Possible New Commute - I need your opinion
I created a post a while back in the Car Free forum that my job in New York City was moving and I intended to walk away. IĎve had second thoughts about this and now IĎm thinking of making the 4 hour commute (both ways) by train each day. I just canít afford to walk away because Iím getting great pay.
Hereís the problem. I donít have a car and the new office is located about 4 miles away from the train station which will require taking a bus. I DO NOT want to depend on that bus because itĎs not reliable at all. That bus could easily make my trip a 5 or 6 hour commute! There are two hills and one huge down hill to get to the new office. That down hill will have to be climbed at night after leaving from work.
Here are my solutions.
1. Go-Ped gas scooter -- I know itís not a bike itís strong enough to get up that hill. Itís very light for the dry weight is about 20 lbs. I really like this scooter.
Cons: Rather large in a bag, noisy and maintenance will need to be done. Iím also afraid of getting stopped by the police at the station since I will be carrying gasoline into the trains.
2. Old Ten Speed/Hybrid beater --- Iím thinking of buying a beater and locking the bike at the train station. Iíll use both New York 3000 and Kryptonite Chain for protection as this bike will have to live outside. I will also buy a cover for the bike to protect it from the elements. With locking skewers for the seat post and wheels, I feel it can survive for many months.
Cons: I still have to climb up that huge hill each day. The ten speed will need lower gearing. Thereís always the danger of theft and vandalism.
3. Electric Folder ---- Iíve been looking at options like Bionx but they are quite costly and heavy. One option that I like was the RevoPower gas powered front wheel. I would only have to carry that front wheel with me and leave the junk bike locked at the station. Unfortunately, the RevoPower wheel will be available in 2008 but itís not that expensive.
4. Folding bike --- Iíll have sell my two Dahon folders and get something with more gears like the Downtube Mini. In fact, the Mini is what Iím looking at buying. Iíll have to get the gearing down to 24í inches to make it up that hill.
Cons: I still have to climb up that huge hill each day. I also have to carry this bike across three transit systems and that can get old real fast.
5. Buy a car --- The company will give me 8K to do this but the money will not come until the middle of the year.
So those are my five options. Other than finding a new job, (which Iím trying to do) what option would you take? Do you think the Go-Ped gas scooter is sound? The electric Go-Ped option is out of the question as it weights 52 lbs!
By the way, Iím the ONLY one in my office whoís even thinking of using a bicycle to the new location. I havenít told anyone what Iím thinking of doing for Iím not about to make myself an oddball! Everyone in the department either leaving the company or resigning. Only a small percentage will drive and an even smaller number will take the train and bus.
What should I do?