10 Jul 2014

Commuting Without a Car

As I mentioned earlier in the week (see this post), at the beginning of June I began a new job downtown. In order to avoid driving downtown Vancouver and paying ridiculous amounts for parking, I initially began with driving to Bridgeport Station (in Richmond, BC) and taking the Canada Line from there. However, just last week I began something new.

TransLink has bike locker available at most Canada Line stations and at some Expo and Millennium Line stations. For $10 per month, or $100 for the year, I have a secure, enclosed space to store my bike. For my commute, I now ride to the Canada Line station where my bike locker is located (which I selected), store my bike, and take the train downtown. My office is a short walk from Waterfront station.

The bike lockers are very secure. They are completely enclosed and I was actually surprised at the sturdiness of the lock. I have also heard very good stories about the security overall.

Each storage unit is a wedge and is just big enough to fit a bike. Backed in, and with the front wheel turned, I am easily able to close the door.

The price is entirely reasonable - the $10 per month fee is far less than $200-300 for parking downtown and is even less than the $2.50 per day parking a Bridgeport (after riding only four days, I am already saving money).

I like that I am no longer dependent on a car. I like that I get some exercise on the Richmond side of my commute and a short walk once I get downtown. I am proud to finally be able to routinely use my bike as part of my commute.

Overall, I am incredibly satisfied. My ride is short enough that I do not need a shower. I am, however, not confident enough to ride in my work clothes yet, so I am carrying a change of clothes and dressing into my business casual attire once I arrive at my office downtown.

Click HERE for more information from TransLink on renting a bike locker.

7 Jul 2014

Changing My Career and My Routine

Over the last couple of months, I have been transitioning to a new job. At the end of May, I resigned from my position at the company I have worked at for the past nine years in order to start a new job on an entirely new career path. For me, it is an incredibly positive change and one that I have been working towards for some time. The side-effect of this is that since the beginning of May, my entire routine has been turned upside-down.

My old office was located in south Burnaby and was surround by nature trails, mostly the Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park, which I have written about quite a bit (click HERE for my initial post and HERE for my post on the trail improvements that were completed earlier this year).

My new office, in contrast, is located downtown Vancouver. While I am excited to be working downtown (which is a first for me), it changes a lot of my routine, including my commute and my lunch break which is when I typically went for my runs. While I now have close access to the Seawall and many other amazing routes, what I am having difficulty finding is a place to shower afterwards (without spending significant amount of money for a gym membership).

The adjustment to my routine has taken me a bit longer to figure out than I expected, which is also partly compounded by the fact that my new office building is under renovations so the existing shower facilities are out of service for the time being.

One thing I have begun is completely eliminating my car from my commute - I now commute by a combination of bicycle and Canada Line (Light-Rapid Transit line from Richmond, BC to downtown Vancouver). I will be writing about this in a post shortly.

Until then, bear with me while I gather my bearings.