I’ve faltered some figuring out how to handle my Baltimore-DC commute. The original idea was I’d cycle whenever possible to the Halethorp train station and then use CaBi from Union Station to the office. I got the Nishiki for the ride to the train station, figuring it would be a bike that I could lock up outside all day without worry. Having figured out the route and dealt with my fears of the scary parts of that ride, I find I am still not using the Nishiki to commute to the train station. It is boiling down to my so not being a morning person plus the overall length of my commuting days. I just don’t want to make them even longer.
I got the Tikit thinking that it would be a good travel bike and that it could one day serve as a carry-on-to-MARC part of my multi modal commute. I got a close-out model that was a great deal and it’s more than served it’s purpose as a travel bike. Once the Halethorpe Station renovations are completed, which will take at least a couple of years, I think it will be possible to use the Tikit as a bike to carry onto the train.
As to the DC end of the commuting day, that’s when I really want to bike. I mean, when did you ever hear anyone say, “I had such a great ride on Metro today?” I started out by using CaBi, great in concept but for my commute, less great in reality. I love the bike share idea and I think it will have a place in my cycling life, but at least for now it’s not reliably available enough to serve a commuter’s needs.
What to do? There is one more option, Bikestation. Run by Bike N Roll in DC, this facility provides indoor locked space for overnight bike storage. I am about to give it a try. So, the big question: which bike should I store there?
After mulling it over the pros and cons of each of these bikes as the “DC bike” I decided on the Nishiki. This way in DC I will have a bike equipped with basket and rack. I can leave a pannier on it with the basic necessities (tools, inner tube) and carry my city satchel pannier with what I need for the day. Other items can be bungeed to the rack or dropped into the basket. I can lock it in the parking garage next to our office and I think it will be safe there. It’s a nimble and fun to ride bike for the 4 mile trip from Union Station to the office. The Tikit will stay at home, where it will be available for rides around town and for last minute trips. So we’ll see how this arrangement works!