This post is primarily written for anyone who can take advantage of commuting or travelling by bicycle or bus to save a little gas and commit it to the generators at home, avoid the traffic from the lines at the gas stations, or simply to enjoy the brisk weather we're having before we're beset by another storm.
Travelling by bus can be a simple task when armed with a few basic tips:
1. Know the schedule. Both Nassau Inter County Express (NICE) and Suffolk County Transit make their schedules available online (for those of us who can access reliable internet via a smart phone or computer) They are located here: http://www.nicebus.com/Maps_and_Schedules/Bus_Maps_and_Schedules/index.html, http://www.sct-bus.org/bus_schedules.html
2. Identify stops in your area. Most stops are easily identifiable by signs naming the buses which stop at them.
3. Arrive 5 minutes early. In the event that traffic is light or passengers are few at the stops before yours the bus systems encourage riders to be at stops a little early.
4. Expect delay. Delay is not necessarily a bad thing for a transit system, and it is more equitable and acceptable than a bus running earlier than expected as everyone looking to ride will still get a bus and those running a little late might make an earlier bus.
Travelling by bicycle also can be easy with a few tips in hand:
1. Check your bike before riding: are your tires flat? is the chain on the gears? does it need oil? does the seat feel right? are the handlebars comfortable?
2. Wear layers. You're likely to heat up on longer rides, and layers make it simple to keep from sweating but also keep yourself warm.
3. Know the distance/time of a trip. Google, bing and mapquest have made this easier to do, but most times you only need a street map and a ruler. Expect a mile to take roughly 5-7 minutes, and with 82% of trips by car of five miles or less, 25-30 minutes seems reasonable.
4. Know your route. Expect things to be calmer and quieter in residential neighborhoods, but many major roads can be reasonable to cycle on as long as you know what conditions you would be comfortable with, particularly if they have sidewalks and/or wide shoulders.
As a bike mechanic I am happy to offer bike tune-ups. I am also happy to offer assistance with riding the bus simply in the comments section here.