Thursday, September 23, 2010

And of course it rained like crazy yesterday morning, but for once I was prepared! I had an umbrella, M had a raincoat, and Z was in the new stroller with its uber protective hood and the rain canopy. Score! We are getting the hang of all this.

I haven't been bicycling as much as I would like for our commute to school(s). Either it rains, or I feel sick (this week I have had a cold), and if I take the bus I can leave ten minutes later. This is kind of nagging on me, but I also think oh well, it's about making this as easy and liveable as possible. I do miss using my bicycle daily tho, or almost, as I was doing in the summer. I hope to re-incorporate it more again, perhaps I could cycle part way, then grab the bus down to M's school, then take the bus back up to the bicycle. This would eliminate one of the busses I have to take, and would let me ride the bus for the roughest part of the commute. Currently all told, if I cycle I spend 1.5 hours on the bike each way. This is a lot! And as I don't go home during the day I am quite committed to either the bus or the bike for the day. It still makes all the difference to being carfree for me to have it, for grocery runs, adventures around the neighbourhood and around town. Although our daily route happens to be very convenient by bus, many of the other places we go are not, and I love that I am still independent and able to get around on my own schedule, by my own route, and under my own steam. I would not like the feeling of being entirely dependent on public transit. I like that I can use it when I want to, and avoid it if I don't want to.

Interestingly, tho M's school is only less than 4km from my house, and the university is 7km, I far prefer going to the university on the bicycle. The ride to her school is quite uphill in parts and also through some not so pleasant, high traffic areas. And frankly the bus is so convenient, a 3 minute transfer wait halfway, and really door to door, from my house to the school. I guess if my main complaint is that the bus is too convenient, I'm not suffering too much. I love biking to the university though because I can take bike trails most of the way, it is quite flat, and then I have my bicycle to get around campus easily. This feels very luxurious, that I don't have to walk between different parts of the campus, but can jump on the bike and be wherever I want to very quickly.

Another great thing about taking the bus for our daily commute is that a few of the other mothers at M's school take it too, so I've gotten to meet a few people. In particular there is a mother from Colombia, who doesn't speak much English, and is very friendly. I am taking Spanish at university, and am desperate for opportunities to practice the language as I want to become fluent. She is thrilled that I know some Spanish, and is very patient about helping me find words and conjugate verbs to say what I need to say. And although I know she simplifies for me, it is really helpful for me to just hear her speak pretty naturally, I am learning a lot. She is very nice and has a great sense of humour. We are becoming friends and we talk at the bus stop after dropping off the kids, and then the whole way downtown. I am enjoying this immensely.

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