Friday, June 27, 2008

Check out all of these unhatched eggs I counted

About three weeks ago I decided that I didn't want to buy any more gas for the rest of the month. Believe it or not, this is actually not in response to rising fuel prices (which has finally unseated the unseasonably cold weather in Seattle as champion of small-talk, and now reclines triumphantly atop the pantheon of idle conversation), but instead is just a random project that I thought I'd try. I'm going to San Diego today and won't be home until Monday night, so even though it's not quite the end of the month, I am going to go ahead and declare ULTIMATE EARLY VICTORY.

Conceptually, this project is not that big of a deal, but considering that I decided to undertake it with only half of a tank to begin with, I am pretty proud of myself. A big accomplishment was only driving to work 4 times in the last three weeks, and only one of those 4 times was truly unnecessary (it looked sort of darkish outside, so I convinced myself I didn't want to ride my bike, and probably five minutes later it was beautiful outside). The biggest accomplishment, however, was not skipping out on doing anything fun because of it.

I'm a little surprised at how much I learned from the experience, given how obvious all of the benefits are. One thing I learned is that I should not drive to work as much as I do. I have a pretty sweet 7ish-mile commute which usually takes about 12-15 minutes in the car. I have found this translates to about 25-30 minutes on my bike and about 30-35 minutes on the bus, which is really not that big of a difference, although I do have to allow time to get to the bus stop or to change clothes before work if I bike. Taking all of these twists into consideration, I have to leave my place at 6:05 if I bus it, 6:25 if I bike it, and 6:45 if I drive (although I have to say that each of those 20-minute blocks feels like 2 hours that early in the morning). I think people give where I live in the Interbay neighborhood a lot of crap (okay, mostly deserved), but I feel pretty lucky about my general North-South options. My bike commute is all flat and along the waterfront (awesome), there are two bus routes that go between Interbay and my office in Sodo that come by every 10 minutes in the morning (awesome), and I can easily walk to Ballard where most of my friends live (awesome).

Another thing I learned is that the 4.3 miles between Interbay and the Tangletown neighborhood where Booster Seat lives is TOTALLY WORTH THE GAS. It is either 3 busses or 5 miles on bike including 1.5 miles of continuous uphill. Why is East-West so hard in Seattle?

Anyway, I might try this again next month. Armed with the foreknowledge and experience I have accumulated, it should be easier than the last few weeks, especially since I can budget my driving a little better.


Courtney said...

The East to West is hard in Seattle due to glaciation from about 13,000 years ago. If you have issues, you should take it up with the glaciers, but they seem pretty passive aggressive and retreated years ago.

Tricia said...

I've left a message with King County Transit asking for a bus route from Interbay to Tangletown, we'll see what those glaciers will have to say then!

Kyle said...

Damn, I was going to pull out my pipe and jacket with elbow patches, then lecture the class about glacial till and the types of hills it leaves behind (shallower to the south, steeper to the north, ass-crazy steep to the east and west).