Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lots of cycling. Why not to an interview? (July 2, 2008)

Current mood:determined
Five trips Downtown or beyond in seven days, by bicycle, in June/July, in hilly, sweaty Pittsburgh. Yes I have a car. Yes I can drive. Yes I have a bus pass and use it. So why bike?

  1. I'm trying to keep my sorry 49-year-old ass in good shape. A lot of other people who are 49 are in far worse shape than I am. Some of them are dead, not from accidents but from burning out their bodies long before they should have. Not me, dammit. Yeah I got a bit of a belly, but it's not from beer. I'm just 49.
  2. I have no health insurance. Assuming I don't wreck -- and who's to say that I wouldn't wreck in a car, whosever fault it might be -- then anything I do to keep myself in good health will help me more than hurt me. Lord knows, I can't afford a friggin' flu shot, let alone something serious.
  3. Gasoline is only expensive if you buy it. Transportation CAN be FREE. The bus pass is already paid for through December, but the bike doesn't cost a red cent to use.
  4. Parking Downtown is free, too, and I never have to worry about a traffic jam. Just get off and walk it on the sidewalk.
  5. It's cool to commune with nature. Birds, flowers, wild animals. I can hear them, see them, even stop to talk to them.
  6. I am reducing, not adding to, traffic. Sometimes I'm on a path through the woods or along the river, or at least off the main drags, so there's far less traffic for me to deal with, and I'm not holding anyone else back, like my car would be. Yesterday I got stuck in two traffic jams in the car. You just don't know how liberating it is to say, screw traffic, and head off into the woods.

But yeah, five trips in seven days.
  • Thursday was the 30-mile trip.
  • Friday was the BikeFest party, coming home in pitch darkness. Yes I have a light.
  • Sunday was helping clean up after the party. Managed to catch a bus home with the bike.
  • Tuesday evening was a trip to Dormont, 14 miles distant. Got a ride back in someone's SUV.
  • Today another trip into the city, returning by a bus's bike rack.

Tomorrow I have a job interview. I've been tempted for some time to don the two-piece suit, throw on the orange vest over it, then add helmet and chain protector, and go to the interview. I'm not worried about getting this job (though of course it would be nice), so I figure I'm ready to tackle this one head on.

I'm 49. I worked for 22 years in the corporate world. I'm hardly wet behind the ears anymore. I don't need a job that has me with my tail between my legs all the time, and to that end, I don't need to try to make it through an interview with my tail between my legs. So I show up on a bicycle. Rain is forecast, though I'm more likely to encounter it on the way home than on the way there. Doesn't matter. Maybe I'll travel there in ratty clothes and change into the suit in the john, which is what I'd do if I had to bike to work in rough weather, anyway. It's what I did for 10+ years commuting by bus, though I didn't have to be as weather ready, just grubby commuting shoes with a dress pair under the desk.

An update will follow.

Naaah, I drove. Main thing was I didn't have enough time to prepare for the trip. Too much housework to do around & after breakfast. That, and it just wouldn't have worked. Maybe another office in that same complex, but not the hiring firm. It was only 7 miles away, and not even that hilly. OK, one big hill, but mainly the rolling terrain of the North Hills here. This ain't Kansas.

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