What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

16 March 2011

Friday, Part 1

So! My Wednesdays were open, and since I get some loony stories in my car-free state, I decided to start Without-a-Car Wednesdays. ("Car-Free Wednesday" is shorter, but lacks that alliteration that I'm so fond of.) Plus, I'm saving them all up for a memoir, so this is also writing practise.

I volunteer for Bike Texas on Friday afternoons; the office is 1/4 mile from the nearest train station and the timing is great for finishing up around 5 PM. So last Friday, I thought I'd be clever and take the train (with my bike) one stop, then hop on the bike path that would take me the rest of the way home. Problem #1: I didn't think about it being rush hour. Problem #2: There are thousands of tourists in town for South by Southwest. Problem #3: My bike is pretty tall already (being a road bike), and the addition of the panniers makes it tall and wide, and therefore not amenable to cramped spaces. So I got on the already-full train, a bunch of people got on after me, and I realised pretty quickly that getting off again was going to be an issue.

When we got to my stop, I started rolling toward the exit, where even more people were piling on. There was no fighting the tide without injuring people (and possibly me), so I gave it up and decided to stay on for another stop. The passengers around me had a bit of a chuckle before advising me that being polite wasn't going to get me anywhere. Well, anywhere except all the way to the end of the line if I refused to push my way through to the exit.

The next stop, more people got off, fewer got on, and I wrangled the bike off with many "excuse me"s and "sorry about that"s to people who I accidentally jabbed with my handlebars. Bet they were glad to see me leave. Then I called Chad to let him know that I was going to be later than expected, only for him to tell me he was on his way to Toastmasters. That's fine, I said; I'll get back on the train (!) and go one more stop, then meet him a the Toastmaster meeting. Guess I should have called him before getting off the train. Sigh...

I went back to the platform, saw the next train was due in an hour, but the one going back into town was coming in 10 minutes. No problem; I'd go back downtown and get a bus.

To be continued...

I'm not the only polite person on the planet, so... share your too-polite-in-public stories!


Mary Vaughn said...

My politeness didn't pay off as well as yours. At a red light I left an opening for an oncoming car to turn into the lot of an obscure little shop. As they made the turn the passenger stuck his tongue out and waved to me with that particular finger.

Su said...

Ugh! What a jerk! That's the worst-- when being polite only gets you rudeness in return. :(

Michelle in a shell said...

Oh my geez! Poor you. I struggle enough with bringing bags home I can't imagine commuting with a bike. I feel like I can tell this is going to be a long, long ride home

Su said...

Yeah. It gets better. ;)