Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Multi-modal commuting: Getting the motorcycle inspected

I truly use anything but a car to get around. I have not entirely rid myself of the four-wheeled beast, but I use it as little as possible. Feet, bike, bus, motorcycle -- all of these get me where I'm going, with little to zero help from automobiles.

As an example of how I put this to use, allow me to illustrate the process of getting my motorcycle inspected. It took a bit of planning and a bit of bus fare, but I was able to get the motorcycle to an inspection station, and pick it up from it, without needing to be driven or dropped off, and without unnecessary delays (such as having to walk six miles home or anything like that).

On Friday, I called the inspection shop and arranged to have it inspected on Monday. The problem here is that it is not possible to walk out of the shop and catch a bus into town. Crossing the street is somewhere between impossible and suicidal. You just don't. Nor is there any close bus stop by walking up or down the street. Nor is the bus service there all that great.

Solution! Use a bicycle! Of course, sure, ride the motorcycle TO the shop, and ride a bicycle FROM the shop. OK, fine, how do you get the bicycle TO the shop without using a car, or getting a ride, or walking six miles, or being stranded? One word: Planning.

This was the plan: Saturday, I planned to go on a bike ride in the city. I would ride the bicycle to the bike ride, ride the ride, then ride the bicycle to the motorcycle shop. There I would tie it to a post, and catch a bus home. This actually worked pretty well. Monday, I motorcycled to the shop, dropped it off, hopped on the bicycle, and biked the rest of the way into work. No bus fare necessary.

The motorcycle was inspected, and ready for me to pick up whenever. Note that I did not have to wait hours in a waiting area to get the work done. However, the shop closed before I was able to get it Monday, necessitating biking home. Tuesday, I used a bus to get close to the shop, and walked the rest of the way. This was not all that easy, as there was still a quarter-mile hike from the nearest feasible bus stop to the inspection shop. Nor was it all that pleasant of a walk, as oncoming traffic sped by at 50+ mph, and a parked pickup truck (a man working on a billboard) blocked the shoulder, forcing me into the driving lane, but I managed to live through it.

Once I got the motorcycle, I could then drive it the rest of the way to work.

* No extra trips
* No use of a car, ever
* No having to wait anywhere, except small amounts to catch a bus
* I got some exercise
* I was able to work in the drop-off and pick-up along with my regular movements
* I was able to do all the logistics myself, not relying on anyone to help me

Net effect, some simple planning, use of a bicycle, multi-modal travel, and thinking outside the box, allowed me to avoid use of a car where a car and additional help would have been what anyone else would have arranged.


  1. Normally in weekends I ride night riding with my friends.Full of enjoy and racing with each other.but me is on proper motorbike clothing like Flip Front Motorcycle Helmets