Thursday, May 22, 2008

Being Green

I have this crazy idea that if I ride my bicycle to work as much as possible, I will:
Lose weight
save money
conserve gas
help make the air cleaner
So I took my bike to Pibby's Bicycle Repair and got the 25-year-old tires replaced. Rode the bus to work this morning and rode the bicycle home.
The bus is always interesting. Like I said to Andy today, I feel much more a citizen of the world when I ride the bus to work. The bus was very crowded today, and full of sights and sounds to keep me amused. A Spanish speaking lady feeding a bottle to a darling little baby girl, with big brother (who looked about 4) gazing at little sister with the sweetest unabashed affection. And little baby girl grabbing at everything she can reach, including the ass of a young man in baggy jeans.

Man standing about 3 people down from me, singing the entire way downtown. He had a smooth and silky voice and sang perfectly in tune. First it was "Strangers in the Night" and then it segued into "Just the Way You Are."

I saw two young men get up and give their seats to older ladies.

Sitting right across from me was a surly looking young woman who had her knees up on the seat, thus taking up two places. As numerous people got on the bus, she never moved to make more room. Finally an older man walked up to her, pointed at her sprawled out legs and asked to sit there. She grudgingly shifted enough to let him sit. Meanwhile, she held a wadded up kleenex in one hand while she wiped her nose with her (bare) other hand.

And the guys across from and right next to me were chatting animatedly in what sounded like Arabic.

My ride home was also very nice. We're not in the dog days of summer yet, so it's still pleasant and breezy riding the bike. I just hope I can keep the bike riding up at least a few days a week when it gets hotter. It's an amazing calorie burner, and it kind of reminds me of being a kid, except for the huffing and puffing!

One last strange note on all this--My mom has decided to give up driving because she's too blind to drive safely. So here I am making a conscious decision to drive less, and here's my mom , kind of having no choice in the matter. And to boot, she is giving me her car. So in the midst of trying to be more green, I find myself to be one person owning two cars.


pnlkotula said...

I always admire you so much. And Jamie will be proud - he is going to be a little "go green" ambassador for GRTC in some upcoming spots on channel 12. Go green - ride purple!

Janine Serresseque said...

Thanks Lisa! I'm tryin'.

Robyn O'Neill said...

You've inspired me. So out of curiosity I checked out the GRTC schedule to see about taking the bus to work. If I caught a bus at 7:40, I would still get to the office later than 9:00 - and my office is only six miles from house. So I'm not doing that.

Riding my bike to work would take me just as long, but at least I would get some exercise. However, if I managed to make it to the office without getting hit by a car on Broad Street, how would I get home? I'm certainly not doing that twice in one day!

I guess I'll just continue to drag my lazy ass out of bed at 8:00, be in my car by 8:45 and sipping coffee at my desk by 8:55. I know that's not terribly green of me. Maybe I'll buy a Prius.

Janine Serresseque said...

While I will have ridden my bike 10 miles today, I also walked over to Popkin's and got a high calorie overpriced lunch to negate all my good efforts.

Janine Serresseque said...

Hey Lisa,

I'm amazed that bus fares have barely gone up at all in 10 years or so, compared to the price of gas. Why is that? I'm asking you because rumor has it you are sleeping with a GRTC employee! Our secret, don't worry.


Joy W. said...

Good for you, Janine!!!!!
You have inspired Eric to give that a try. (I haven't seen him take the bike out of the garage yet, but he keeps talking about it!)
2 cars, huh? If you want to sell one of them, we might be interested!

JB said...

I am proud of you. Very inspiring. I need a back tire on my bike and then we can ride around dog town togther!

Janine Serresseque said...

JB, it's been kicking my butt. I like it, but I expected to hop on the bike and ride around like I did as a kid. I'm having to recondition myself this time around! Of course, you still have youth on your side, at least for a few more hours.
Hee hee.

pnlkotula said...

So happy to see you last night, and I have it on good authority that you and my favorite GRTC employee had a talk about the fares. But for your readers, they haven't changed because GRTC receives a lot of grant funding and help from the respective authorities (city of Richmond, Henrico County and Chesterfield County), which is why every time you see the council members arguing about it on the news, it's in the bus ridership's interest to see that they get the support they need. Golly, that's the most I've ever publically posted about politics. Better stop that!