Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dumb Rules

I am a true believer in following rules and guidelines …except, of course, when those rules and guidelines are dumb. The MARC Train bike policy happens to be one of those dumb rules I refuse to follow. According to MARC policy, only folding bikes are permitted on the train. (photo: bike ...what bike?) Upon further research into MARC policy, I learn that there are no rules restricting the size and/or weight of one's luggage. If their logic for the bike restriction is based on the possibility that everyone might wish to bring their bike on the train, this should also apply to large luggage. So …theoretically, I could climb aboard the Brunswick Line with my collection of beach balls and a case full of anvils without any problem, but trying to smuggle on a cross bike could get me in trouble? What kind of unjust world do we live in?! (photo credit: photobucket source)

The first few times I just tried to get by on charm and wit. This only lasted so long before I was finally turned away (trying to board the 5:15 am train I might add). Then I tried taking the wheels off and putting the whole bike in two garbage bags …I just barely got by, but was warned not to bring my bike on the train again. My last attempt; however, was very successful and I believe I have found a solution to my problem.

This is how you do it:


1) Get an old soft bike case off of ebay
2) Take out all the foam padding
3) Take the wheels off and put the entire bike in the bag
4) Get on the appropriate train
5) Call your grandmother
6) As the conductor approaches to give you a hard time, you say “Grandma, let me call you right back”. The conductor insists that you not hang up …and then he kindly asks what you have in the bag. You concede that it is in fact a bicycle. He smiles and nods, takes your ticket and moves on down the aisle. And you’re golden! (photo: my grandmother in her early 20s)

Everybody wins. You get your bike on the train. Your grandmother gets a surprise phone call (be sure to actually call her back). The conductor feels like he’s been a good Samaritan and that guy on ebay can finally unload his old ass bike case. Yay!

Refer to "My New Commute" for further information on this bike/train commuter combo.

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