Recently the issue of bottled water/drinks was brought up to me. One blog that I read regularly, The Green Miles, had a post about this the other day. I try to always carry my own water bottle with me and fill it up where I can. Reading that post made me conscious that I need to do it even more.
There are plenty of other things that I have identified that I can do to help make a difference. But those aren't nearly as "interesting" as what I decided to try yesterday with the Metro. One big thing that I do is I tend to drive a lot of places. So last week I decided that I would try to make a concerted effort to take public transportation when it made sense. As opposed to when I normally take it, ie. after a night out of drinking... So this is where the metro comes in.
I work out at Andrews AFB and I knew that the metro went close to there, but I wasn't exactly sure how far away it was. So after a little research I found out that the stop was only 1.5 miles from the front gate to the base. And there is even a bus that runs from the stop to the gate. However, the main problem that I ran into is that my office is pretty far from the main gate. It is about 3.5 miles away and there is no shuttle bus or anything that would take me closer. So I got to thinking...
I used to ride my bike to work when I was in the city, so why couldn't I take the metro and then ride my bike from there to my office. That seemed like a good plan, so I decided that I would try it. Well, at rush hour, you can't take a bike on the train, there are waaaay too many people. So my next thought was that I could leave my bike locked up at the metro stop overnight and pick it up in the morning. So I brought my bike to work and dropped it off on my way home. I just hoped that all of it would be there the next morning!!
I jumped on the bus in the morning, transferred to the metro, and got off at my final stop. When I walked out of the metro, there was my bike just as I had left it! I got all situated for the ride and then off I went to the gate. The bus that runs there has a bike carrier on the front, but it was still 10 minutes away, so I decided to ride the whole thing. It was fairly painless, but I would have been better off with a different bike. Since I was concerned about it being locked up, I took my 10 year old mountain bike, with only 3 working gears. It was a little more work than I thought it would be, but I made it to the office successfully.
There are a few downsides to my trip that made me think this would not be a good every day option. First, it took me about 1:15 one way, which then eats up a full 2 1/2 hours each day. I did get some reading done on the metro and I did get some exercise though... Second, on my trip home on the metro, I was a little hot and sweaty from my bike ride. All in all though, it was a successful experiment and something that I may be willing to do more of. Hey I tried it again today also!! I am even contemplating getting a bike locker at the metro stop so that I don't have to worry about the bike and I can ride a nicer one.