For the most part, this winter has been mild. Although the temperatures have hovered around freezing, there has been little precipitation sticking on the ground. For about 9 days I was forced to take a bus, which it turns out picks me up 1 block from home and drops me 1 block from work. It is kind of nice to listen to my podcasts on the bus.
There are so many reasons to bicycle and every time you ask another commuter or bicycle errand runner (?) you hear another. I have decided to try to use a bike for 75% of my single person, non-huge item travel. This relegates the car to hauling lumber, multiple children and vacations. I do, however, use the car when getting all dressed up for a night out on the town.
Most errands can be accomplished on a bike. I have a trailer, which can be used in the summer for grocery shopping, but not in the winter. It is a Burley double. The hitch is superior to anything else I have seen, but it is made of rubber and may become brittle and snap in the cold.
A couple of years ago, I went into my local pet supply store and purchased a 40lb. bag of dog food. I had my helmet on, but the clerk asked me if I wanted him to put the bag in my car. I told him that if he didn't mind walking about 10 blocks, that would be very nice. We still laugh about this, though recognize that sometimes we are also oblivious to what is going on around us.
So how did I get it home? I have my panniers and if you lay the bag across the panniers, the weight is supported and balanced. It was very stable.
Lately I have been cheating on the 75% miles by bike by picking up the groceries on the way home from a regular deployment of children. This allows me to shop less often, because I don't have to rely on getting everything in the panniers. The big grocery store is exactly on my way home. Still cheating I suppose.