Commuter Challenge

Previous years when I folks were promoting the Commuter Challenge, I felt a little left out, since I walked to work pretty much every day and setting aside a special week as a challenge seemed a bit silly. Where was my prize?

Well, now that work is a bit beyond walking distance (unless you consider a three hour walk walking distance–I’ve tried it once…), and I’ve been driving to work nearly every day. It’s not a bad drive: 15-20 minutes on the Expressway. But now I’m one of those horrible, planet-killing commuters, driving a single-occupant vehicle back and forth to work every day. Exactly the sort of person the Commuter Challenge is meant to… er… challenge.

So I figured I should take up the challenge.

Sunday: While not technically a commute, we had a Pathfinder game and since the place is about half-way to work, I figured I’d warm up and ride my bike there. It was a success, and I managed to figure out the detour around the construction on William Street.

Monday: Bus to work. I live near the McCormick iExpress stop. So I could walk there and catch the bus. I missed the first one and had to wait 15 minutes for the next, throwing off my plan carefully crafted with EasyGo. As a result, I missed the connection at Fairway and had to walk the rest of the way (or wait 20 minutes for the #12 bus, which came out to about the same time). Total time to work: about 1.5 hours.

The only good thing about taking the bus is I can catch up on podcasts.

I caught the right bus and made the connection on the way home, so the trip home was closer to an hour.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Biked. I have to say, it’s a really nice ride into work. Total time: about an hour. I’m still not quite in shape enough to make it effortless. The ride home is a little harder, with a couple uphill slogs and more headwind. I think I might ride to Fairway on Friday and take the bus home.

I get to take the Trans-Canada Trail pretty much the entire way to work. Mind you, someone decided that in lieu of an actual trail, they should call Courtland Ave. and Manitou Dr. a “trail” for 3km despite being heavily trafficed motorways with barely a sidewalk. It’s not so bad, though, since I decided to take a detour along Vanier Drive through the residential area there. Most of the ride along the Laurel Trail and Iron Horse Trail is lovely and well worth the effort. Much nicer than driving, even if it does take four times as long.