Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Bus Mounted Bike Racks Are TOO Convenient

The new bike racks installed on Omaha's MAT buses are convenient for multi-modal trips, or for bike in/ride out (or the inverse) commutes.

Too convenient. At least twice this week I've chosen the bus trip home over a bike trip. Both days were probably some of the best cycling weather we've had all year.

  • Cycled in to work with the temperature in the mid to upper 20s. Awesome ride. Learning how to ride in cold weather, at least for my short 5 mile trips.
  • Felt tired in the afternoon, caught a bus home.
  • Cycled in to work with the temperature in the low to mid 30s. Awesome ride.
  • Parent/Student/Teacher conference for my daughter, didn't want to have to rush and to have clean up before the conference, caught a bus home.
  • Each Thursday I leave work a little early to fetch daughter from home, drive her to a drama class downtown, and then return to work until class is over.
  • I usually catch the bus home to avoid the cleanup.
Without fail, whenever I mount my bike on the bus and go inside, I hear comments and conversations spurred by the bike.
  • Overheard woman to driver: "The first time I saw a bike on a bus, I thought it was the driver's."
  • Other bus rider to me: "Whoa! Did you just put your bike on the bus? How did you did you do that? How does that work?" As if the racks has previously been invisible.
  • And then lots of other chatter from commuters who have ridden public transit it other cities.
So in summary, I think the bike racks are awesome. They have really come in handy, and combining bus and bike trips has probably gotten me to ride each more frequently. However, the danger is that for a lazy cyclist like me, I need to ensure that I don't choose the bus over the bike without a compelling reason.

Gosh, I'm feeling tired again. :) At least I've got my weekly Thursday excuse today.


brady said...

You're the MAT poster boy of the month - through racking your bike on the bus to blogging about it, MAT's getting good advertisement of their new service from you.

I wonder how many of the people who saw you rack will actually be encouraged and believe that they can do the same thing without too much effort. When I'm engaged in such conversation, I ensure to encourage and challenge them to think about doing the same.

The challenge/encouragement goes something like this: "Scott - it's great that you're using the convenience of the bus bike racks, but I find that cycling 20 minutes or more invigorates me in the afternoon when I'm feeling tired. In fact, I often feel drained by 8pm when I don't exercise. Consider rallying for the ride home next time you feel lethargic - you won't regret it!

Sorry, laziness is no longer an excuse for you!

Now that's a Steel-cut if there ever was one! :-)

Scott Redd said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Brady. You couldn't be more right.

Sometimes just mashing that "Down" elevator button, or pushing through the revolving doors at the end of a long day is enough of an energy boost to cut through the lethargy.

Maybe I should always change into the cycling clothes before making the decision.

I'll hold on to my Wednesday and Thursday excuse this week, though. Part of being a Redd-Shifter is knowing when to rack and when to attack.

Scott Redd said...

As luck would have it, my daughter was unable to make her class, so I left work at normal time and rode the bike home.

It was a nice ride in light clothing, but the part where a car came within inches of clipping my front wheel where St. Mary's turns onto Leavenworth wasn't so much fun.

Emily said...
Daddy, this is for Google.
I'm not spamming you, lol.