Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Commute (car-free version)

I work on the North Shore, near the Park and Tilford shopping center, which is about halfway between Lonsdale Quay and the Second Narrows Bridge.

I've been commuting there for 7 years now. The week before I started I sussed out the best bike route and have been combining transit with biking on a daily basis.

I'm lucky in that over a dozen of my colleagues also commute by bicycle (no other women, though!), so our employer has been slowly improving the end-of-ride facilities: we now have a coverered and lockable bike shed (total cost to employer: a mere $1500) and showers (which we had anyways since we have a small manufacturing facility in our building). We don't have (yet) a towel service...dare to dream! Our company is not particularly eco-friendly - in general, the driving ethic here is "cheap". Note: I work for a HUGE international company. That makes BILLIONS of dollars.

Usually, I ride to and from Gilmore station, where I keep my bike overnight in a bike locker ($10/month). I Skytrain to and from my bike. Total commute time: 60 minutes, maximum, including 25 minutes of riding and 10 minutes of walking (no need to join a gym!).

On nice days I will ride the whole way, which is a great workout and takes me about an hour - so no faster or slower than using transit. The ride is partly along the new Central Valley Greenway - quite nice!

Finally, if I can't ride (ie. if it is below 0 - I won't ride if there is danger of ice), I can always use transit the whole way. This again takes about an hour.

I've never driven to work, so I don't know how long this would take. Probably a bit less time, but then, it can get quite congested on the bridge. There have been plenty of occasions where I bike past the traffic jam on the second narrows!