Feb 14, 2006

Trial version

Have you been commuting along the same route for a really long time? Riding past the same intersections, waving to the same co-traffickers, noticing the same idiots and all... Maybe you need to jazz up your commute.

I'll tell you why I think the jazz is needed. We humans are fickle animals. They say we can get used to almost anything. If I were to strap you into an F-16 today and do one 9g turn, you'd black out. Tomorrow, you'd be prepared and black out. A week later, you'll suffer the effects, but probably not black out... In the same manner, seeing the same people make the same mistakes everyday, avoiding the same danger at the same place twice daily can lead you to becoming complacent. Your concentration levels will come down, and bam! something will catch you out.

Over the past few days, I gave up a commute route I rather liked in favour of finding a new one. I started using one that my colleague recommended and ended up finding a close-run alternate that works even better. In the process, I cut down almost half the signaled, major intersections from my route. Lowered the peak speeds and significantly boosted the average speeds. The new route runs through smaller routes will less traffic, is only a kilometer of so longer and I think is far, far lower in terms of potential hazards. And it's new, which means new corners, new straights and new fellow commuters.

The other reason why I highly recommend finding alternates is that it allows you to touch more of the town you're in. You'll see different localities, spot more places you could dine out at, find the super pub you've always been looking for (to return to it sans bike, later) and so forth. Also, choosing a small detour could end up taking you around a particularly nasty intersection smoothly.

And finally, the day traffic is really, really bad, you know five alternate routes that you could take and get home/to work smoothly.