Friday, June 21, 2013

Oh you crazy beast

So, I guess it is time to provide a bit of background to what started my looking to multimodal commuting as a viable way of life.

My family and I moved to Anchorage, AK just about three years ago. Prior to the move we sold our second car and determined that I would bike commute for work rather than trying to buy another car when we got here. Well, I fell in love with bike commuting. Hard. It's just such an important part of my day anymore. The morning wake up and evening decompression afforded by riding just helps me keep a much better outlook on life in general. And it's kinda badass to be able to come into the office and say "I just rode to work and it's 20 below 0 today."

What we quickly realized, however, is that living in Anchorage means that it is nearly impossible for us to purchase our own home. Well, that's not quite right. We could purchase in town, but with a family of five plus a dog we knew that we wouldn't be able to find something in our price range unless it was a condo, which is not a bad way to start, but having lived in attached housing for the past six years, we wanted something with a yard and some privacy. And we wanted the kids to not have to stumble over each other all the time. Frankly, we wanted something we could not afford in Anchorage. That means that the options open to us were up in the valley or down on the peninsula. The peninsula, meaning the Kenai, was not a realistic option as I do have to work. In Anchorage. The valley, Wasilla and Palmer, was much more realistic. The market was good, the options were there, and we knew we'd be able to find something that would fit our family's needs.

Bonus, the valley has a bus system that makes the run from there to here on a daily basis with a good schedule and easily bike commutable pick up and drop off locations. So we started seriously looking in the valley and back in October found a house that we offered on. Through strange machinations, the prospect fell through so we decided to just rent a bit longer in Anchorage and see what happened.

Then March came along and with it a great property in a good commute location. We rush headlong into the purchase process, which I won't go into here, other than to say that it took a lot longer than it seems to have needed to and with a lot more headaches than one person should be asked to stand. So much so that for the past 21 nights we've been living in tents, our lease expired on May 31 and no closing in sight.

That is all behind us now as I signed all the papers just yesterday and we are moving in today.

So now the fun really begins. Work on the house. Daily commuting via bike and bus. I'm excited and nervous about the initial bus ride on Monday morning. I ride a Surly Pugsley year round. Big, fat tired goodness. But those fat tires aren't amenable to most bus bike racks. I've talked to the folks at the bus company and they've assured me that I can bring my bike onto the bus, but... Will the driver be cool with that? Will there be enough room to actually do it? These are all questions that will be answered shortly.

Wish me luck!

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