Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Antarctic Handshake

Wowza! Today is the official first day of my fully multimodal commute via Valley Mover bus and bike.

The process was painless today. Last night I rode the route from home to bus stop just to get a sense of how long it would take me to get there. Last night was 11 minutes. This morning was a bit slower with the weight of my bags, but I was still there in about 13 minutes. I arrived at the bus stop at 5:43 and the bus was there, just waiting to pick up passengers. I worried that it was getting ready to head out and that I would have to wait for the next bus. Fortunately, the driver was just waiting to pick up both the old 5:50 riders for the run that has been discontinued, and the 6:00 riders.

Getting on the bus was awesome. The driver was quite nice and didn't even bat an eye when I asked to make sure that I could bring my bike on board. His only comment was "Those are some fat tires."

So I flashed my UAA Seawolves Faculty ID, pushed my bike onto the bus, grabbed a seat, and settled into a good book for the ride in. The bus ride was uneventful and the total ride time was about 40 minutes.

The ride from the bus stop to work was also uneventful, but the GPS was acting wonky, ticking off the miles way too fast, showing me at 8.32 miles total for the bike portion of the commute well before I even got to work before finally telling me that satellite communication had been lost. The total one way bike portion of the commute should be spot on 6 miles. Strange.

Learned a few lessons:

1) I don't need to get up at 4:30 in the morning during the summer. As long as I get out the door and on the road by 5:30, I can make the bus without too much issue.

2) The ride to the bus will generally have a tailwind, if wind at all. The ride home from the bus at night will be a bit more challenging with a long fairly steep hill right out of the parking lot and the fact that the nice morning tailwind will be a headwind in the afternoon.

3) I need to get a coffee cup that will fit in my water bottle holder - Seems a waste to ride for 40 minutes without some Joe

4) Bring a bungie to strap the bike to the rail so I don't have to hold it.

5) Working from the bus might or might not be possible. I need to look at the seating situation a bit more closely to figure out if I can park the bike in such a way that it allows me room to have a laptop out and still allow folks to get around the bike.

All in all, I'm damned happy that my family and I are back living under an actual roof and that my home no longer has signs like this:

Though, I suppose, the thought of getting eaten by a bear does work as a nice alarm clock. I promise you I was never late waking up in the morning...

Bonus points if you know what the title of the post references.

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