Wednesday, September 03, 2008

School is back in session

To a fault, I tend to pay quite a bit to my surroundings in an effort to re-evaluate my opinions. There’s most definitely a change to the feel of the morning commute.  The hours of sunlight have most certainly diminished; to the point of using lights almost all the way to work.

The route is familiar and riding with a headlight certainly limits the number of things to look at and occupy the mind. I try to mix up the route by taking different streets seemingly at random, often without much thought. I just find myself turning. No matter the street or direction, most everything feels familiar and certainly not mentally taxing to ride. Generally the end result seems to be more thought about life and events than about surroundings.

There have been a few things that feel different lately about the character of the ride and surroundings. Here are a few key observations pertaining to the fact that school is back in session:

Campus Life:
Students are back moving into campus around the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus.  The amount of trash that is generated is quite surprising.  I counted 6 full-size couches sitting by the curb evidently waiting for someone to pick them up for trash?  There is quite a bit of other general household furnishings and several mattresses. 

Students rank above north Minneapolis for the amount of trash left to blow around in the streets.  If I could suggest a few things of these students: 
  • Learn to pick up your crap.  I have high hopes that some of you will grow to care about the community that you live in and care about both the environmental impact of your actions, but also the aesthetic result that your actions have.
  • Drink all you want, but please don't throw your empty (or partially full) bottles into the street.  Perhaps you haven't taken enough science or physics credits to learn that the ground is harder than the bottle.  F=ma.  When dropped, the glass tends to break and make a mess.
I feel like I once had the opinion that bus drivers had the character of Santa Claus or Papa Smurf.  Older, wise, and patient.  Understanding and careful.  With the return of school, there are more busses on the road headed off to pick little Dick and Jane up for a trip to/from school.  I'm reminded just how wrong I once was about bus drivers.  Commuter advice; steer clear of any school bus.  Drivers seem impatient and reckless around cyclists.

Haven't identified exactly what or how, but the number of people I see in the morning seems to have changed.  More walkers, more joggers, and I have missed a few of the regulars.  This may be simply coincidence and may take more time.  I've seen new people out the last couple of days, but have missed the "regulars."


Matt said...

And here I thought it was just Delaware bus drivers. School bus drivers are the worst here, but public transit bus drivers seem nearly as dangerous. I have had more close calls with buses than "normal" big trucks, the latter of which I see way more often each day.

Reflector Collector said...

'tis true what you suggest about public transit bus drivers. That's another job you could never convince me to take.

Too often I've been overcome by a bus and while along side, been nearly pushed off the road.

-Bottom line: buses are evil! :)

mnultraguy said...

I agree about the school buses. Once on my commute last year, I dropped the boys off at the bus stop (this year we are riding together) and started on my way. A few blocks later their bus races to the next turn and just about right hooks me. I followed the bus to school and find that my oldest Son had laid into the driver about almost hitting me!

-d said...

The new shop is about a block from a middle school. Scary to test ride bikes. Almost got hit by a motorist and a PEDESTRIAN yesterday because they were not looking where they were going after leaving the school.

Definately a change when school starts. I am looking forward to the cold-less humid weather.

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