Monday, December 19, 2011

Easy Christmas Shopping

This past weekend, a friend wanted me to meet her at a mall so that she could check on a Christmas item to buy. The mall is not a Megamall, but it does have good anchor stores to pull in the business, and it's connected to a subway stop, which is helpful. Since it's not a Megamall, car parking isn't real bad...but then, this was the weekend before Christmas.

The mall is a little less than 2 miles from where I live, the bike ride over there is easy, though there's a good-size hill involved. The last time I rode over to the mall, I locked my bike in front of the Target store, where there was a bike rack provided. The store my friend wanted to meet me was at the other end of the mall, where I didn't see a bike rack. So I double-locked my bike to a tree across from the mall entrance. I later saw another mall entrance around the corner, and it DID have a bike rack there, so I made a note of it for bike parking in the future. :)

Going to a mall the weekend before Christmas can be a bit stressful, especially if you're trying to park a car. I have experienced "parking lot road rage" years ago (when I did have a car), and it wasn't pleasant. The guy who "stole" my parking spot did it with such gusto and nerve, I couldn't believe it. As he got out of his car, he let me have it verbally. And this was FIRST thing in the morning! How can someone be SO ANGRY first thing in the morning??! There were plenty of other parking spots right nearby, so I parked elsewhere.

You NEVER have such angry outbursts from other bicyclists when you are parking your bike. You never have to "fight" for a parking spot. It is a stress-free experience. One less stress in life is good. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Roof Over Our Heads

 On Thanksgiving, I went to catch my Megabus ride up to Baltimore to meet my sister. Megabus recently moved their D.C. stop from K Street, to the Union Station parking garage. One great thing about this is that now, finally, we have shelter from the elements. :) As you've read from some of my previous posts, the other D.C. Megabus stops have been in open parking lots - so you were exposed to the summer sun, wind, cold, etc. So I was happy that we now have shelter. :) Plus, since it's at Union Station, passengers can take Metro right to Union Station and take the escalators up a couple levels to the parking garage. At the previous stop on K Street, you had to walk a number of blocks to get to the stop. I remember one time a lady in front of me was on her cell phone, talking to her friend who was racing to get to the Megabus stop. Her friend was exiting Metro, but still had the many blocks to cover. Her friend was anxious for her to make the bus and kept urging her to hurry, hurry! She asked the bus attendant if they would hold the bus, since her friend was close by. He said that if they saw her in the parking lot, they would. I don't think her friend made it in time, so she had to catch the next Megabus. So, having the D.C. stop connected with Metro will be helpful. I was running a little low on time myself and decided to bike to Metro and take it to Union Station. Unfortunately, I have to transfer from the Green line to the Red line, so you lose time in waiting. I think it took me as long to ride Metro as it would have been to bike. The return Metro ride home though, the timing of the trains were better and it didn't take me as long.
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Four Years & Counting! :)

Hard to believe this month marks my 4th year of being car-free! :) I was just checking today to see if there are Zipcars located at the Metro station near my new home residence, and I was happy to see there car is a Prius, which costs only $8.50/hr. Also I just found out that there's a Zipcar even closer - just a handful of blocks from my house - - even better! :) So that's good to keep in mind for the future.

Speaking of the future, I came across this interesting video of a new program (called "") that was launched in Munich, Germany: The concept is that when members uses one form of public transportation, they collect "mo miles" which entitles them to a discount on other transportation modes. I think it's a GREAT way to connect the separate modes of transportation. It'd be a great addition to cities like Washington, D.C., where people use bikes, buses, subways, Amtrak, etc. to get around. Hmmm....maybe ONE day we could have the program implemented here...I don't see why it couldn't work. I'm not sure how much the program costs though, to get started, nor how much the membership would be?

I've sent an email to the people at, to inquire if this program could be implemented in the D.C. area. Stay tuned...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Attending Class

A week or so ago, I signed up to attend a home-buying counseling class, held in Rockville, MD. I've always been a renter, but with low interest rates and the cost of houses at a low, I thought I'd check out the possibility of buying a home. Maryland has a program where, if you take an 8-hour class, you receive a certificate that entitles you to $5,000 off your closing costs. The class cost $95, but I thought it was worth the money.

If it had been a rainy morning, I might have gotten a Zipcar so that I wouldn't arrive all wet. But it was a clear day, so I rode my Brompton folding bike to the Metro and took it to Rockville. The class location was an office building a couple of miles from the station. I rolled my bike into the building, into the elevator, and leaned it up against a wall outside of the glass-encased conference room. I thought about it later, perhaps how odd it looked that I was showing up with a bicycle in hand. But you know, I'm SO used to having a bike by my side, that I really didn't think about it and how it looked. :)

During the break, the classroom instructor commented about my Brompton. She was an Asian lady, a little shorter than me, and said she liked my bike because it looked like it was easy to get on and off, since the frame of the bike is low and easy to step over. I showed her how fast and easy it folded and she was amazed. She asked about the cost of the bike and where she could buy one.

Part of the class involved a monthly budget that we had filled out prior to the class. It was quite detailed as to the breakdown of costs. A portion of the budget referred to car-related expenses. I wonder how many of her students filled in $0 for their car-related expenses? I do, however, spend up to $60 a month currently, on taking the subway and bus, which is a lot less than car-related expenses.

I will be moving next month to Mount Rainier, Maryland, to share a house, since my apartment rent was going up YET again. :( The extra cash I save in sharing a house will go towards a home of my own one day in the near future, if I'm lucky to find something in my price range and that suits my wants/needs. I haven't lived in Maryland since I was a kid, so it feels kind of weird to think about living there again. I've lived a lot of my life in Virginia. So, stay tuned....

The house I will be sharing has a driveway, which is nice. Not that I need it... :) but it's nice for when someone drops by for a visit. The parking for guests at apartment complex I've lived at, is practically non-existent, which is very inconvenient. There is a small half circle in front of the building where you can park briefly to load/unload, but the complex has a very aggressive towing policy, especially in the evenings. So, a driveway will be helpful.

One thing interesting about my new housemate - she is also car-free. She gets around via subway and bus and does just fine. So she TOTALLY gets my car-free lifestyle, which is nice. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Autolib in Paris

In the news today, Paris is introducing car-sharing, with electric cars, called the Autolib (similar to the bike-sharing called Velib). They will be building electric-charging stations, and you swipe your card and get a car, and then drop it off at any other charging station. Pretty neat and I wonder how long it'll be before the U.S. gets onboard with the idea? The woman who is in charge of transportation issues at Paris City Hall is quoted as saying "Owning a car is passe." :) Good to hear! :)

I recently was on a bike tour in Washington/Oregon, and was the volunteer sag van driver. I told the group that I went car-free almost 4 years ago and that I get around by bike & public transportation. They admired that, and jokingly commented about the group having a van driver who didn't even have a car back home, and how safe was that?! :) Of course, you don't FORGET how to drive, that's never a problem. (I think I'm a SAFER driver now, more than before). Funny thing, one of the tour leaders was backing up the van one day and didn't see a pole with a gas meter on the side of it, and hit it and busted out one of the back windows! (I was glad I wasn't the one who had done that!). They had insurance on the vehicle and it was taken care of and replaced, so not a problem. It was a large cargo van and had its blind spots, for sure. In fact, on the last hour that I was responsible for the van, I was backing up in a hotel parking lot to move the van to its final resting place, and backed into a curb. Not a problem - but as I pulled forward and looked in my rear view mirror, I saw I had come dangerously close to a car that was by the curb! Whew! I was very glad to have missed it and was very relieved to park the van and be done with my responsibilities as a driver. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

More Music to the Ears

Last night, I went to a concert at Wolf Trap. I haven't been there in over 10 years probably...and definitely had gotten there by car at the time. So, I had two options for getting to the concert...I had reserved a Zipcar right near my apartment a week or so ahead of time, in case of bad weather. However, I wanted to try getting there via bike/subway/bus. Wolf Trap has a shuttle bus that picks up from the West Falls Church Metro stop, and it has a bike rack on the front of the bus. When I checked the weather earlier in the day, the threat of showers was out of the picture, so I cancelled the Zipcar.

After biking to the subway and arriving at the West Falls Church stop at 7:20, the shuttle was waiting in the parking lot. They didn't load the bus til about 7:45, which made me a little nervous, since the concert was supposed to start at 8 p.m. There were about 10 or so of us on the bus. I overheard a lady behind me talking to her companion about, "Maybe we should have driven..." and listing some of the reasons why. One reason I didn't want to drive there was to see how well the process worked for taking this shuttle. The website for Wolf Trap said that the shuttle was $5 roundtrip. I swiped my Metro card - though I didn't see how much it charged me. When we got seated, a bus attendant came around and gave us all a wristband to show the driver when we returned, that would give us a free ride back. That was interesting. Maybe Wolf Trap pays for half the trip for those who take the shuttle?

We got to Wolf Trap at 8, and it drops you at the driveway in front of the entrance gates. Door-to-door service. :) I had seen a GAZILLION cars parked all over the grassy areas and shoulders of the road when we arrived, and I was glad I didn't have to look for a parking spot. I would think you would have had to arrive at least an hour beforehand to be able to find a halfway decent spot and not have to walk so far.... I got my bike off the bus and locked it to a wooden fence. There is a bike rack up at the front gates area, but it was very thin & flimsy-looking. I don't think the rack was even bolted down. So I felt better locking it to the more secured wooden fence. The warm-up band was still playing, so I hadn't missed anything. The headliner group came on at 8:30.

After the concert was over at 10:15 or so, the shuttle didn't board and leave til 10:50...which was a bit later than I expected. The Wolf Trap website said it would leave in 20-min. intervals after the concert ended. Well, I did leave right after the last song, NOT the last encore... I wanted to be on the first bus to leave, since it was a Sunday night and I wanted to get home relatively soon.

I was concerned that we would get caught in a lot of the concert traffic when leaving. If the bus had left earlier, we would have missed a lot of the traffic...but it didn't take us too long to get through. There aren't too many cars that come from the driveway where the bus leaves, so it moves fairly quickly. We arrived at the Metro at 11:05 or so, but then we had to wait 20 or so min. for the subway train to come. The train ride isn't far (4 or 5 stops), and then I have a 10-min. bike ride home. So I got home a little before midnight. So it cost about $7.70 to take the metro and shuttle. If I had gotten a Zipcar, it would have been about $50, but I would have had the issue of dealing with the traffic (from a more congested area than where the bus left from). I probably would have gotten home about the same time. On the bus and metro, it was nice because I could close my eyes at least and not have to be concerned about the traffic and driving.

So, I think the experiment went well, and I'm glad I tried it and won't hesitate to do it again, if there's a concert I want to see. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Earlier this month, I rented a car from Enterprise to visit a friend and spend the night with my sister in PA. On the drive home on Sunday night, a nasty storm was crossing the area, but it came and went before I arrived. I was driving down the George Washington Parkway, just passing the Rt. 123/McLean area, when all of a sudden I noticed a bit of leaves on the road, and a lot of BARK. Usually, if there's a storm, you'll see twigs and small branches, but not BARK. Strange.... There was more and more of it as I got down the road, and then, the traffic came to a halt. As I slowed down, I saw a medium-size tree in the grassy median strip that had been SNAPPED in HALF! Wow. There must have been some kind of strong winds with that storm - and I was glad that I hadn't been there when it came through. I had about 20 minutes before the return-time on my rental car...and if I sat in this traffic jam, there's no telling how long I would have to wait. I think that a tree or two must have come down across the road up ahead and who knows how long before Park officials or police could come and cut it up and clear the road. I hope no one was hurt. I looked at the grassy median strip and decided to be bold and pull a U-turn over it. I was hoping that I wouldn't somehow get stuck or have difficulty getting across. I've never had to drive across the median strip before - - let alone, to merge with high-speed traffic coming the opposite way.

Thankfully, it went without a hitch, and I backtracked to the previous exit and took the Chain Bridge across to Canal Road on the Maryland side. When I got to the Key Bridge, I took that back across into VA, and believe it or not, made it Enterprise right on time!! :)

In dealing with a downed tree on a bike... all you do is lift your bike over (or even under!) the tree and keep on going. :) Big difference. Of course, you could also die if a tree or big branch hit you on your bike (same with being in a car...). In fact, just a few weeks ago, a man riding his bike on the C&O Canal was caught in a storm, and died when a fallen tree hit him. :( When you're on the C&O Canal, there's really hardly anywhere you can take shelter....there are trees all around. :( NOT a good situation.

When I'm at home or the office, and a storm is in full force or about to happen, I just stay put and wait it out (especially if there's lightning involved). If a storm happens when I'm out on my bike in the city, I duck into a store or doorway. If I'm in the suburbs, I take shelter in someone's carport. When you're on your bike, you get MANY signs that a storm is approaching, so you usually have a little bit of time to find some kind of good shelter. You just have to be aware of the changing conditions and not delay in finding shelter quickly.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Music to my ears :)

Recently, I had heard about an outdoor concert held at a park not too far from my apartment. I hadn't heard of or been to the park before, but saw on a map that it was located about 8 miles away, on the bus line that goes by my apartment. So I decided to bring my Brompton onto a bus headed in that direction. However, in a few minutes, I realized that particular bus was soon making a right turn and heading in another direction. So I got off at that stop, and then walked back over to the main bus line and caught the next bus that continued to head in the direction I wanted to go. I got off a little sooner than I should have to get to the park, but it worked out. As I crossed the busy road, I saw there was a bus stop at the entrance to the park - - so that would be perfect for when I needed to make my return trip.

I rode up to the amphitheatre entrance for the concert, and as I folded my Brompton a lady walking nearby saw how the bike transformed to a small package and was surprised. We chatted as we got a spot on the lawn, about bikes and being car-free, and she said I was "brave" to go without a car. I told her how I had been doing pretty good without a car, using my bike in conjunction with the bus, train, etc. I could have brought my full-size bike, but felt that with the Brompton, at least I could fold it up and it wouldn't be in anyone's way.

When I left the concert, a little after 9 p.m., I checked the bus schedule I had printed out for that bus line and saw that the next bus would be in about 40 minutes. I should have checked the schedule I could have caught an earlier bus. (They only were running about once an hour, since it was after rush-hour). As I stood at the darkened bus stop, I felt a little nervous and vulnerable. I did have my bike lights and reflective vest to ride, though I had been meaning to get a good rear blinking light. I thought about riding home, but the road was a busy one and not that much extra space to ride. I don't mind riding at night time, as long as I feel safe. The road was also fairly hilly and it would take me a bit long to ride home. The Brompton is a decent bike, but the 6 gears is a little bit limiting. I was hoping the bus would come on time. Finally, the bus came around the corner and I happily flagged it to stop for me. I was home in about 10-15 min.

I think that if I attend a concert at this park again in the future, I will see about catching the earlier bus. Also, I have since bought a very bright flashing rear bike light, and feel better about being seen by approaching cars, just in case I do decide to ride home from there.

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable summer's evening. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Only $2!

The other day, I was looking on the Megabus website to check on getting bus tickets from D.C. to Philadelphia, to meet up with my sister, to go Cape Cod for a vacation in July. It's rare that I ever see the advertised $1.00 fare for many of the travel dates/times I want to go. So I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that I could get my bus fare for $1.00 each way (plus $.50 processing fee)!! Wow! I checked with my sister to see if those dates/times would work with her meeting me, and she couldn't believe it either! So I snatched up the tickets - can't beat that price! :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Up, up and away....

I, like many Americans, are shocked at how high the gas prices are getting.... It's close to, if not over, $4.00 a gallon. A friend of mine asked me recently "Don't you feel like getting a (new) car now that Spring is here??" No, to tell you the truth, not at all....though what about an electric car? But I went online to check those out, and there's a number of drawbacks. The average price of the Nissan Leaf electric car is $32,780-$33,720! Wow! That's like 3 times the amount I have paid for a used (gas) car! In addition, the Leaf only has a 100-mile driving range...that's not very far before you'd have to recharge it. And, in looking online, there is only ONE public recharging station in this area, located in D.C. - and using that, you only get 80% of the car charged in 30 min. I wonder how many people would stand there for the 30 minutes to recharge? Otherwise, it takes 8 hours to charge it at home....but if you live in apartment complex? Where would you park it to plug it in?? You'd need to live in a house. Looks like the electric bill for charging an electric car is about $560 a year.

I think a bicycle and public transportation still is a better idea. Speaking of public transportation, I was taking the subway home last night, and I ran into the "no train" situation again! I was at the Gallery Place station in D.C., to transfer to a Yellow line train. I waited maybe 10-15 minutes, watching the indicator sign, looking to see when a Yellow train would be coming. In that time, NO Yellow trains were shown! Only Green trains. After waiting and thinking, and seeing a couple Green trains coming and going...then the sign indicated another 20 min., for yet ANOTHER Green train - I decided to just get on my bike and ride home. It was a nice night out and I didn't mind the ride. If it had been raining, I would have caught a cab - I had my folding Brompton bike with me, so that would be an option...though I don't like to spend the money for a cab, but WILL if need be.

It's nice to have my bike there by my side to get me where I need to go - I don't need to wait. It's ready to go when I am.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Where's the Train?

Last Sunday night, I was heading home on the subway after getting together with a friend, and had my Brompton folding bike with me. Timing is everything, and I had apparently recently missed the previous train, so I had about 12-15 min. to wait for the next Red line train. Not too much of a problem, as I spend a few minutes getting my night-time riding gear on. The train comes and I take it a couple of stops to transfer to a Yellow line train. The display stated a Green line train would be along in a few minutes, but below that it stated that a Yellow line train would be next, in about 8 min., which is the line that I ultimately needed to get back home. So, when the Green line train came, I decided to let it pass and instead, wait for the Yellow line train, so that I wouldn't have to make the extra transfer. I have done this once before....and had regretted it. Because what happened next is what happened to me that the stated Yellow line train NEVER appears!! Why didn't I learn the first time??! The display counts down to one minute before the Yellow line comes....and then, *POOF!* that train never appears, and then the display just says the next train is a Green line, and that will be 18 more minutes, thank you. Grrrrrrrrr!
:( When it's late and cold out, you REALLY don't want to be standing there, waiting for a non-existent train, when you REALLY could have taken the earlier Green line train and made a transfer. This is really aggravating and I stand there and kick myself and get a grudge against Metro for "tricking" me. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am a fairly optimistic and positive person and blogger. But you know, there ARE times when not EVERYTHING goes smoothly - that's life.

But I also try to find the Silver Lining in things.... So, I waited for the Green line to come along...about frozen by the time it arrived. :( I took it into D.C. to get off and transfer at another station. I semi-folded my Brompton into its "parked position" and took a seat on the concrete bench. Soon afterwards, a guy came up and took a look at my bike and could asked if it was a folding bike, and I replied yes. We proceeded to have a very engaging conversation about bikes - how he used to bike and had a nice Bianchi bike, but that it had gotten stolen. I encouraged him to get another bike sometime soon, and to continue his past enjoyment of cycling. He said that he would, and I hope he does..... So, if I hadn't had the delay in "absent" trains, I wouldn't have made his acquaintance. Meeting him turned my slightly sour mood into a more friendly one. :)

Speaking of "absent" transportation...earlier in the afternoon, after finishing up a Brompton Club ride that I had led in D.C., I happened to pass by the former parking lot where Megabus used to pick-up and drop off. There were a handful of people standing there at the curb, with luggage and backpacks, and all had a sort of puzzled look on their faces. I figured out right away why they were puzzled...they hadn't been informed that Megabus had MOVED its bus location to down the street about 5 blocks. :( I told them the new location and they had a panicked look because some of them were supposed to be on a bus in like 5 minutes! Ack!! I suggested hopping a cab, and some of the others who had more time before their departure bus, opted to walk. I know if it had been me, and I had a designated bus to catch (like I did the previous day, going up to Philadelphia), I would have been horrified to find that the bus location had changed. I would have missed my bus and also the bike event I was to attend! I'm not sure when these people had bought their bus tickets, but I hope they were able to make their scheduled buses.... But I'm glad I was able to help them in the right direction...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Riding the Bus

In the past month or so, I've made use of the Metro bus often to get to the subway on the weekend. Granted, I can easily bike to the subway in 10-15 min., as it's only a couple miles away. But if the weather or road conditions aren't that good, it's nice to have the option of taking the bus. I've never been much of a bus person - like a lot of Americans probably! When you have a car, you never think of taking the bus (I know I didn't!). My very limited bus experience was probably 30 or so years ago, when I used a local circular bus in Reston, that only ran maybe once an hour.

Anyway, my apartment is located just a half block off of busy Columbia Pike, and a bus stop is right there. It couldn't be more convenient. :) There are a number of bus lines that pick up at that location, and bring you to either the Pentagon Metro or Pentagon City Metro station. The buses run every 10-15 min. I can use my SmartTrip electronic card, so I don't need to be concerned with having exact change. The bus ride is short - perhaps 10 min. at the most. I wish, though, that the return bus ride were as quick...but it's probably due to my catching it later at night (after 11 p.m. or so). When it's cold and windy out, you don't feel like standing there freezing, waiting for the bus. So, what I've done is walk across the street to a hotel where there are cabs lined up, and hop in the warm cab for a quick ride home and not too expensive (perhaps $8.00 total). So, it's nice to have options.

The bus came in handy when we had the January snow of 5" and I needed to get to work. My apartment building's free shuttle that goes to the subway, wasn't operating. I don't know if it was because the driver couldn't get to the shuttle, or if he was sick. But I just walked over to the Metro bus stop and didn't have to wait long for a bus. I was a little concerned when there were maybe 20 people in line waiting for the bus, and whether we all would fit on the bus - - but, fortunately, we did! :)

Last night, I went to meet a friend for dinner. She lives in Silver Spring, but since I had my road bike (vs. my Brompton), I couldn't take my bike on the subway til after 7. So I decided to try putting my bike on a bus bike rack and take the bus to my destination. The last time I tried this was a couple years ago when we had an unexpected ice storm after work. It didn't go good because due to the ice, I had a hard time pulling the rack down, and then the arm that fits over your front tire was frozen and I couldn't get it to budge. :/

So I looked online and saw there were a couple of bus lines that went to Silver Spring, and they ran every 10 min. or so. I was a little concerned about a couple things. I wondered if the bus stop would be packed with commuters and if so, after I would load my bike (IF I could manage to load my bike), would there be room for me? Would a bus come along and already have 2 bikes on the rack, and would I have to wait for the next one?

So, I rode my bike to where the area was to catch either line. I first tried to find the bus stop for the Express bus. I checked a few bus shelters, looking at the bus stop signs that show the routes. I asked a couple of people at the bus stops and also a bus driver, but I couldn't find the location. So I went to the other bus line stop. Two buses pulled up with that route number - though only one of the buses showed it went to the Silver Spring Metro. I confirmed it with driver, and then proceeded to put my bike on the rack. The rack came down easily, and I loaded my bike. I pulled the spring-loaded arm and it gave relatively easily and I put it up over my front tire and got on the bus. Whew! :) I was pleasantly surprised to see that evidently the bus fare box wasn't working, so everyone was getting a free ride!! :) Bonus points! :) I got a seat opposite the driver and I could see my bike clearly. As we rode along, I was texting my experience to some friends. I heard a noise and thought for a second that maybe my bike had fallen off and we had run over it!! I looked up and was relieved to see my bike still on the rack. :) I watched it carefully for a little while, making sure that it was riding along and hanging on, as we went over bumps and potholes. It seemed secure and fine. When we got near the end of the ride, I told the bus driver that this was my first time taking my bike on a bus. I asked if this was the "normal" amount of people that ride the bus (there were only maybe 15 or so people on the bus!). She said yes, at this time of the evening. I was kind of surprised, I thought there would be more. She said later in the evening there were more. So I was glad to hear that it's not a super busy bus line.

So my overall experience went very well and I won't hesitate to put my bike on a bus again for a destination, if need be! :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cars, snow, sleet

I got a Zipcar yesterday, since I had the day off for the Martin Luther King's holiday. I loaded up on lots of groceries and also visited with family and friends. On the way to return the car in the evening, it started to snow a little bit and then it turned to sleet. It's interesting to note the difference in the way I feel when driving a car in the snow, vs. biking in the snow. In a car, I start to tense up. Watching the road ahead, seeing the snow swirl around on the road. That's not too bad, but when I hear the sleet hitting the windshield and start to see some "texture" on the road, I start having flashbacks of spinning out of control, doing 360s, and who knows where and how you will stop. In the vehicle, I don't feel like I have much control except to slow down. I worry about other cars having problems and spinning out near or into me. Cars behind me come up too close, even though I'm in the slower lane. I especially get nervous when passing over on road bridges, where things can get really icy. Let me tell you that I was VERY relieved to finally get the Zipcar back to its parking spot and get out of the car.

Biking this morning on the ice this morning was a little tense, but nowhere like last night in the car. The bike path was covered in ice, but I have the option of either walking my bike, or riding on the ice-covered grassy areas. It was kinda neat to ride on the grassy areas, as the bike crunches over the ice. You have good traction. It's a little slower riding and more effort exerted, but it's a good work-out. I had to walk part of the 14th Street Bridge, and wished I had worn my Yak Trax on my shoes...I hadn't thought of that. Anyway, when biking or walking the bike, it's at a slow pace and everything feels pretty much "in control". I saw a few other bike commuters along the way, but they were managing as well.

I'm glad we don't get many of these ice storms, but if I have to pick, I'd rather be on my bike. :)