Thursday, June 9, 2022

Mode of transport

I’m one of nature’s bike commuters. Of course growing up in the Netherlands this is a lot easier. There is infrastructure for that. You can pedal and think and honestly not pay that much attention to your surroundings. You know. Commute. 

I commuted by bike in Baltimore, South Africa, and to ESA and Leiden observatory. 

I haven’t commuted to work on a bike even once here in Louisville. 

I mapped it out before moving here, the university has a bike encouragement program, the bus has bike racks up front. Why not?

And that’s what I’m wondering about. First off is much less infrastructure for biking here but that did not stop me before in the US. I suspect it’s also the pressure from work as a professor. And there was a lot of that. A LOT of the work is instantly forgettable admin churn. And there is so much of it. 

I can do email triage etc on the bus so I did that a lot. And twitter of course. Gotta twitter. Otherwise I’d have a moment of mindfulness. 

But then the pandemic hit and I just took a car to work because who else was going anywhere? And the habit stuck. And then kid 2 had to be collected from school 1 while kid 1 had to be collected from school 2. And so on and so forth. But do I really need to do this? Kids can take busses to school again. And I can move back to the bus or possibly…maybe…bike there?  A colleague biked in the other day. I should try. And another colleague has started researching e-bikes. 

The second car is now old enough to qualify as a “historical vehicle”. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the bicycle for the commute. Just wish my class didn't end at 7pm. 

UPDATE: I did bike in! This was the proof-of-concept. Didn't die. Of traffic or heatstroke. But it does feel like a thing an e-bike would be very nice for. 

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