Thursday, February 5, 2009


So I know I have not been posting a lot lately... but that is because A.) My life is insanely busy B.)I have been sick and C.) It is too fricking cold to bike. I know, I know. I need to suck it up and bike anyway, but I've been trying to get over bronchitis and a sinus infection for weeks now and my doctor told me that it would continue to get worse unless I took a break from biking.

So, that being said, I have been catching the bus lately. I have to say, the bus is growing on me. Im slowly getting to know the bus drivers and some of the passengers and it is really a community all on its own. There are a few seedy characters that I try to avoid, mainly because they just stare at me and its awkward but they are few and far between. Overall, I think the 30 route has a good vibe to it. I've got four main drivers on my route- an older black man, a middle aged white dude and women, and a younger black woman. The white lady LOVES to small talk, the white guy will always ask to see my college ID in addition to my bus pass (annoying), the younger black lady is obviously not thrilled about her job, and the older black man is my favorite because he always responds when I ask him how he is doing. As for the passengers... well there is a very unique blend... The base of this group are hourly workers getting from one job to the next with a few college students sprinkled in. Women with children are the next most predominant group... but my favorite is the DUI rider... I can't really explain why, but they just stick out and it makes me laugh. Its usually pretty obvious why people are riding because they are in uniform, wearing a backpack, or carrying something like groceries.

When people get on and off there are usually some "Whats up man" or "How ya'll doing" comments, unless its a college kid or DUI rider. As for me, well its hit or miss. Some days I talk to my neighbors but others I keep to myself, with my i-pod on and my head in a book. Last week I had a one-of-a-kind ride that resulted in me having three new friends and my karma bank full. It all started because the woman across from me had a huge birthday cake, party favors and balloons. I was talking to the guy next to me about how I missed old school birthday parties, when the birthday girl started to get off the bus. She had so much going on that she didn't realize her balloons were loose and tangled... so as she was getting off they started to escape and I leapt across the front of the bus and wrangled them in before they went sky high. This of course earned me a small round of applause from the people waiting to get on. Then, the next guy that gets on is short a dime and only has a five, so I toss one in for him...and when he is getting off, the five falls out of his pocket and I had to yell for him to stop and get it. Just when I think I can go back to staring into space, the older woman next to me gets off at the Mary St. stop in a hurry and leaves her purse. I made the bus driver stop and I ran back and gave it to her while he waited. When I got back on the bus the driver said "What are you, some kind of angel?", to which, of course, I had to laugh really hard about... and I just joked that it was "All in a days work". I got off at the next stop with a huge smile across my face and an extra bounce in my step... all from just riding the bus.

On a slightly related note, I have mastered the art of the front bike rack on the bus, but for those of you that haven't or just want to watch an ridiculously awesome video, check this out:


Josh Mueller said...

COLD it has been for sure!! I know how you feel, I bike DT from JI several times a week (at least 2X/week at 6:15AM, and that's cold). Last winter my ass got chapped. My new year's resolution was to not let the cold stop me. With that determination, I found this simple recipe for a comfortable ride on the sunrise umpteen degrees mornings:

one layer beneath my pants
a second pair of socks
a good pair of gloves (emphasis on good)
head band that fully covers my ears (emphasis on fully covers)
three layers + windbreaker up top

for real, that's the difference between a fun ride and a "I'm never doing that again ride".

but there IS one last thing: you gotta embrace the snotrocket--it's unavoidable, and it's your right as a cyclist. LET HER RIP! :)

americorpsrachel said...

Just thought I would tell you since I have been living in DC I have been riding the Bus and Metro, I have had two awkward encounters on the Bus and I always think of you!!!! Today one of them, I got on after some sort of confrontation between a man and woman, and just didn't make eye contact, apparently the man was so mad he called metro police and half way into my ride the bus was stopped and couldn't go any farther cause the police said so, I had to get off and walk!!!! HEHEHE but silently thought what would Nikki do:) miss you