*In 8 weeks, that is…

From the Brompton B-Spoke builder

From the Brompton B-Spoke builder

So I’ve gone and done it. I bought another bike. It was easy. It was agonizing. Easy because, “Hey! New bike!” Agonizing because it cost more than the first car I ever bought, a 1982 Mustang that I bought in 1990. Like the Mustang, I expect to get wet in the rain, though not because of failed door seals (True story: Shortly after I bought it, I was going on a date and I wanted to pretty it up by going through a car wash. I had to ask my date for a towel when I picked her up…).

The bike in question is a Brompton. Yes, I’m going to be one of those smug bike nerd guys that is going to wax on about the bicycle revolution non-stop for the rest of eternity, but fortunately for you, I won’t be doing much of that publicly. I just like biking. I had been feeling a great deal of angst lately because I’m moving offices from one that is a reasonable 55 minutes away by bike, to one that is clear on the other side of town, and would involve almost 2 hours of cycling each way. Too much, dude!

I’ve been looking for a solution to this. Yes, I could drive in every day, but when I do that, I get fat, I get tooth-grindingly annoyed at the traffic, and I come home in a frazzled state of frazzledness. Another option would be to bus it in from time to time and let the driver bear the brunt of rush hour while I lose myself in a good book (I’d finally get to The Drawing of the Dark, and make Paul happy). My office is 90 minutes and three separate bus rides away. Yuck (this is mostly due to being the morning child dropper-offer. If I left at 6 am, I’d only need one bus and get there in an hour. But: SIX AM…). The buses do have a rack and roll system, but I’ve never been comfortable using them, and end up spending the entire ride staring at my bike, expecting it to be yanked off by some ne’er-do-well, or worse, not getting a spot because the racks are already full, thus making me miss the bus.

What to do? Then I remembered my silly fascination with the little foldy bike that all the German (Austrian?) tourists use to tootle around on Cres. Hmm! That’s an idea! I could bike to the Park & Ride, collapse the bike, grab any bus that goes my way (of which there are several), hop off at the end of the line and bike the rest of the way. Total time on the bike? 25 minutes. Total time on the bus? 35 minutes. I’m back to an hour, baby!

Thanks to the ridiculous distance I have to travel, I worked out that I’ll be spending $12 a day on gas in the dad-mobile going to and from work. Taking a regular bus (expresses in Ottawa are more expensive, but supposedly faster) return is $5.50, so I’d make up 6.50 on the price of the bike every time I rode in. I worked out that the bike would pay for itself in 2 years, and I intend on making it pay its way. Oh yes I do.

Isn’t it pretty? The bag on the back is actually a cover to slip over it when I get on the bus, so I don’t get any lip from the driver.

BTW: This bring me one step closer to that goal of Multi-Modal travel from Cres to Helsinki if WorldCon lands there in 2017. I just have to get one for Bojana too, and we’re set (after we figure out what we’re going to do with all those children for which we are responsible, I suppose…).