I’ve been taking the track bike on the morning and evening commutes to and from work this week and it’s been great fun. I love how responsive the bike is, how fast I can dial it up, and how I can just concentrate on steering through the traffic instead of thinking about a gear, a cadence, or what to do when approaching a small hill (no choice on a track bike – you sit and spin or stand and pump a little harder).
One thing I am yet to get down, though, is the best way in and out of the office. From my place in the center of the city to the office in Gerland there are a few different ways to get in, and a couple of different ways to get home. It’s really not as straightforward as just heading in one way and home the same way because the network of one-way streets, washed out pathways, and traffic lights mean that getting into the office by route A is a lot faster than route B and C, but returning home via route C is faster than route B, and route A just doesn’t work at all.
Over the last couple of days I’ve played around with things a little and I think I hit on the fastest way into the office this morning.
No surprise: it’s pretty direct.
The bonus of this route is that it is basically as close to direct as you can get from my place. It’s basically one way traffic the whole way and two or three lanes wide, too. This means I’m not too crowded by cars and you could usually run the red lights by keeping to the absolute right and being smart (if I was that sort of person, of course…).
But heading back the same way after work? Yeah, that doesn’t really work.
The best route so far seems to be down along the river until around Bellecour where I can jump up onto the bridge, ride the pavement for a minute, then sweep through the Bellecour/Republique crossing to turn for home.
The path by the river is a little crowded for my liking but the pedestrians and cyclists are separated so I never really feel like I am going to hit anyone. What’s more, by turning off the berges before Guillotiere, I avoid the narrow pathway past the swimming pool on the Rhone and only have to pay for it by negotiating a couple of traffic lights.
I’ve got the commute down to around 4.8 to 5km and down to less than 12 minutes. That’s about twice as fast as the run commute (and I don’t need a shower) and about 8 minutes faster than taking the scooter. It’s also about twice as fast as taking the metro and the tram and – as long as I avoid punctures – costs me nothing and adds a little more exercise to my day. Perfect, right?