One of the issues about using a bicycle for 99% of my transportation needs is purchasing of groceries. I have the ability to haul a significant amount of goods on the bike with or without using a trailer. Hauling groceries is not the issue. Finding a convenient store is. I use the neighborhood stores as much as possible. B&B Supermarket is great for meat and a few other items as well as sandwiches. Graziano's has everything I need Italian especially sausage (much cheaper at the source people). But both lack fresh vegetables, expensive dog food and wine.
|B&B meat run.|
Of the major supermarkets in the Des Moines metro I find them difficult to frequent. The closest Hy Vee is a mere 2 miles away but getting there is difficult. There is a long slow hill and traffic. And a stretch of false flat, looks flat but it is actually uphill or gravitational pull is stronger here than elsewhere. Cars are parked on the street so the possibility of getting doored or hit from behind is greater. Crossing SE 14th (highway 69) is a dangerous affair in cars let alone on a bicycle.
|Empty parking lot at SW 22nd Fareway 445 pm|
Fareway on SW 22nd is a 6 mile round trip from my home. Most of this is on a nice trail. The only buzzkill about riding here is that is the baseball and soccer field which increase traffic. But my major beef with this store is their refusal to install a bicycle rack. Easy to ride to, difficult to park the bike. I've spoken to the manager about this. He said that there is not enough room in the parking lot. So today I did a quick count of cars at 445 pm, Friday. Less than 30 cars in the lot. Any other store would be packed at this time.
Another Fareway is located in west Des Moines on Grand Ave. New and modern and puts the SW 22nd store to shame. It has bicycle parking. It is also on my way home from work. But to get there I must cross 63rd St (highway 28). I don't care if it has signals, it is a dangerous intersection and I feel uncomfortable crossing it every time.
The store i frequent the most is the Hy Vee in Windsor Heights. Essentially right off the trail and a mere 8.5 miles from home. I like this store. but once again I need to cross a busy street to get there, University Ave. Despite Windsor Height's campaign to make their village more bicycle friendly, University is a 25 mph freeway and crossing that road is dangerous. But for now it my main supplier of groceries. I recommend their Market Grill.
|6 bottles of wine from Windsor Heights. They do have the best cheap wine specials. Why do I cross the busy road? To get to the cheap vino!|
This is why I am anxious for Hy Vee to open their new location on Court Avenue. I will be a flat and bicycle friendly mile and half from my home. I plan to ride home, switch to a grocery getter bike and make that 3 mile round trip. It is also located near my bank, another perk.