Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alaskan Commuting

Once the snow melts, I am quickly back on commuting by bike here in Anchorage (winter commuting is a little tough as the trails are constantly groomed for Nordic skiing). It takes me about 25-30 minutes to cover the 6 miles, though I like to leave a fair amount of buffer time these days. I have a daily meeting with my east coast team scheduled for 7 am, so being late is really not an option. I leave at 6 am, arrive at 6:30, and find myself dressed and ready by 6:45. Easy. I allot buffer time in there for fixing flats, and also keep the phone numbers for my meeting on hand so if need be I can have my conference call on the bike trail. Adapt and overcome they say.

I have a healthy fear of the untimely, commuting flat. When I picture Archer Ave. in Chicago, aside from the wondrous litany of late night burrito joints, I see the littered line of locations where I sat in the early morning or late night fixing flats on a curb as people speaking English, Polish or Spanish drifted by me.

... 35th Street, California, Damen, Austin, Narraganset, Ashland, Throop, Lock ...

But those were my UIC days when there existed flexibility in being 10 minutes late for work. I'm in the real world now, and showing up on time for work and meetings is a given. So I have 20 minutes of fixing a flat time budgeted in to the ride.

But this is Alaska, and glass and other road debris is not as common as it is in Chicago. However, the large moose in the middle of the trail this morning is common. It wouldn't move even though several people less than 10 yards away were heckling it. It just stood there and chewed leaves as moose only have 2 gears: park and full speed ahead. This cow was in park, probably for 30 minutes at least. So I doubled backed, jumped onto a busy street, and hustled down a more congested alternate route. I made it here at 6:45 am, taking advantage of the moose detour time budgeted in.

1 comment:

Phil B said...

Man, you've got to do the winter commute. Even without a snow bike, by the time December rolls around, the trails are awesome for a daily ride.