"A-to-B" mode for the "9-5"

21 May

My lovely Giant Dash (a “welcome to California” present from the boy)! I’ll add a picture with the fashion-forward helmet (that’s a small dose of sarcasm). I balked at wearing the helmet, but with the busy streets and infrequent bike lanes it is a necessity to protect one’s skull and its contents 🙂

I’m experimenting with transportation combinations for my commute to work. We live 3 miles from UCLA via surface streets. The stoplights, stop signs and congestion are typical for a large city, leading me to the experiment of bus vs. car vs. bike.

Buses are the worst, with an average of about 40 minutes (taken over a three week period). Not to mention in the three week span I’ve been on a bus that has broken down three times! 15% breakdown rate…

  • Bus – not reliable, time tables are off and the bus break-downs are a bummer when you’re trying to get somewhere on time. Average time = 40 minutes; longest time = 50 minutes (I can walk home in an hour).
    • Cost of the bus is $0.50 r/t each day!
  • Car – ehhh… between paying for parking ($70/month), gas ($3.25 and up a gallon) and maintenance (variable) it isn’t the most cost-effective option. I drove yesterday for the first time, paying a per diem fee for parking. 
    • Driving gives me a sense of control (albeit probably a false sense) even as I curse at the poorly-timed stoplights. Average time = 25 minutes. 
  • Bike – super speedy at 20 minutes. Still leery of other drivers not paying attention (should I just accept I will inevitably get hit?). Plus I get an extra burn. 
    • Downsides – does not accommodate my wardrobe … and I’m a sweat-fest when I get to the office.

I’ll keep you posted on the final decision and cost break-downs. Anyone else out there considering the economics of their commuting situations?
 
I’ll post links tomorrow to sites that break down the benefits of a bike commute. As a little teaser, here’s a link + chart from a blog post from Time on the fiscal and fitness aspects of biking to work.

 
Happy Bike to Work Day!!

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