MiLady’s New Rule

I have instituted a new rule: The Thirty Minute Rule.

I shall not entertain any job that requires me to commute more than 30 minutes. I’ll happily walk or bike up to half an hour, but no more. My current job is between 31 and 45 minutes and the last 5 minutes are the most challenging. The last 5 minutes involve riding up a ramp to cross over the highway (my knee is NOT a fan of this activity) and biking through the Gateway intersection. This is a 4-way intersection involving cars coming off a highway into an industrial/retail heavy area into which they just threw a major hospital. I have to cross through 7 lanes of traffic and there is a crosswalk in only one direction, not on the way home at night.

The other night, I was leaving work and stopped at the traffic light for a full 8 minutes. Stopped. Why? Because no cars were behind me (I left work late) to trigger the light to turn. I shifted my bike to stomp on the sensor thingie in the road to no avail.

I wish to pause in my story to observe my two reactions to this lack of success.

1. For cryin’ out loud! Why can’t a bicyclist trip to stupid light sensor! You’d think a woman of my zaftig proportions carrying provisions for two meals and a change of clothes for work would be heavy enough to be felt.

2. Thank all the trees in the forest I’m not so heavy that I trigger the sensor meant to register automobiles!

I now return to the narrative.

So, there I am, pondering if I want to walk the bike way out of the way to take advantage of the only crosswalk available to me, or if I want to risk life and limb (and break a law or two) and ride through the intersection. I may have been in favor of the latter if they hadn’t taken the one little island that used to exist away. No island of refuge, just 7 lanes of serious traffic. I decided I loved life too much and was just about to start walking when I noticed a white pickup heading my way from behind.

“Yay!” I thought.

My white knight was a woman who decided to stop her truck a full two car lengths behind the sensor area of the road. Mind you, I’m in the crosswalk area by this time and no where near the sensor. I tried to make eye contact.

Never in my life have I seen someone enjoy a cigarette more. I watched in utter fascination for at least a minute while she completely blissed out on the act of smoking. Meanwhile, time’s ticking and I really, really, want to get home and go to bed (remember, I’ve still got my whole bike commute in front of me). I finally made eye contact and began waving her forward. Her windows are closed so she can’t hear me. It took me another full minute to pantomime the importance of her creeping forward in some strange hybrid of Marcel Marceau meets an air traffic controller. I eventually prevailed in coaxing her up to the sensor to trigger the light.

I assure you, I raced through that intersection like the Four Horsemen of the Apolcalypse were on my tail light before the forces of evil could find some other way to detain me from hearth and home.

I’m thinking that intersection is probably a shadow duplicate of one appearing in some level of Dante’s Inferno. Every day, now, I expect to see Sisyphus working his way up the foothills to the north.

Hey, it’s a 32+ minute commute. I need to entertain my mind somehow. Feel free to judge me, if you will. I’m good with that. *grin*

Anyway, that’s my new rule. Anywhere worth working will be 30 minutes or less away from me. Period. A girl’s gotta have standards, right?

Breathe deeply,
Laugh with abandon,
Love wholly,
Eat well.

MiLady Carol
Dazzling jewelry that reflects sparkling personalities!

3 comments to MiLady’s New Rule

  • Janis Gray

    That is Just. Plain. Ridiculous.

    I think you need to send that to the highway department.

  • Joel Kenney

    I’ve done 45 minutes bike commutes, so I feel your pain. They often suck, especially once winter rolls around. Apparently, commute length is way up there in the rankings of everyday things that can seriously lower your quality of life, although I suspect that applies more for cars and less so for bikes. (Some motorcyclists actually regard extra commute length as a bonus.)

    But as for those light triggers? Whatever your proportions, you’re nowhere near even the weight of a small motorcycle, much less any sort of car. Fortunately, the detectors aren’t weight-based, they’re inductive, triggered by any conductive metal nearby altering its magnetic field. There’s a good diagram of how to trigger them on page 14 of the oregon bicycle manual.

  • Deirdre

    It also dosent help that they are doing road work on that intercession.