Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Less Carbon, Less Fat: New Commute

Began my new summer commute this past weekend ... in an effort to get fit, save money, and reduce carbon, I am biking to work 2-3 days each week. Yikes. Details after the jump.

Began my new summer commute this past weekend ... in an effort to get fit, save money, and reduce carbon, I am biking to work 2-3 days each week. Yikes.

It's a great 14 km ride each way. I leave the quiet 'burbs, cross a kilometre-long, 55m high bridge, loop out of industrial park through a bucolic little neighbourhood onto another kilometre-long bridge, onto an urban greenway along the SkyTrain route, whiz down a hill at 50km/h, through movie sets, big-box-sprawl and farmland to our new office.

I did an exploratory jaunt on the weekend ... padded with extra for getting lost and finding shortcuts ... followed by an actual trip to work on Monday. Talk about sore butt. And forgot my shoes so dorky me had runners on all day. At least I looked sporty.

Using very loose numbers based on my car's pedigree, some EPA numbers for fuel, eye-of-newt and based on at least 2 return trips per week, I should save about $20-25 per month in gas and 10kg of carbon a month. Hopefully, I will be able to reduce the effect of office donuts, too.

Here are a few scenes along the way (click for larger images):

The view from above ... Vancouver is north west of this Google map.

The beastly Alex Fraser Bridge. Six lanes of fun with 'sidewalks' cantilevered over each side. At 55m above the water (154m total height) and about a kilometre long, it's main span made it the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world until 1991. It is now the 2nd longest cable-stayed span in North America.

My own shot of the bridge, mid-span.
Obviously NOT rush hour.

Rush hour on the Fraser River.

The pub under the bridge burned down. Among other things, it was the setting for Jodie Foster in "The Accused".

Off the Alex Fraser onto the Annacis Channel Bridge. My destination is beyond the smoke stack, middle left.

The view to the right suddenly puts you in another world: The Queensborough island neighbourhood of New Westminster.

Dropping off the highway into that world. 

It's a world of high prices, though. This beaut is 2200 square feet for $1.4 million (courtesy MLS). No lie. It's on a large development property.

This 1500 sq foot one below is an easy $400K (courtesy MLS). Note the elevated living ... the price you pay and lessons learned from living on a flood plain.

This type of development is now more common in the area.
(photo credit: Dennis Hurd)

Will have to remember this one for the return trip ...!

Out of the quiet neghbourhood, back onto another bridge, The Queensborough. Neighbouring the bridge is an ICBC salvage yard ... these people should have be riding their bikes!

I take a last look back at where I've been ...

After getting a little lost, found my way here ...

... a permanent, sprawling, multi-purpose film lot at Marine & Byrne on the way to my office. All the buildings are fake; plywood and 2x4's on the other side ... see the bottom photo. The lot is a setting for many shows and films including Smallville, Supernatural, etc. Current signage is for "Legacy" which could be anything ... the Tron sequel perhaps?

Finally arrive at my destination ... then head back again ... groan.

I return that afternoon with Campbell by car ... the business park and Foreshore Park are nice and flat for him to try his new bike ... it's getting hotter out when we run into ... a wall of sprinklers.

Not a problem ... as crazy man proceeds to run the entire block three times.

We both slept very soundly that night.

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