Blog

Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

Don't let fear stop the great

Yesterday I talked about getting a motorcycle for commuting to and from work. As is my wont when it comes to these sort of things, I dove way deep into research. As mentioned, the positives of owning a bike is obvious: low purchasing and running cost, the ability to filter through traffic, great gas mileage, and ease of parking. 

As with anything in life, there are potential negatives, too. I live in an apartment with a gated communal parking lot, so the bike will expose to the weather elements, and more worryingly, potential thieves. Any two men (or burly women) can simply pick up the bike and load it onto the back of a truck. No amount of locking device can foil this simple act of plain physics. 

Naturally I agonized over this prospective deal-breaker, spending hours reading up on theft deterrents and best practices. It seems the consensus is that if you rather not worry about your bike getting stolen all the time, it's best to not buy one at all unless you've got secured parking (i.e. a garage). At one point I gave up on the idea of motorcycle ownership entirely because I'm the type of person who tend to have anxiety about these things. 

But then I realized that this is all incredibly stupid: why should I let fear - and the potential actions of people I cannot control - dictate my decisions? As someone who loves cars, getting into motorcycles is a natural extension and something to experience in life. I shouldn't let the possibility of theft deter me from checking that off to my list. Practically anything we do in life carries negative potentialities so either we can stay home, be a loser and do nothing, or ignore what we can't control and get after it. 

It won't be easy to not be obsessive compulsive about people stealing my bike, but I've got to learn to accept it. The best antidote is insurance: just as I do with my expensive camera gear, the bike will be insured for theft. I'd be made financially whole should some guy decides he wants my motorcycle more than me. I should let that be my peace of mind and focus instead completely on enjoying the ownership experience.

Mustn't let fear stop the great. 

Walking on the roof garden. 

Walking on the roof garden. 

When even the buses are too crowded

One thing I realized in the contrast between taking the bus at night and taking the bus during "normal" commute hours is just how much more passengers there are in the latter. Honestly I was slightly annoyed the bus had to stop at every stop to let people off, compared to the bus at night in which it'll breeze through all the stops until my destination. Now that schools have begun Fall semester the negative effect is compounded: last Friday it took me a solid hour to get home, where it usually takes 40 minutes.

The population density of my neighborhood is only going to go up (there's two huge housing constructions happening on the western and eastern end), so if the buses are crowded now, I'm not sure how they are going to handle the additional thousands of people. There's but two main road arteries that leads out of the neighborhood, and even now it's already super congested during rush hour. Street parking is already impossible so let's add another hundreds of cars? Good luck with that. 

I sold my own car, electing to take public transportation, to avoid the above hassles. A few years from now however I can foresee that even taking the bus might be untenable due to the increase in passengers. Won't do me much good if I can't get on the bus and have to keep waiting for the next one (or one after that). I don't think I can live with the amount of wasted time if my combined commute to and from extends well beyond two hours.

For the sake of curiosity, I started to look at alternatives.

One would be the motorcycle. There are no laws prohibiting lane-splitting in California so a bike can simply weave through heavy traffic to get up front (as I see motorcyclists do all the time). Compared to cars, bikes are dirt cheap to buy and insure (no $21K Ducati Panigales in my future), get impossibly excellent fuel mileage, and are stupid easy to park. I plan to stay off the freeways so I don't think it'll be all that dangerous, either. 

I reckon an M1 license is in my future. 

 

At least it isn't busy on the weekends. 

At least it isn't busy on the weekends.