4.03.2011

Pass Happy


I think that the only thing more boring to hear about, besides someone else's fantasy sports teams, is someone's commuting routines. But this is my blog and I'll do what I want.

With our company's move downtown now less than three weeks away, I'm really starting to think about what to do in terms of getting the kids to school and myself to work. I've gone back and forth between bike, transit, or a combination of the two.

As of now, I think I'm leaning towards ditching the bike and going all SEPTA. I'm getting old and the kids are getting heavy, so even though the distance I would be biking with Aaron in the back seat wouldn't change, it may be time to give that up. Not to mention the fact that my bicycle is now 13 years old and has a lot of mileage on it.

Relying on public transit does have its downsides. Notably, I'm beholden to SEPTA's schedule, and on days I have to drop off or pick up both kids (which is most days), it'll mean waiting for two buses that don't come very frequently and do get stuck in rush hour. Which means that my commute will lengthen considerably, from less than a half hour to as much as over an hour, depending on traffic. Which I'm not looking forward to. Plus I'm giving up exercise (maybe 15 miles a week, most of which I'm carrying about 40 pounds of extra weight), and having to pay about $1000 a year for a pass.

About that pass, though. It's not really $1000 a year, because I'll be using pre-tax money. And, because it's unlimited, I can use it for personal trips. So the net damage to my wallet is probably closer to $50 a month.

I'll look back fondly on my seven months of biking madness. There were probably 10 or 15 days total that I didn't use a bike, which means I got a good 500 miles of riding in. I got soaked by rain, rode in snow, rode on snow, and wore a ski mask for two months. I probably got cut off dozens of times, including at least two handfuls of heart-stoppers and fist-shakers. I subjected the kids, mostly Aaron, to some really nasty weather, but also to some quality bonding time to feel the breeze and be pressed up against their daddy's back.

In three weeks, I'll trade that all in for a pass. And, with its unlimited usability, I'm sure I'll exploit that for all its worth, taking myself and the kids all over town. If so, I'll be sure to subject you loyal readers to the most banal of accounts. Don't say I didn't forewarn you.

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