Monday, November 25, 2013


Just words today. Just words. And maybe some pictures. We'll see.

Public transportation has its ups and downs, its adventures and misadventures, and just plain old pains in the ass. Friday was a day that was down and a pain.

See, the weather forecasters had been prepping everyone for freezing rain for a week, but when Thursday came along and the forecasters pushed back the warnings first to 5 PM, then Midnight, then 5AM, then noon on Friday, it seemed that we weren't going to get the weather predicted. When I woke up Friday morning and looked at the road reports, the weather report, and out the window, I couldn't see anything to concern me. The skies were partly cloudy and it was breezy, but not bad by any stretch of the imagination. So I geared up and headed out the door.

By the time I got to the university, there was still no weather to speak of and nothing to concern me. I changed and went to my office to check emails, download assignments, and drink some coffee. My office has no windows.

When I headed to class I noticed that it appeared much cloudier than when I came in, but no big deal. That was 8:40. By 9, when my students arrived, it had started raining in earnest. By 10 my wife was emailing me because the Valley Mover was going to have reduced service in the afternoon, just three busses, just to get folks home. The last bus out of Anchorage for the morning, at 8:50, still hadn't made the bus barn by 1:00.

I hung at the university until 2. I figured I'd get to the bus stop plenty early just to let all the other riders know I was going to be on that bus come hell or high water, with my bike. Not that anyone who rides the bus seems to understand the concept of line. But anyway...I left the university at 2 and it took me 47 minutes to get to the bus stop - 4 miles away. The glaze of ice on everything was being slowly covered with fresh, dry powder snow, creating the best possible lubrication known to man. Slipping and sliding. Good times. When I came out of the office to hop on my bike it was a scene like out of some lame disaster movie about advancing ice sheets.

The entire bike was covered with a nice rime of ice.

By the time the bus arrived at 4:30, there were close to 70 people waiting to board and we boarded them all. Obviously standing room only for the ride back to the valley. About an hour and a half later we were back to the bus stop, I was firmly ensconced in my family truckster, and headed home. I was a long and harrowing day, but in the end, the bus driver really pulled it out. For that I am thankful. Sure, I could have slept at the office or gotten a hotel room, but I just couldn't see doing that unless I absolutely had to.

The nice thing about the weather on Friday is that it led to some really nice riding conditions on Saturday. I ended up punching in trail from the college to the Long Lake connector via Picnic Table and back. A nice, approximately 10 mile ride. No pictures as it was just too much fun to bother with that.

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