My last ride this year was a "representative sample" of my rides this year: commuting, outside of work hours, for a destination in the city, with our Bullit family cargo bike.
This is due to the two lockdowns, I telework at home, so I don't need to cycle to work each day anymore, most of my trips were outside work hours for other reasons. And for shopping, transporting our children, both for my wife and me our most used bike was still the Bullit. I carried furniture home from IKEA, we carried the Christmas tree, I brought waste to the recycling park, I donated bags of clothes to charity, and of course, I did the shopping with the Bullit.
WHY NOT CYCLE?
When I talk to people, often the topic of cycling comes up. After hearing that we live a car free life, often they say that "I wish I could also go by bicycle, but...".
Usually they tell me three reasons:
1. It is unsafe to cycle in Brussels
2. I need to carry children to/from school
3. I need the car to do errands/shopping in the city
I carefully listen to them. Usually, I don't try to correct, or give advice, but if they are curious, I explain how we live a car free life.
For point three, our Bullit cargo bike is a real pleasure to use. I just throw in two big IKEA bags, and it swallows everything.
TODAY IN THE SUPERMARKET
I checked how is the scene in a nearby discount supermarket.
There were 29 cars in the parking lot, two bikes (including mine), and there were a number of people arriving on foot. It is located in a lower-income neighbourhood in Brussels.
At check-out, I quickly surveyed the quantity people shop. This was the last day before the New Year's break, so the shop was full with people, buying groceries for the long weekend.
In fact, I was the only one with a full shopping cart.
Others bought mainly a few items, or a half-cart at maximum.
I smile when I hear this reasoning - to come by car, as they picture that they will shop a lot of things, and it needs a car to transport.
It somehow gives a reason to own a car.
In the end, it seems I buy and carry more stuff wiht our bike than they do with their cars.
But I don't think it is for everybody.
A car free life works for us, and in fact we did a lot of choices in our life to be able to live car-free: where we rent the appartment, where I work, what type of clothes we buy, where we go on holiday and so on.
In the end it all did fit in!
And of course, Sparkpeople style, my shopping list was healthy: the bulk is vegetables, fruits, fish, dairy, and "raw materials" for cooking.
Almost zero comfort food, just a bottle of fuzzy drink and a small box of cakes for tonights party with our children this time.
I remember when I was at the beginning of this journey, and I made pictures and blogged about my "new" shopping cart when it became a habit to shop healthy. I was so proud to buy a lot of healthy items as a new habit.
Today, I don't really notice it anymore, it is the "usual" things to do.
The main change is that I shop not only for myself, but for all four in our family.