I’ve upped my bike commuting ante by starting to ride to and from the MARC station. I got a bike just for this purpose, one that I am willing to leave locked up outside all day. I know, I do I have a Brompton and you may wonder why I don’t commute with it. After all, that is what they are made for!
Well. The step up from our train station platform is considerable and rather steep, and I am short. The Brompton, so cleverly compact, is not light. I can easily see myself losing my balance (or hurting my back) trying to enter or exit the train with it plus bag with lunch/gear, etc. So that’s one reason. The other is that the train is not so utterly reliable. Sometimes the breakdowns involve having to clamber out of the train in the middle of where ever and pick your way across unstable gravel to board another train. I have no idea how I’d manage this also carrying a bike. Our station is being renovated which involves raising the platform. Yay! When that’s done, it might be Brompton commute time for me.
The ride to the station is fun and takes perhaps 21 minutes. Considering I can lock up the bike right near where I board the train, it’s almost as fast as driving and having to park a 5 minute walk away. The ride home is not so much fun. But its good for you! Uphill most of the way, with some evil steep hills, the kind that never get easier no matter how strong you are . The route is safe, if roundabout, avoiding the highway interchanges on the more direct route. So now I can do a bike-train-bike trip amounting to about 14 bike miles in total.
I got this all worked out just in time for a brutal heat wave. Yesterday hit 97, with high humidity. Today was 100 with even more humidity. Nice! It was like cycling in an oven. I was proud last night to have made it home in 35 minutes, even with the heat. And I was very ok with my choice to drive to the train station today!