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Alternative transportation

Started: 2008-05-03 21:56:01

Submitted: 2008-05-03 22:42:18

Visibility: World-readable

On Tuesday, I tried something new and exciting: Biking home from work.

Tuesday morning I biked to my once-normal park-and-ride and caught the 0748 Bolt into Boulder, paying US$3 cash. My bike ended up in one of the under-bus compartments, and it wasn't immediately clear at which stops I could expect to get my bike removed, so I didn't disembark until the bus reached its terminal station in downtown Boulder. (Now that I work east of downtown, I'd probably be best off disembarking near 28th and Pearl.) I biked the rest of the way to work, down the quiet, tree-lined Walnut Street, and looped around the building until I found a secluded bike rack. The whole thing took a bit over an hour, door-to-door. I amused myself on the bus ride watching the newest episode of The Office, which seemed all the more appropriate when I got to work and we started discussing social networking. (In "Night Out", we learn that Dunder Mifflin's shiny new website, Dunder Mifflin Infinity, had a social networking feature which was infested by sexual predators.)

My brilliant plan was to ride my bike home. When I departed work, I changed into my bike shorts, put on my bike shoes and realized I was wearing almost entirely artificial fabric, which was something of an anomaly for me. I followed the route home I pioneered on my one ride into Boulder and eventually merged onto the Diagonal for my first attempt at braving rush-hour traffic. I didn't notice the cars as much as I expected to; there were no shortage of cars but the broad shoulder gave plenty of space of between them and me. There was one narrow bridge that is being replaced; I sort of merged with the sixty-five-mile-per-hour traffic and hoped for the best. My trek across Longmont was generally uneventful. I arrived home in roughly an hour, which seemed reasonable and roughly in line with what I'd expect for a bus ride home.

The whole experience worked pretty much the way I expected it to. Tuesday was the last warm day before the weather turned cold on Wednesday and actually snowed on Thursday. (I thought about bringing sunscreen but forgot; none of my exposed skin seemed to suffer for my oversight.) I saved money on gas (even after paying US$3, cash, to ride the bus into Boulder) and got exercise along the way. The only downside was that my commute took roughly twice as long as it normally took. I expect I'll execute a similar bus/bike hybrid commute in the future and probably even bike into work sometime this month. (My boss indicated interest in achieving 100% participation in bike-to-work day, which is easy for him to say because he lives in the mountains above Boulder and would merely have to coast downhill into work. I indicated interest in an employer-sponsored bus pass.)