We live within a mile of two grocery stores, but the health food stores are a bit further away. I always bike or walk to the grocery stores near our house, but we drive to the health food stores (we always try to include multiple errands in one trip to avoid extra driving). There’s a Whole Foods about three miles from here, but it’s along a very busy road where I don’t feel comfortable biking. This evening, I needed some organic brown rice and blackstrap molasses, neither of which are available at the store by our house. I thought about Whole Foods, and about some of the trails and side streets where I’ve been running with our dog for years. I knew I could find a way to get there that didn’t involve the main road, so I got out the jogging stroller and an extra diaper, and set out with the baby and the dog. We had a great run, and managed to avoid traffic until we got right to the shopping area where WF is located. The bonus to this method is that you’re forced to stick to your shopping list, since anything you buy has to fit in the little mesh basket under the stroller, and then you have to run home with the additional weight in the stroller. I bought five pounds of rice, and a 32 ounce jar of molasses, and I didn’t even look at anything else, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit it in my stroller basket (and wouldn’t want to push any more stuff home with us!).
It was a great evening. The dog and I got our exercise, the baby had a stroller adventure (he’s wide-eyed the whole time, watching the world go by), and we got in and out of the store with only what was on our list. Now that I know a good back-roads route to WF, I’ll be making the trip on my bike with my basket for groceries from now on. Little by little, we’re increasing the amount of time our cars spend parked in our garage. Baby steps, but it all adds up.