So today begins the first day in what could be at least a month or two on my “vehicular diet.” (I’m taking the car in for a second opinion, but I’m not holding my breath.)
I live very far north Austin (right between Cedar Park and Round Rock). Many of my more centrally located friends never miss the opportunity to tease me about the “frozen tundra” and “penguins.”
Unfortunately, there are no bus stops within a reasonable walking distance from my home (i.e. 2 or less miles). I live off of Parmer… between 620 and 1431.
There are stops all up and down the 183 corridor but besides 620 (which is a construction-filled, bike-unfriendly, death-zone) there is no way to get from my house to a stop on 183 without going at least 4 miles south on Parmer.
So my plan was to get biking at 4:30 for about 6.5 miles to a stop which I thought was at Parmer and Amherst, take the 240 in to the N. Lamar Transit Center, bike to the gym for a shower and then get working by 7:00AM.
best laid plans….
- There actually wasn’t a stop at Parmer and Amherst. I misread the map, and thus, underestimated the time necessary to catch my bus. Luckily I had a backup route in mind… I hurried over to the Pavillion Park & Ride (an additional 4-5 miles away) at Oak Knoll and 183 to catch the 383 Express to the transit center. Not a problem. I had a good 10 minutes to spare.
- Lamar, between 183 and Airport is a scary ride… After consulting my bike route map, I noticed that there is a sidestreet and safer route (42) (this would add a good mile or so to my commute). Alternatively, if I don’t mind waiting some extra minutes, I could transfer to another bus that will take me to my front door.
- On Lamar, this morning, I had a minor technical problem (chainsuck) that could have proven disasterous if I hadn’t had the awareness to unclip from the pedals and immediately get to the sidewalk. 4-5 minutes to undo the tangle.
- When I arrived at the Gym, not only did they not have bike racks (God forbid a FITNESS club have bike racks), but I discovered that they were, for the next two months, rennovating their lockerrooms & showers. Argh. Luckily, I had taken a shower before departing and was able to clean up reasonably well using a sink at work.
All in all, I had fun, was able to get a load of work completed before anyone else showed up, but now I’m a little tired. I could use a nap (or coffee… perhaps I should make coffee).