13 May 2007

15 hour day (and an extra long commute)

·         May 13, 2007

15 hour day (and an extra long commute)

On the BART, at one point, I spoke to a woman with a bike, she mentioned she was going to work - I mentioned that if she was working the late shift, she should have lights for the ride home. She said the ride home was next morning.
Turns out she is a resident doctor. They were limited to "only" 15 hours per shift and 80 hours per week only a few years ago.
For doctors-to-be, this is normal.

So I won't complain.

alarm - god damn it, why did I stay up until
midnight? I knew this would happen - you know, since it does several times a week
So tired. Painfully tired. Sore throat. Fuck it, snooze button

People waiting for me, need to be on time. Ok ok, I'm up.

Dressed, half a pop-tart, pull bike out from stuff in driveway, turn on newly figured out bluetooth stereo headphone cell-phone link, music, bicycle, on the way.

Today, I won't be so lazy, take 38th despite the little hill.
Up the hill, down the hill, so easy, why do I skip this everyday?
Getting late. Tired, eh, I'll take BART today. So much for not being lazy.

Fruitvale BART

Berkeley BART

Set up and clean shop which was left in transport mode from Saturdays farmers market.
Usual stuff, balance the books, check in bikes,
pro-bono repairs for people who can't afford any and have only bike for transportation.
Manager stops in, talk a bit. Tell him my impression of potential new hire. Move bikes that have been here a year or so outside, lock to racks, to make room for more active ones inside. Busy today. Every inside rack is full by
9:30. A bunch go on thier kickstands. More lay against the tires of others.

Head to downtown
oakland, to BART corporate office.
I expected 12 small, light signs, and a cart to hold them all.
13 signs, 3' x 2', 20 lbs each!!
No cart. They say the cart is too big to go on BART.
They say they were expected several people.
Just me.
Some one finds some yoga straps, which are the perfect thinkness and infinitely adjustable length, (max more than I need)
So, I strap 3 signs to my left shoulder, and three to my right.
(mind you, I did not know how heavy they were in pounds until I got home and looked it up. 120 lbs? Good lord, that's damn near what I weigh! My co-worker at the carnival used to say "Big man strong like bull" - yeah, and little man strong like mule!)
Not to mention the cables and locks.
4 blocks from corporate office at
Lake Merrit to 19th st. BART.
4 long, slow, hot, tiring blocks. A lot of comments, even more looks.
I'm used to that.

First set go out to
Concord, Pleasant Hill.
Then back to
El Cerrito, Berkeley.
Pick up bike, bring it to Fruitvale BART where there is another bike station, so I don't have to go back to
Berkeley at the end.
I am beginning to suspect I might not make it back in time to get my bike again. One of the attendants did say they were planning to stay late.

Call the guy at corporate (cute guy!) tell him I won't make it by 6, but I can get there by
6:30 if he's willing to wait.

GOD DAMN IT!!! I'm an idiot! Got used to taking the first train that comes, for the past few hours, wasn't paying attention, took the SF train, get off at
West Oakland, head back.

7 signs left. The guy is heading to BART anyway, so he takes one for me.
So, 3 on he left arm, 3 on the right again. Out to
Fremont this time.
Definitely not going to make it back on time to get my bike.

On the plus side, I spoke to many people on the trains and in the stations about bicycles and bike to work day. Let a lot of people know about it who didn't. Not to mention the people sitting by, overhearing, who don't say anything.

Approaching Fruitvale.
Finally. One last sign.
Show my official BART letter to the agent, get out for free.
Figure out what bus goes home.
It doesn’t run this time of night.
I take the one that goes up to MacArthur.
Get off to transfer.

It will be 18 minutes before the bus along MacArthur comes.
Fuck it, I'll just run. Its only 1.5 miles. I forfeit my quarter for the transfer.
Start running. Hey, I get the exercise I lost by not bicycling home. Oh wait, I carried those signs, I got plenty of exercise today.
Maybe by now it may be catching up. Look at the time: still too long, keep running.
ok, getting tired.
running in bicycle shoes, with metal cleats, not so fun.
Made it to 35th. 3/4 of the way. So close, yet, so far.
Check the time. Bus has to be close by now. I’m slower than I predicted. Well, the running warmed me up, and here there is a bench. Something to rationalize it. Besides, I get to use the transfer I already paid for.
Wait a minute before I realize there is a schedule on the bus stop: 5 more minutes. Can I run from here to home in 5 minutes?
Yeah, probably. May as well.
So I start off.
Sounds like a bus... it is the bus! Its early. No wait, its a transbay, they run late night too. Forgot about those. Damn, and now I'm in between stops. Run faster. It has a red light, I have a chance.
I get to the stop.
Bus comes, slows down, keeps going. Look at the sign: that line doesn't stop here. Keep running. The bus stops in the middle of the block, where there is no bus stop for any line. He lets me in. "you know I don't stop there" "I know now"

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