Maximizing the MAX ::

The past few days in FoCo have seen some bone chilling temps ~ as in -13. And that’s the temp, not the windchill. That in combination with quite a bit of snow has caused me to take a break from bike commuting and making great use of the MAX ~ Fort Collins’ awesome Bus Rapid Transit.

I’ve written about my fondness for the MAX previously. But, I’ve not had weather conditions quite like this really forcing a card with my comfort level to ride to the extent I’ve left my bike at home, until recently. I’ve been using the MAX daily and loving it more than ever! It gets me to/from my workplaces quickly, easily, and comfortably.

What’s been interesting are the variety of bike commuters I’ve been meeting and the stories I am learning about why they are car-free. I’ve heard it all and met many people from all walks of life with real, raw stories that surface through casual conversation during our short bus commute down the line.

imgresI met a guy who said he has a driver’s license but doesn’t want to drive because he’s not comfortable and doesn’t trust himself as a driver. He suffers from seizures and said he’s been worried that he’ll have a seizure while he’s driving and cause an accident. So he bikes, but he has a car. Responsible, proactive, and safety oriented both for himself and other’s. What a refreshing interaction!  Just think how much safer our roadways could be if people who drink and drive had this same ability to be introspective and take personal responsibility for their actions… we can only hope.

snow-bike-fail-1A few days ago, I met a kamikaze bike commuter ~ in this sense of the word an extremely reckless person who seems to court death. Our conversation started with my inquiry about the kind of tires he has on his bike and transitioned to wrecks we’ve both had; me being hit by a car and him recently running over a snow covered curb which caused him to wipe out big time. His enthusiasm for this accident was punctuated when he said “It was fucking awesome!” and he meant this literally. This guy had a “take no prisoners” approach to bike riding and crashing that at some level, I admired though was also a little bit concerned for him. 

Of course, at the other end of the spectrum of this topic are people who cannot get a driver’s license for whatever reason and biking is their absolute only option for self-driven transportation. The MAX is loaded with this flavor of rider, too.

Regardless of the back-stories of why anyone is bike commuting, the MAX is a very important cog in the wheel of the bike commuting continuum here in FoCo. I’m grateful for the service and my life is a little more interesting as a result of the beautiful, dynamic, real people I have met.