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Biking and company buses

January 21, 2018

One of the parts of my job that I really enjoy is that I can bike to work. And living in Silicon Valley, I can pretty much bike to work every day between May and October because it won’t rain. November through April is the “rainy season”, which means it does occasionally rain, so biking is a little more hit and miss, and I actually have to check the forecast before deciding whether to bike.

When I decided to change jobs from Samsung Research to Google in November, one of the benefits was that on rainy days I didn’t have to drive; I could just take a Google bus (there’s a stop roughly 2 blocks from where I live). Now my car use is pretty much restricted to a couple of uses on the weekend; were it not for the fact that my daughter is going to start driving soon, my wife and I would seriously consider getting rid of my car.

But there’s an additional benefit. At Samsung, once I decided to drive, I was committed to driving that whole day. At Google, however, that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes we have rain forecast for the afternoon / evening with a 60% probability. At Samsung I’d go conservative and drive, and occasionally the rain wouldn’t happen and I’d regret the fact that I hadn’t biked. With access to the buses, though, I can bike in the morning, and then if it does rain I can take the bus in the evening, take it back the next morning (when the roads / trails are likely to still be wet and slippery), and then bike home that evening. Instead of potentially two days driving, I’d still get in a bike trip each day. And if it doesn’t rain, I just bike home in the evening. I tried that approach out for the first time this week, and I quite like it (it helps that it didn’t rain and I could go ahead and bike home).

Now Silicon Valley just needs to install more bike racks, so it’s easier to run errands by biking (it’s pretty sad how few businesses have them).

From → Musings

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