Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day Eight,Week Two of the Commute

Thus far, everything is... going smoothly. I am finally getting a handle on the timing involved in getting everything papcked into the bike, commuting, and then unpacking and preparing me for class each day. I teach four days weekly, so there are two distinctly different commutes: one that is for an all-day, two course + meetings commute, and one that is a single class, then gym commute.

I am definitely getting braver and more assertive about cars. Drivers in my 'hood tend to want to rule the road--especially in their Lexus/Mercedes-Benz/range Rover/Hummer mentalities (Big Expensive Cars). They do not want to dawdle behind a bike, even one as spiffy as mine. Luckily, there is little traffic, and everyone has been courteous when push came to shove. At stop signs or lights, for example.

Ironically, by near-collision came as a result of a mother opening the road-side backseat door to load her toddler into the car seat from THAT SIDE. Huh? The road is one parking lane and two driving lanes wide, with either side parking. The mother has the door wide open--into the lane, while the toddler stands next to her. Cars coming both ways, me on the bike... looked like disaster. Mom wasn't exactly rushing to get toddler out of harm's way, either.

Fortunately, both cars and I slowed way down and let her finish whatever.

My panniers have come in handy, since I am loading up backpack and panniers. Laptop, textbooks, and lunchbox go in panniers, while everything else goes in backpack. I am already considering ways to lighten the load by duplicating items to store at my office. But I still want to carry lunch: cost of lunch on-campus is just short of $10 daily (all you can eat buffet with sandwiches, salads, omelettes, etc.--healthy options!) and I can carry lunch for 1/4 of that. Since saving is one of my goals...

And the big weight will be relieved when I get my new laptop next week--a smaller, lighter MacBook. I am also investigating ways to cheat by not bringing textbooks, but copied pages/chapters... which means I won't feel so guilty marking them up, either.

Slowly, slowly.


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