As an avid reader of BikeSnobNYC, one of my favorite recurring themes of his is the "Indignity of commuting by bicycle." The last couple days have sort of thrown the indignity into sharp relief.
Last time around I wrote a post basically saying that for the sake of convenience, vanity, and timeliness, I often like to go the "Bike-N-Ride" route, blending public transport, catching rides from friends, and cycling. The last couple of days, Planet Earth apparently decided I was not going to be getting around in any other such fashion than by bike. My plan for yesterday evening was to take the MetroRail downtown to hang out with Sunshine McHappyFlowers, eat some pasta salad, and get a margarita.
I arrived at the train station and walk up to the ticket machine, which is surrounded by disgruntled looking people holding bicycles. Apparently the train south was cancelled. The rather stressed-out looking dispatcher said they would be sending along a bus shortly that would stop along the MetroRail's normal route, and that the travel-time would not be significantly different. The bus did indeed arrive, the problem became obvious. Austin's buses only hold 2 bikes a piece, on a front rack. Not only were the two spots on that bus already filled, but there were 5 of us standing there holding our 2-wheeled contrivances. So it was decided with two other people that we would simply ride the distance.
As I've mentioned, Texas is fairly hot in the summer. Yesterday it was 100 F out for the duration of the ride there and in those temperatures, it's almost impossible to stay cool and hydrated. I got to Sunshine's place about an hour later, and went upstairs to have pasta salad and get ready to go out. I spent a good amount of time drying off, cleaning up the raccoon effect I always get from the combination of heavy sweating and makeup, and nervously texting a lad I met at the park. Onto our bikes we hopped and off to the bar we pedaled, where we met DogParkGuy for drinks. Another friend of mine ended up meeting us out and being a bit inebriated, threw our bikes in the back of his truck and he drove all of us back to Sunshine's apartment to keep the party rolling and crash out. Theoretically, my friend was giving me a ride home in the morning so I could take care of my dogs, maybe get a little more sleep, and still make it to work on time.
Fate wasn't having it. Despite the relatively short amount of time we were there, and the late hours, my friend's truck was towed this morning. So at 6:45 this morning, it was time to get creative with getting home. I rode to the train station, only to discover that the MetroRail doesn't even run on the weekends. This left me two options. Take the bus, which takes forever, or ride. I think you all know which choice I went with.
An hour later, I pulled up to my house, in quite the state. A shower was what was called for, however, one of my dogs kicks up an incredibly racket if put outside and left alone (housepets do not understand banishment). Since I still had on the bathing suit I'd put on the night before under my dress, I turned on the garden hose, set the sprayer to the "Shower" setting, and took a quick shower in my backyard. I still made it to work on time.