Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alternatives: not all black and white

Alternative. Is that not one of the nice words in the English language? Or in any language for that matter?

Having alternatives means that you have a choice.  And it's not just black and white.  It means more than that.

An alternative is generally a better choice.  The least that can be said is that an alternative is an equally good choice.

Riding a motor scooter to work is an alternative commuting solution.  For those who have never tried it, it is difficult to describe just how much better this alternative is.

Take this morning's commute for instance.

Traffic has been brutal for the past little while.  All clogged up and crawling.

This morning the slow route was the weapon of choice.

Predictably, when traffic is at its worst, even my slow route along the lake and the Lachine Canal gets its share of congestion.  Making matters worse is that for a good section of St-Patrick street along the south side of the canal, the powers that be dedicated the right lane in each direction as a reserved lane for buses and taxis.  That means that there is just no way for me to filter without running the risk of a ticket for using the bus lane.

This morning my Vespa allowed me to bend the rules another way, and avoid 95% of the problem.

You see, just about where the traffic backs up on St-Patrick, there is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the canal.
All I needed to do was to take the Vespa on a little off-roading jaunt up a little grassy hill, across the south side bike path, across more grass, over the bridge, over to St-Ambroise street on the north side of the canal, and presto! Empty streets through the now-trendy side streets of lofts and condos west of the Atwater Market, and a congestion-free zip along George Vanier boulevard, through a delightful winding tunnel, right into the heart of downtown.

That left me with a self-satisfied smug grin, and time to spare to pick up my morning java.

And that's why my life is not by any means black and white.  Commuting on a Vespa means that there are many alternatives.  Even though it means you have to indulge your inner bad-ass scooter commuter.


Trobairitz said...

You go David, get down with your bad self.

Nicely done with crossing over on the bike path.

Overcome, adapt, and improvise!

Unknown said...


A pedestrian & bicycle bridge, is NOT a Vespa bridge, you rebel . . .

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Dar said...

You go! Unfortunately if the coppers caught us here it would have been a ginormous fine.

David Masse said...

Trobairitz, Nicely said, that really does sum up the way I see life. I actually enjoy challenges when you need to think "outside the box" as my wife is fond of saying.

Bob, a good portion of what it really means to be a rebel I learned reading your blog. And now with that awesome Beemer exploit. That's the capper!

Dar, for all the west coast's reputation for being laid back, it amazes me what little sense of humour the authorities have there. To be honest, I don't think that the risk was huge, even if a cop spotted me, there wouldn't have been much to do, unless he or she was on a motorcyle. The other thing is that in that part of town there are lots of retired folks who have taken to the bicycle paths on electric scooters. From a distance, to the untrained eye, I might have looked like one of those bicycle path legal things and not have attracted attention to begin with. Still, I just loved finding a creative way to dodge the traffic.

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