SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


The Commute Conundrum

I happen to work for an employer that offers a free commute shuttle from San Francisco (where I live) to Sunnyvale (where I work). This is either a good thing or a bad thing. It's certainly a good thing because it means I almost never have to drive my car to work. In nearly a year of working at this job, I've only driven my car to work about five or six times, which probably includes my job interview. However it's also a bad thing, because it lets me be lazy and I don't commute via bike+Caltrain every day, which means I get less exercise and riding mileage during the week. Sometimes -- especially when I have a morning meeting -- it's nice to arrive at work not all sweaty and toting a bike helmet. Riding the shuttle also usually gets me home earlier in the evening, so if I have dinner plans that's usually the transport method of choice. In contrast, bike-commuting definitely gets my blood pumping so I feel more awake, and it definitely improves my disposition (mmm endorphins!). I guess it's good to have options, but if I could commit to bike-commuting every day, I'd get an extra 14 miles x 5 days = 70 miles/week. That'd definitely help build endurance for those big weekend rides. The shuttle just feels like cheating...


Blogger cyclofiend said...

I'm guessing that the commute shuttle precludes bringing your bike. Is that correct? Otherwise, you could shuttle down and get off the train earlier.

Other than that, even two times a week would make a noticeable difference.

And I'm not sure I wanna let you get in better shape - you punish me enough as it... ;^)

12:10 PM  
Blogger Jim G said...

Good point. Actually (technically) the shuttle has space for bicycles. I could bike+train commute in the AM, and then take the shuttle home in the PM. The morning ride IS nicer anyways! There are a couple of different shuttle routes and some are more amenable to bikes than others...but that's certainly an option I could/should consider. More cogitation needed there, clearly...it doesn't need to be an all-or-nothing thing.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous beth h said...

Don't feel sheepish about taking transit. Using transit makes the government notice that people are using transit, and then they're more inclined to keep supporting it.

On the other hand, I see transit as a healthy challenge. Having the light rail close at hand invites me to consider just how badly I want the lift home, and more often than not I choose to ride. I feel better when I ride home, even at the end of a long, tiring day. And I'm learning to discern more clearly between physical and mental fatigue. And that has made it possible for me to increase my mileage this year without feeling like I'm killing myself in the process.

Happy riding --Beth

8:31 AM  
Blogger Fritz said...

Beth, Caltrain is not an underused service. Many morning southbound trains from San Francisco are at capacity.

The Governator does want to cut transit funding in California, but it's not because of lack of use.

If I had a work shuttle from my home in Scotts Valley I'd probably take it ;-)

10:43 PM  
Blogger Gustavo said...

Jim the obvious answer is that you need a Bike Friday. Haven't you always wanted a bike that transformed? ;)

12:35 PM  

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