signs and they gave me self-adhesive scraps of reflective tape to cover up the Tidy-Cat stuff. I love the waterproof quality and boy, no body can miss me! I ride a vintage Cannonade mountain bike - the same one that I got in High School, hauled art materials on all through college, and towed my kids (oldest now 15!) around with the bike trailer... whew! It's old!