Most of you know I live 32 miles from the office. I ride a commuter bus 25 miles to downtown San Jose, and then bike the remaining seven miles to the office.
Bike to Work Day is traditionally “Bike the Entire 32 Miles Day” for me, because the bike racks on the bus frequently fill up on bike week. With gasoline at more than $4/gallon, the bus has been full anyway, with plenty of people motivated to bring their bikes along. It’s already become challenging to find bike space for me this week on my usual bus.
My problem for Bike to Work Day 2014: I plan to join the 7 AM VTA ride, and then I’ll volunteer beginning at 8 AM at the Energizer Station located at my office — the Santa Clara Oracle Campus located on Agnew Drive across from Rivermark, if you’d like to drop by and say hello and pick up some free schwag.
I absolutely need to depend on 7 AM arrival in San Jose, which means I must catch the 6:15 bus. What if all of the bus bike racks are occupied before I catch my bus?
- Aim for that 6:15 AM bus, bring my bike and hope for the best. This is kind of my usual routine, albeit somewhat earlier than usual. The risk is that all bike spaces will be taken and I’ll be late.
- Bike the entire distance. For 7 AM arrival in downtown San Jose, this means a 4:45 AM departure from my home. The distance and elevation gain isn’t unusual for me, and I have the lights for the mountain roads I’ll ride. Early morning might kill the deal, plus I have to be somewhat presentable on arrival without a shower or clothing change. I’ll think about it.
- Stash my bike downtown Wednesday evening. There’s no need to bring a bike on the bus Thursday morning if my bike is stored overnight in downtown. Unfortunately, the risk of theft is too great, even for uglified bikes with multiple U-locks. There’s no way I’ll leave a bike locked overnight in downtown San Jose.
- Stash my bike in a BikeLink locker Wednesday evening. This option is almost reasonable. I have a BikeLink electronic locker card, and it looks like they have a public locker on Hedding Street in front of the Santa Clara County Buildings. I stash my bike there Wednesday night and take light rail downtown to catch the bus home. On Thursday morning, I catch my bus to San Jose sans bike, join the VTA ride using a Bay Area Bike Share bike, ride to Hedding Street where I return the Bike Share Bike, walk two blocks to the BikeLink locker, retrieve my bike, then continue to the office. I might do this just for the crazy multimodalism of it, since it involves bike + light rail + foot + bus + walking home + walking to the bus stop + bus + walk to bike share + bike share + walk to locker + (finally) my bike.
If you absolutely positively have to be there at 7 AM on Thursday, which option would you take?