Green Commute I

Pushed by the exorbitant BC Ferries rate raises – 14 % in 2 months – and the fact that my commuting costs were becoming punishing, I have decided to go green this Fall. Going green means that, every second week, I will be riding my bicycle from Vancouver to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, rather than driving my car. This is a light green commute as opposed to the full-on GREEN, since I need my car every other week to drive up to the North Island to teach. Janice and I are carpooling and taking turns driving.

I parked my car in a parking lot in West Van, unhooked my bike from the bikerack, attached my nifty waterproof saddlebags (a must here on the Wet Coast – the deluge will begin soon, no doubt) and headed off to the ferry. The first week back at school I had arranged to stay at Bev and Sandy’s B&B in Nanaimo. So … after an hour and three-quarters on the ferry, I rode my bicycle along the cycle path on the old island highway, up hill and over dale, to Bev and Sandy’s to pick up the key to my room. Luckily, unbeknownst to me earlier, the B&B is very close to the Island Parkway multi-use trail and I was able to access the trail very quickly. The ride into the University along the trail, on a beautiful sun-lit day, was fabulous.

I arrived at my office on the hill sweaty and a bit tired an hour and a half after exiting the ferry. The biggest problem with the commute so far was getting the bike and bags and backpack up to my office – all that luggage was a bit heavy. Anyway, I carried it all up the stairs and into the elevator and parked the whole lot in my office, in which there was not a whole lot of room left, after all that gear was installed. I just hope that it did not smell too much like a gym locker room … thankfully, there is a changing room with showers just next door.

The light green commute is also the inexpensive commute – I searched out the most economical, yet decent, accommodations that I could find in Nanaimo. I have to say that Bev and Sandy’s place is a gem.

Here is the garden room bed, my gear, and me, documenting the moment with my cellphone camera.

The room was great, especially the private washroom with heated tile floors! The place also has a small common room for each of the 2 bedrooms, with 2 small fridges and a selection of breakfast goodies. Outside there’s a garden and places to relax; unfortunately, I didn’t have time to enjoy that this time. Here is the link to Bev and Sandy’s place; I can highly recommend it!

I also spent a night on Janice’s pull out day bed – here’s Tia checking things out:

The first week of the green commute was a success – I rode about 15 miles in pleasant weather without screwing up my knees too much.

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