I have two bikes - a speedy one-year old hybrid, and a clunky old gear-slipping rust bucket of a mountain bike that serves as back-up. This morning however I was in the unfortunate situation of having left both bikes in the storage room at work, leaving me with a commuting conundrum.
I know I've mentioned this before, but I HATE taking the bus. I need to take two to get to work, the first one heading North from a stop about 2 blocks from my house. I don't always manage to get on the first bus that comes by. Or the second. Sometimes I have to walk South for a couple of blocks and get on the bus closer to its departure point. Anyone trying to get on between my stop and the intersection with the main East-West transportation corridor (24 blocks away) is SOL during rush hour.
And the bus stops TWICE on every single one of those 24 blocks. Once for traffic lights, and once for the bus stop. (Why do they have to have them on every single block?) So we repeatedly lurch forwards and then come to a juddering stop, pitching people into each other like drunken sardines in a can. (I never get a seat. No reading on the bus for me, just the pleasure of having my face crammed into someone's armpit).
I usually get on the first connecting Westbound bus, but not always. And I show up at work all dishevelled and pissed off.
BUT! There is a new East-West bus route! It starts at the existing Skytrain system in the East (light rail to downtown and Eastern suburbs), goes right past my house, connects to the soon-to-open downtown-airport Skytrain route, swings North to take me within 6 blocks of work, then carries on to the main University campus that I need to visit every now and then. The Eastbound stop is 1 block away from my house, and the Westbound stop is 2 blocks away.
It was funny to see how Mr E Man and I reacted to the pamphlet that got pushed through our door a few months ago, telling us about this new service. Mr E Man was worried about the noise of the buses* and the potential of having a bus stop right outside our house**, whereas my reaction was "only every 15 minutes during the week?! And less on weekends?!"
I guess they have to start off that way to build a passenger base before expanding the service, because - wonder of wonders - I got a seat this morning! On my first time trying the route! Not that I had enough time to read much, seeing as I got to my work stop in 9 minutes flat. See, that's what happens if you leave 2 - 5 blocks between stops. (Including waiting for connections, the old route takes more like 20 - 30 minutes). Not only that but there was a cute little boy on the bus who insisted on saying goodbye to each of us in turn when his Mum made him get off, and I saw two cute dogs being walked and another cute kid (waving to me from a window) on the short walk to work.
I arrived at work with a smile on my face. Bus bliss - who'd a thunk?
*turns out they don't start running until 6 am on weekdays, later on weekends. So we're already up when they start, and they're super quiet anyway.
**justified - people throw enough garbage over our fence as it is, thank you. Although this doesn't seem to have got any worse since the stop 1 block away went into operation.