Original plan. Get up, walk dog, kiss wife, get to Panhandle Peet's by 6:30 and ride in on Skyline with Google folks. Of course this did not happen, I helped my wife with Liam, watched the end of the Giro stage, and started to think about just getting to work, worrying that I'd be bumped off of Caltrain (I wonder - does Bike to Work day have the effect that so many people avoid bike on Caltrain that day, that it ends up less busy?). I check twitter for some reason - and see this...
@Caltrain O: @6:43am, SB206 struck trespasser near 25th Ave. San Mateo. All trains stopped while emergency personnel respond to scene. T07:39
Great. Aside from the delay, Caltrain will cancel trains and reduce their throughput, on a day when it can be expected there will be more bikes. I walked the dog and considered my options.
The pro move would be to get on my bike and start riding towards work, perhaps saving 20 minutes by BARTing to Millbrae first. If Caltrain resurrects itself I would be south of the single track section, headed far enough south that I don't get bumped. But I started riding towards downtown instead, what the heck I'll grab my bike to work day schwag/snack. I grabbed a bag, a banana, and a photo.
I wandered over to Market St to see the hullabaloo, Market is always jammed with bikes at this time of day, but Bike To Work Day even more so. And it was seriously jammed. I considered going to the BTWD press conference starting just about then, but instead just kept going. At 4th St I thought about going to Caltrain, the tweets weren't saying much good or bad. Since I was just distressed about the whole thing I called a crazy audible. Next thing you know I was here...
Union City BART. I considered going to Castro Valley or Dublin, wistfully looking at Palomares and Calaveras roads on the BART map, but in theory I had an 11 AM meeting, so I headed towards Fremont. The pro move - go to Fremont and navigate through Milpitas to work - fast. But the absurdity of it all drove me to conclude I should ride over the Dumbarton Bridge - way off route into Palo Alto, but catching some mid-bay scenery. One good thing...
I discovered a BTWD schwag station at UC BART. It was sort of late for them to still be there, but I stopped by. They tried to give me another bag, but I settled for a bar of Scharffenberger Chocolate. Good schwag!
I headed over towards the Dumbarton. Back in the day I actually rode a fair amount in Fremont/Union City for some reason, so I knew the way. Of course, I got onto the bridge and promptly took a wrong turn while on the bridge. Yes, it is possible, I headed out onto the fishing pier instead of the skyrise part of the bridge. I stopped for my proof of purchase photo.
At the bottom of the other side, around 10:30 AM I spotted a blue tent. Surprisingly there was another BTWD station at the south foot of the Dumbarton. I pulled up and they offered me... a Hot Dog. This was their LAST Hot Dog, they were so happy someone showed up this late to take the last Hot Dog!
While I am not really into Hot Dogs, and I hated to reinforce the notion that Hot Dogs are appropriate Bike to Work Day snacks, this day had gotten pretty absurd so I went ahead and chowed down.
I noted a tweet from @njudah about cyclists almost mowing down an elderly woman on the sidewalk. I noted that someone in Union City had told me to get the hell off the road. Confused, I went with the road.
Realizing I was going to miss my 11 AM, I called my boss and rode on. I guess the pro move would have been to follow the Google route to Shoreline, but I went over University instead. That is one sketchy overpass, Willow - while crazy in its own way - is much better.
The rest of the ride was uneventful down Bryant and Central. Having scarfed a hot dog I decided I really didn't need lunch. But this day had reached a high level of absurdity so my bike led me into Carl's Jr...
For an Oreo Shake. Yum.
Public safety and the bike commute
2 days ago