No Car: Update 2
Feb 6th started off pretty good. Rode bikes with my friend Chris to Credo coffee shop over in College Park. Quick ride there and back. Today I needed to bring my bike with me on the bus, because the night route I was taking later on will drop me off at Lynx Central Station and I’ll bike home, because the route by my house doesn’t run that late. Before leaving Credo, I double checked departing times for the bus via google maps.
Departing at 12:35. So I made sure I was there at 12:30. Time passes. More time passes. Truly double checked via the Lynx Route maps, I had misread the times on google maps. That bus wasn’t coming until 1:10. Turned around to head home for the next 15 minutes. Grabbed some food that I was planning to eat on the bus. Headed back out. I see the bus turn the corner. At a distance it appeared there were already 2 bikes on the front of the bus. The driver looks at me, looks at my bike, shakes her head no and shrugs her shoulders. She keeps driving. Seriously!
My immediate reaction is to hop on my bike and ride. I wasn’t sure where to yet but I couldn’t just stand there. I rode straight to the Central Station. I haul. Not too fast, but fast enough to break a tiny sweat. Took me 10 minutes. Wow, that wasn’t bad at all. In fact I beat that previous bus to the station by 10 minutes. Doesn’t matter though. Everyone still has to wait for the next bus to arrive. This route was scheduled to depart at 1:45. We all sat underneath a giant number signifying that route’s departure point. Waiting. Mind you, last time I rode this route, it left exactly on time and I was still almost late for work by 5 minutes. 10 minutes pass before the bus pulls in. We all load up, now waiting for the driver to show up (drivers swap when they arrive at the main station). We finally leave at 2:01. I’ve already convinced myself that I’m late, so a sense of helplessness has over consumed me. I’m dependent upon this bus to take me where I need to be, and on time. If anything happens along the way to disrupt that, I’m screwed.
We pull into the Florida Mall at 2:53. I grab my bike off the front and crank out some speed across the parking lot, hoping to make it to our break room in time. Thankfully, a new store policy allows us to clock-in at the break room. I walk up to the door, where a sign reads “call store number for the new door passcode.” Another roadblock in my way to being punctual. Pfshh, ain’t nobody got time for that! After a few hard knocks, someone came and opened it. Clocked in at 2:58. Close enough?
The night ride home was a first. I was not sure what to expect in regards to how full the bus would be, how many stops we’d make, etc. This, for the first time, was an enjoyable part of the ride. The bus was lightly filled, lights were dim, everyone was quiet. We made a couple pickups and drop-offs, but made it to the Central Station on-time at 11:03. Biked home, at a slower speed this time, and arrived home in about 12 minutes. So yes, this has been a fun experiment to say the least. The best part is, this has only been 1 week. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next few.