BikeCommuters.com

The Bike Geek: Planning a multi-modal commute

Welcome back to The Bike Geek’s weekly post. I want to thank BikeCommuters.com for letting me keep writing my ramblings. All I can say is that recycled air that they pay me with really gives me a good buzz.

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Today I want to share how I’m planning to use public transportation and a bicycle to commute to work. My daily commute round trip is only 44 miles but I average 2 hours and 30 minutes of stop and stop traffic. Ouch.

metrolink

So I’ve been thinking of doing a bicycle-Metrolink train combination to get to work. Being the Geek that I am, I had to do my research first and found a few “challenges” that will not make it straight forward to ride to work.

First challenge is the train’s schedule:

bp2tustin

The first train going to Orange County arrives at my departure point at 7:12 AM and arrives at my destination at 7:45 AM. That seems to be a good deal, only 33 minutes of transit time! (Not counting the bike portion, but we will get to that much later).

tustin2bp

Coming back is a different story. I usually get out of work at 5:30 PM so the 5:17 PM train maybe out of the question, so that leaves me with taking the 6:05 PM train. However, the 6:05PM train does not take me straight to my destination, I would have to transfer to another train netting me a transit time of 55 minutes. My other option would be to ride my bike from a further station, something that I’m really considering because of the route that I’m thinking of taking.

Second Challenge is my bicycle route:

map

Taking the most direct route (Jamboree Road) is plain suicide. This road becomes a highway with cars zooming at 70 mph and multiple entrances where cars have to merge at speed. No thanks.

The safest route would be a river trail with bike lanes but for some stupid effing reason, the trail turns into a gravel road and then dead ends at a closed gate. W.T.F.

bikelane

That leaves me with the highlighted route, it is longer and again, for whatever effing reason, Edinger goes under Tustin Ranch road leaving me to take a small side street to reach Tustin Ranch Road. I have already scoped Tustin Ranch Road, it has nice wide bike lanes I just have to be careful with butt-hole drivers driving on the bike lanes. Sheesh.

So I got the schedule planned, my route planned, what the hell am I waiting for???? Well, the train ain’t cheap:

fares

$14.50 round trip!!! With today’s gas prices, I fill up my vehicle with $23.00 and it lasts me a week and a half or 10 round trips. So the question is, is it worth paying for the sanity of not being stuck in traffic and dealing with a-hole drivers? And also…

Challenge number three: I don’t have a suitable bike to commute with. But you will have to come back as I go in a quest to score a decent commuter bike for under $150. Oh, this bike also has to be able to tackle dirt terrain as my route will involve riding parts of the World Famous Fullerton Loop. My goal is to actually try this mode of commuting on “Bike to Work Week”, and who knows, maybe BikeCommuters.com will double my salary since I’m actually going to be commuting by bike!

Next week: First impressions of the Quad Lock for the Galaxy S5.

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