Saturday, December 13, 2008

mode shift

On Friday, I took my bike on Caltrain for the first time this week.

I've been exploring a new and underutilized transportation mode. Strange it's so rare: it's easily the cheapest of all common modes, essentially no equipment is required. In the city, it's faster than MUNI. Parking is trivial, far easier than even for a bike. The only downer is limited cargo capacity.

It's running. And it's such a relief to be able to reach the platform just as a shiny Bombardier baby bullet pulls in, punch my 10-ride, and get on without even a hint of concern about capacity. Then I sit down at a nice table, plug in my lap top, and I'm updating a report,
catching up on email I popped earlier, or whatever. None of the creative chaos which is the bike car.

Sure, running with the back pack is a bit of a hassle. But using the small pack which I got at ESSDERC in Edinburgh, after I tighten down the shoulder straps it isn't too bad. Nice easy pace. Start really slow, relax into the effort, then just let my legs carry me forward.

It was a total blast to hurl myself back into the group dynamic of the Friday Palo Alto Noon Ride. But the run to the train option is a keeper. I don't know why more people don't try it. Maybe the technology is too new.

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