Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I like to Ride my Bicycle on Earth Day

Today marks the first time I ever did something school-event related. Meaning, this is the first time I actively participated in a school event.

Wednesday, 22nd of April, is supposed to be Earth Day, so a club at my school decided to put on a thing where people can strive to promote a healthy active living attitude this day.
If anyone walked or rode their bike to school, using their own means instead of a car or bus, they would be entered into a draw to win a new bicycle.
So I rode my bike, all the way from Barrhaven, to Merivale High School.

What's kind of funny is, the club (called Live it Up!) produced a main event at lunch in the gym with dance machines and jump ropes, anything to do with healthy active promotion. The reason they included this at all was because not everyone could ride or walk in, due to living in far places like Kanata, Barrhaven and Blossom Park. The irony is I live in south Barrhaven. And it is far. And I rode in anyway.
I think that shows real determination and care for our environment now, does it?
Besides, I'd never really participated in any school-sanctioned events before. I was once a part of a swim team, but that's been over since December.

The craziest part of the whole thing is this: I left my home at 6:58 a.m. I got to school at 7:31 a.m.
I beat both the route 675 and the 95/116!
On the bus, taking the 95 to Baseline station then waiting for the 116, I get to school at about 7:40 a.m. Taking the 675 I get there about seven minutes earlier. Taking my bike, I get there about three minutes earlier than that.
That's crazy.
But when you take into account that buses have to wait for traffic lights, turn signals, and have to pick up people, you see that they're not exactly always moving. And they have to follow a proper route. Plus, when you take more than one bus, you have to wait for the next one. With me, I'm constantly moving, only stopping for a few traffic lights on busy roads. I can take shorter routes than the standard ones the buses take, and I don't have to wait for another, uh, bike. From 7:18 to 7:28 a.m., I have to wait for the 116 at Baseline. On a bike that's enough time for me to transverse most of Woodroffe, bike down Norice, and most of Viewmount. By then I'm just about at school.

Coming home, I patiently waited for the 675 to start boarding so it would be fair. I started biking off home when people got on. I waited because it was like a race, and as soon as the bus loads it starts.
Unfortunately, it was forceably windy the entire time.
Any direction I went the wind would forcefully blow me. Because I hadn't eaten anything just before I left like in the morning, I got tired against the wind very quickly. I rode home a lot slower than I did coming in, and I was very annoyed because the wind would simply not stop. All the way home, in any direction, it forced me to slow down because my legs were too weak. By the time I was heading down Greenbank Road, toward the railway tracks, the 675 (now out of service) came driving toward me. By that time it was 3:04 p.m., and I was five minutes later than I normally would be on the bus. Originally I had planned to stand at my back gate, watch the bus go by where it usually stops to let me off, and smile and give a thumbs-up because I'd won. I was too late and going too slow.

Dam wind!

But it was close. I usually get off the bus at 2:56 p.m., and I got home at 3:08.

So, this isn't a bad idea to keep going with it. It's quicker (in the morning), it's healthier for the environment, and it's good exercise. Plus I proved to myself that I'm getting more involved with things. Taking charge, going above and beyond (because I rode in from so far) to do something for the environment.
When it gets warmer and less windy, I'm going to do this again, make it a habit. It's good for me.
And planet Earth.

-Justin C.

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