Benefits of Biking Over Driving
|Wifey's bicycle helmet. It's very... bright.|
When grocery shopping, you actually spend less money as you're only buying what you need.
Since we don't own a bike trailer, we're forced to buy what we need and only what we can carry in our two backpacks. If we need to buy some milk, that 4L bag pretty much takes up one backpack*.
Additionally, without the car, side stops are no longer done. Before, we used to make weekly trips to Walmart. Sometimes twice during the same weekend. Although it was 5 km in the opposite direction, we justified it as a 5 minute drive. More often than not, we'd end up buying something or another.
"I feel like pie. Let's pick up a pie."
"Ooo.. this t-shirt is only $5."
"$12 for Rubbermaid containers!"
Now that we're making the effort to ride the bike, that 5 minute drive is now a 30 minute ride in the opposite direction. After shopping at the other grocery stores, wifey is usually too tired to go to Walmart. As a result, we end up not going.
We haven't noticed any changes in our lifestyle from the lack of Walmart.
We still have food in our fridge. We still have clothing. We have more than enough Rubbermaid containers.
The biggest change I've noticed is on our wallet. We're spending a lot less at Walmart than before. We're also using a lot less gas.
This doesn't mean we're not going back to Walmart. If there is something at Walmart that we need at a price that is very reasonable, I could always pick it up on my way home from work. Alternatively, if it is small enough, wifey and I could bike it on a weeknight.
Not everything is about Walmart, though. In the 5 km radius around our house, we also have a No Frills, Fresh Co, Food Basics, Shopper's Drug Mart and Home Depot. I just wish there was a Canadian Tire in the area, but I guess I can't have everything within biking distance.
That being said, some trips will require a car. For example. if flour or rice is on sale somewhere, we'll stock up on these items.
Aside from monetary change, I've noticed that I've lost an inch or two from my waist. I don't consider myself overweight or underweight. But since I've started biking, my pants have gotten noticeably bigger around the waist. I could probably wear 30 now instead of 32. Additionally, I'm using the third notch on my belt instead of the second notch.
Another noticeable change is my breathing. I have asthma. Last year, I'd require the use of my inhaler nightly. This year, it appears I only require the inhaler once every 3-4 nights. We even keep the windows open throughout the night. Last year, the windows would be closed nightly to prevent me from having breathing difficulties.
I've also noticed I don't get tired as easily anymore. I guess despite being normal sized, I was fairly out of shape.
For me, the benefits of biking are three-fold:
- Spending less money on garbage and junk food.
- Spending less money on gas.
- Improved health.
Maybe I should start biking to work twice a week.
*This is why we try to buy milk during the weeknights. The grocery stores will usually have milk in stock unlike the flyer specials that sell out of most things by Sunday morning.