For me, the primary goal is to get the gear off your back. While I once used panniers over the back wheel, during a recent visit in San Francisco I noticed quite a few bikes with front racks on. They look like they can handle a nice load, on a wide platform. Done!  

I ride year-round in the Denver area. Leave  what  can at work;  like shoes, toiletries, lock. Completely agree with @nealos comments