We're learning.

So after going back to Pipestone Travel Store today I ended up riding north along McLeod Trail trying to get downtown as quickly as I could so I would make the 20 Minute Makeover.  I just crossed over the C-Train overpass and was going downhill when I felt an odd wobble from my back wheel.  That was strange, I didn’t spot anything, but the bike didn’t feel right.  A bit further on I came to a gas station, flipped my bike over and pulled the rear wheel looking for a leak.  I never found one, so I figured the tire must have a slow leak and be slightly under-inflated.  Turn on the air pump, get some pressure into the tire and


“Uh-oh.“  I didn’t find the leak, but I most certainly had one now.

Knowing that some of the buses in Calgary have bike racks, I tweeted Calgary Transit hoping to get lucky.  In short, fat chance, no bike racks at all on those buses.

I don’t take transit all that often anymore - I’m usually on my bike.  Today when I was reliant on a bike rack, there wasn’t one to be had.  I had to lock my bike up to a fence at the side of the road, hoping it would be intact by the time I got back, and spend the next 45 minutes or so riding a bus down to the bike shop, getting replacement parts, hopping on the next bus north and then repairing my bike.  It would have been so much simpler (and cheaper!) if I could have just brought my bike with me.  I would have been certain I got the right parts and I would not have had to purchase my own tools to take with me.

Ubermoogle (how I love that name!) sent me this article about the headaches of bike racks on buses.  “Man,” I thought, “I had a major headache today without one!“  And McKendrick’s argument that the use is sporadic is a spurious argument.  I needed one today.  Probably the first time in my life, but today was the day - where was the rack?

I understand Calgary Transit is trying to accommodate bikes and I understand that it’s not without consequence.  We’re not on opposite sides of the argument here, we have to find ways to cooperate and make the situation better for everyone.

Just as I’m crawling into the tub to soak I open up Mia Birk’s book Joyride, turn the page and read the following:

Once you build it, people will come.  This, we know.  But if we build it, and then encourage people to use it, in ways that are meaningful to their lives, they will come in flocks, droves, maybe even stampedes. This, we learn.

Thanks again, Mia.