Buses and Bike Racks
Living the Shift today put me and my bike on a bus from downtown to the Metropolitan Community College South Omaha campus to meet with an enrollment adviser for my son. Though he's in high school, he's participating in a program that lets him take classes for college credit while still in high school.
I could have driven to work, and then to the college, leaving the bike at home, but where's the fun in that?
Instead, I got to see the modern MAT Transit Center hosted by Metro. On the south side of their "Connector Building" is a long terminal where buses park. I think the routes that come through that center park for 10 minutes before resuming.
I saw at least two "wave" style bike racks outside on the terminal. The rack I used was a little too close to the wall, as my 700c front wheel couldn't go completely over the bar. However, any official racks as part of a transit center are welcome in any configuration.
The transit center has an indoor waiting area with rows of seats, much like you see in an airport. The waiting area is also connected to the lobby of the Connector Building. There are vending machines, and a window for purchasing MAT tickets. The hours might be limited, as it appeared to be closed. The Metro campus safety office was connected to the lobby, creating a sense of security for the passengers waiting for buses.
I think I'll go back with my camera, take some photos of the facility, and do a quick little report on the transit center. Word has it that other MAT locations will get racks, too, and I think it would be cool to document them.
Cheeky, Churlish Children
After our appointment, I cycled home through Burlington Road neighborhoods, crossing the Interstate on 36th Street. I decided to try Grover going west, rather than getting on Vinton, partially because of reduced rush hour traffic, but also to see a street I hadn't seen before. Crossing the railroads and I-80 on 36th Street was a little creepy, since the bridge wall was only three feet or so high in places. A badly placed rock or a bump from an auto and....well, I don't even want to think about it.
Near the back side of Jefferson Elementary School, I got a disturbing surprise about how some people let their kids grow up. I saw two boys, probably no older than four or five years of age, outside playing on the sidewalk. As I approached, I heard one boy talking to me. I thought he was saying "cool bike!" (Of course, it's all about me, right? :) )
Then I realized he was saying, "That's my bike. You stole my bike!" I found this mildly amusing, imagining this kid trying to straddle the 20 inch frame, when I saw the other boy pointing a stick at me yelling, "Bang! Bang!" Again, the first kid, "Bring back my bike! You stole my bike!" And again, more mock gunfire. I have to admit that I pedaled away with a sad heart.
So what's to be made of this? Are these boys just "being boys?" Or did I witness the beginnings of thugish behavior, likely to be fully manifested in another ten years?
So in all, seeing the new transit center, and discovering a pretty easy and low traffic way to get from my house to South Omaha was rewarding. I also enjoy the times when mild weather and situations allow me to ride in my regular clothes (but with cycling jacket/vest).
Have a great holiday weekend!
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