Parking The Car: A New Years Resolution

Over the past several months I’ve been inspired by all the bicycle activity in the Cliff, and in particular with the idea of driving less and using a bike and public transit more. So when it came time for making a few resolutions for the new year, I decided that I’d like to leave my car in the driveway 3 days during the work week and use alternative means of transportation.

This would be a relatively easy resolution if I worked downtown, but I work in Addison which means my office is 15.6 miles from my house. So after putting this off for a few weeks (I blame the extreme cold and rain the first few weeks of the year) I decided today would be my first attempt at using a combination of a bike and a bus to get to the office. Here’s a few observations from my first morning.

8:40am: Ready to ride. According to Google Maps it’s 2.9 miles to the West Transfer Station at the corner of Lamar and San Jacinto.

8:50am: On the Jefferson Viaduct bridge into downtown. What happened to yesterday’s forecast of sun today? And clearly the right lane is not the safest for a bike on this bridge as you have two on-ramps entering on the right. It’s a little crazy.

8:52am: At the top of the bridge I can smell something good cooking. Wonder if it’s the tacos from Fuel City or the BBQ at Hickory House? I sure could go for a Fuel City taco.

9:00am: Arrived at the West Transfer Station. Can someone please tell me why they still have Christmas music playing? Is this a DART issue? I’m going to have to look into this. And why can’t I buy a day, week or monthly pass at the West Transfer Station? They have two DART employees answering questions, but no automated ticket machines.

9:05am: The 183 Express has arrived and will take me straight up the Dallas North Tollway. I’m the first bike on the rack and the instructions printed on the rack are easy enough to follow. Really hope my bike doesn’t fall off on the tollway.

9:10am: Realized that I’m sweating. A lot. It was only a 3.9 mile ride and it’s 50 degrees… I shouldn’t be sweating. Clearly I have to learn proper layering for this sort of activity. Still keeping my eyes on the front of the bus to make sure my bike hasn’t fallen off.

9:31am: The bus arrives at the Galleria. I get off and get my bike. According to Google Maps it’s a 1.4 mile ride up Inwood Road to my office. Should be easy.

9:35am: This would be easy if it wasn’t for the 20 mile per hour headwind. Ugh.

9:43am: Arrive at my office.

So for my first attempt I think it went great. I feel a sense of accomplishment and have a few ideas for how I will improve my time and my experience. Now I just have to hope it doesn’t start raining for my evening commute tonight!