Public Transportation

Yesterday, I sent my Civic to have some work done it. The Check Engine Light had been on for about 9 months now, and with it not being crucial, I decided to wait on getting it fixed. So, with the potential Au Pair coming sometime in the future, I wanted to make sure that the car would be up and running without any problems.

So, enter in one of my wife’s friends who works on cars. He has treated us right and won’t (we hope) screw us over like some other mechanics have been known to do in the past. The problem is that his place is in North Knoxville and with our busy schedules, to get out there is kind of tough. Now enter in Terry’s Mountain Bike. A gift from my Best Man over 10 years ago, it has seen limited use, but still ride worthy. The plan, was to bring the bike to the mechanics and then bike to work.

The trip from North Knoxville (Halls, if you are playing at home) is about 10-15 miles North of downtown. But the route (441 to be exact) is a straight shot into downtown Knoxville, plus with a few side streets, I had estimated that the trip would be about 10 miles. I figured that it would take me 1 hour to get from the shop to work. The shop opened up at 8, so I would be there at 8, and get to work at 9, work until 4 and then catch the bus to Farragut (where I live) and then Bike from the bus stop to home (about 3 miles).

Well, that was the plan until the printer stopped working (to print directions) and the toilet decided to overflow… oh yeah, when it rains, it pours (or floods). There was nothing I could do with the printer cartridge, it needs to be replaced. The toilet eventually cleared after about 10 minutes of plunging. I Finally get to the shop around 8:45, not exactly the way that I had planned it. The entire way there, I was stressing that my bike would fall off the back and be smooshed by some 18 wheeler. Lucky for me, that never happened.

So, I get to the shop, go over what is going to be done, put on my yellow safety glasses and helmet, clip in to my pedals and start riding. It actually wasn’t a bad ride to work. For the most part, there was a generous shoulder for me to ride, or a sidewalk that I could ride on when the shoulder was gone. A couple of the interstate exits were a little tricky as I wanted to avoid traffic and not be a human pinball. No driver honked at me. No redneck one used me as target practice. I made it to my work place in 45 minutes, so that was great. I was later than I wanted but at least I was still alive.

At the end of day, I needed to get to the bus stop here on campus. I left work and found the KAT (Knoxville Area Transit) stop and was waiting for the bus. And there is was, the 102X Express… but it was on the other side of the street. And it wasn’t stopping where I was… uh-oh. So, I take off running with my bike. The bus had stopped for a person across the street and down a little ways. AS I get close to the back of the bus, it starts to drive away. I yell… and then after what seemed like an eternity. It stopped. I wheeled the bike over to the door. And if I remember correctly, this was the exchange.

“I’ve never seen your punk ass before. This bus is going to Farragut, newbie, you down with that?” the bus driver told me, sitting in her pneumatic comfy chair 2 feet above me.

“Yes, please be gently with this newbie, I know not what I do… I look for the 102xand I stand in a KAT bus stand and hope for the best,” I panted, “Yes, Farragut.”

I had studied the guide on how to operate the bike rack on the front of the KAT bus, but now it was show time. Luckily, someone had put on big clear stickers on what to do. 1, 2, 3. The bike was on the rack, but now, I had put her behind schedule. I got on the bus and the door slammed shut echoing through the bus. The lone passage just smirked and chuckled to himself at the amusing new guy. I fumbled for quarters, I had brought 8 just in case, but I only needed 5. Before I could even start to put them in the money eater, the bus started moving. There was a schedule to keep and no newbie was ruin that, not today.

So, the bus is moving and I think “Hey, isn’t this illegal? I’m standing up, not holding on to anything, past the white line and we are moving. Hope that guy isn’t a cop”I tried to get the machine to eat my quarters, but it just held them in it’s mouth like a squirrel hording acorns. The driver pushes a couple of buttons and nods to say that I am a valid passenger, now go sit down. I sat down in the closest seat I could find and just sat. Looking down at my bag, I realize that my yellow glasses are missing. I must have dropped them on the way to the bus when I was running like a madman. *sigh* oh well, can’t go back. Hope someone gets good use out of them.

We get to the Farragut stop 10 minutes early. Sweet! So, I take off my bike, get suited up and get on my bike and WHAT THE-!!! Well, it seems that since I hadn’t rode in a bike for a while. That my tailbone was a little tender from this morning’s ride and now was a little sore. Great… just great. So, I ride home with a sore butt bone. And I was a little dehydrated as well, so I started to cramp when I came to my subdivision. I knew that it was only a mile that I had to go, so I sucked it up and kept pedaling. Sure enough, I made it home, safe and sound with a sore butt.

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon