Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How to Beat High Gas Prices: We Did It!

I was so proud of my kids yesterday. Over the past two weeks, we've been working hard to get past illness and bad weather. We've been taking longer and longer rides on our bikes...

Well, yesterday, we finally did it.

We went grocery shopping by bicycle. And it worked great!

Our grocery store is 1.5 miles away, and even though we live in the Midwest, there are some hills along our route. Part of the trip involves a busy road with a bike lane, too. So, I wasn't entirely convinced that we'd be able to make it. But I put my 7-year-old in the lead and everyone wore their helmets, and the ride went perfectly.

When we got to the store, it was great to see how proud the kids were to tell everyone we'd come on our bikes. They must have told twelve different people who work for the store! The ladies at the bakery department were so delighted, they passed out chocolate chip cookies all around. (Talk about positive reinforcement!)

One thing I wasn't personally prepared for was the way I would have to control what I bought. Not because of the cost -- I'm used to that by now. But because I had to be sure not to buy things that weigh too much. I needed milk and Pull-ups and bread, but I couldn't buy a ton of canned goods or a 12-pound turkey on a trip like this. (Fortunately, hot dogs weigh a lot less.) And that added weight in our bike trailer sure made the ride home more of a workout for me. Did I mention there were hills?

The best part of using our bicycles to run errands -- aside from the fact that I'm not using my car and paying through the nose for gasoline -- was just the sheer fun of it. Our little group met other cyclists, adults out for some exercise or kids on their way to the pool. It was a great time. We will definitely do it again.

And the way my children ate when they got home -- we'll have to go again soon!

Midwest Mom

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