Friday, August 03, 2007

My five-mile commute to work is frustratingly difficult to accomplish. I've minimized the need for it as much as possible by scheduling myself to work only three days a week, but it's still hard to cobble together a good plan.

I feel pretty good about driving in on Fridays- I work and shop at the nearby food co-op on the way home, so it's not really adding to the amount of driving we would do normally. (I don't LIKE the drive- due to nonexistent city planning, it takes 15-20 minutes through stop-and-go traffic to get here, but it's acceptable.) But I don't want to drive on Mondays and Wednesdays because (a) it seems like such an ecological waste; (b) I like to leave the car for Dan and the kids to use; and (c) I've already had one side-view mirror smashed from city parking, and don't want to increase the odds of more vandalism.

So I started taking the bus. It picks me up about a quarter mile from my house, and drops me off about a half mile from work. Factoring in wait and walking times, it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get to work. I can't read on the bus because I get nauseous. And on the way home, the bus route does some funny circumnavigations so it drops me off three quarters of a mile from home, which sucks in the heat or rain. A coworker/ neighbor has been driving me in most mornings, which makes a huge difference, but I'm still stuck on the bus to get home.

Obvious solution: biking. A five-mile bike ride should be easily do-able. Problem: I'm terrified. I experimented with biking to the co-op ONCE last summer, and ended up turning around at the Albany city line. Through Delmar, it's reasonable (though inconvenient, and technically illegal) to ride on the near-empty sidewalks, and not terribly hazardous to ride on the road (despite the 40 mph speed limit and tiny shoulder). In Albany, though, it's rude to ride on the sidewalks (people actually walk on them) and I'm squeezed between parked cars and moving cars, which (a) reduces my visibility and (b) prevents me from veering off the road if necessary. I know a lot of people who bike in Albany regularly. While most of them do so without incident, at least a fifth have been hit- usually with only minor injury, but that's still really scary. (And there has been at least one well-publicized death this summer.)

So for now I'm sticking with the mooching rides/ bus combo, but I'm still looking for something better....

1 comment:

shannon said...

If your office has a shower, you could always jog into work. Five miles should be no more than an hour... One way. :-)