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Bicycling & Alternative Transportation Collection.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Monterey Salinas Transit - The Plight of Public Transportation

Increases in Fares and Decreases in Services – MST's Plight Today

Apparently coming from a nearly affordable fare structure recently MST has started to be affected by gas prices and responded by increasing fares and decreasing services. Is this really the best approach or direction MST can go? And if not what is a better option?

Public Transportation has always been something I have been avid supporter of but recently I have become more and more disenfranchised with the current state of the public transportation system of MST which is the specific public transport system here in Salinas and Surrounding. This is coming from a student who attends a school that is about a two hour commute from my house. I have always used and counted on MST to get me where I needed to go at a price I could afford. Things certainly have changed, and not always for the best instead it seems they have changed for the worse with decreases in service and increases in fares. Though it also presents an example, of how influential gas prices can really be across all types of transportation systems, presenting the quandary that the only way to break from the grips of the Oil companies is to truly find an option that is separate from their system of control. The question is what and how? The options by first comparison seem to be few and far between yet there must be a better option whether it be reverting back to Organic Diesel or a type of Hybrid for the buses so that there is less reliance on gas but not a complete disconnection from it. The other challenge is to convert the current fleet of buses to an alternative with the minimal amount of cost. Of course easier said then done but at the very least the seed can be planted and allowed to ferment in people to understand more options about alternatives to the flawed gas system. Beyond that though such ideas need to be well researched and put into a business plan to be presented to the board of MST as a possible solution to their financial difficulties. The presentation on such a plan of change also needs to be well prepared for, so that it reaches the most amount of people who are affected by it including the students who attend the local colleges including, Hartnell, Cabrillo, CSUMB, MPC and others. The first step of course is to get enough of these students, riders and people to recognize there is a problem and that uniting together for a much needed change may be the answer to this particular situation we are in. To do that of course, like anything requires education, in informing the people of the reality of the problem and how it affects everyone. By the knowledge that it is affecting everyone more will realize the same thing I have come to understand from being a regular rider of the bus system between Salinas and Watsonville along with other students who make that same commute day by day can attest to how difficult it is to afford their education and the cost that is needed just to make the commute day by day. It can be said that I speak for all riders since anyone who uses alternative transportation is also very much affected. In an economy where many people still struggle it provides additional information to incite some type of change and improvement on the overall situation across the board in all things that affect us as a society. No matter the background of the people we are part of the same whole, we are all affected when the economy seems to tank or it appears as if we are being taken advantage of by a system we put ourselves in. With so many cars on the road, the result of so much commercial intervention in this sensory overloaded society.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bicycling Salinas to Cabrillo 62 Miles Round

"When a commitment is made by a person, there is the responsibility of that choice, squarely residing on their shoulders. Regardless of what might occur or what challenges may come up." ~ Raymond Marr
Just as I made a choice to attend Cabrillo, I now understand that there will be challenges, they do occur, this serves as an example of a way to overcome such challenges simply by committing by action not just words. This ride, that just occured yesterday was one of the first times, that I actually did just that, in confirming a commitment by action.

The route, is one which follows the relatively well known, Pacific Coast Trail that travels from North To South from Oregon down to the Border of Mexico. All along the historical California Coastline, connecting with Sunset State Beach, Manresa State Beach and La Selva with camping and other options for lodging.

The route I followed travels from Salinas along Espinosa Road, connecting with 183 which then reaches Castroville which becomes the gateway to Highway 1 which then continues to Jensen Road. Following Jensen Road, you connect through a series of switchbacks eventually connecting with San Andreas Road. From San Andreas you Connect with Bonita which then takes you to Freedom and Soquel which becomes the last leg to travel to the Cabrillo Campus. The mileage is about 31 miles each way, which then equates to 62 miles round trip.

Sounds simple enough right? Well it usually is, the difference on the return trip seemed to be full of events, a dog jumping a fence and deciding to run beside me, highway patrol officers pulling me over to say I should not cross the freeway and a pace that could of been better. Nonetheless, in continuing to travel through each of these challenges I fortified the commitment I made when I chose to return to school. Even after the place I was watching was sold, even when I came back to Salinas knowing that I need to plan better and I need to finish this semester and the ones to come. Regardless of each of these particular challenges it is clear I need to keep moving forward.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Riding bike to Monterey - A Goal Evolving.

The Rain Falls - A Bike with No FendersDamn the rain, sometimes, it can be annoying when you set an objective to ride a bike to Monterey every single Tuesday, except for the fact that, when the goal was set it was not ever considered there might be rain, and yet here we are how many Tuesday's have passed andn I have not rode simply because rain is falling. Not like the picture of the bike beside this text, weather like that will probably not be seen until Summer, or even perhaps Spring.

The question seems to be if you make a choice to ride a bike every Tuesday should you ride Rain or Shine or choose a wiser path, where when you ride, you know that from the start to the finish you will be riding with the sun at your back.

Honestly though for true riding in the rain there are tools that are needed, things like Fenders, like money just in case something goes wrong, things that are important on the off chance that things do not work out as planned. The point being, that it is important to consider the weather and how it will relate to your health. Certainly with the lightweight pants and a light shirt with a jacket that will dry quickly, it could be done, but to do that with what I have now, is an exercise in futility. It does not mean the goal is not being met, it is that the goal is constantly evolving just as we do from one day to the next.

Considering that as fact is a first step in understanding that goals though often specific can change, as time progresses there is the consistent inconsistency that will result in that particular goal, coming to fruition. Through that a journey will emerge and challenges will be overcome, it is not that I am not fulfilling the goal I am evolving with the goal, and that makes all the difference.

What do you think? Do goals evolve with you? Should they instead be steadfast and kept to without condition? Or if you do that will you be setting yourself up for failure? Share in the comments.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Quote To Remember

When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart. ~Diane Ackerman

When riding a bike there is always those visuals, the simple challenges, this quote speaks to one of the most remarkable of ideas, that it is possible to overcome, to transcend as she so adequately put it, and to keep the rotations going and the progress happening. So very clear and very simple to recognize that to Ride a bike More is to deal with all the variables the good and the bad of it.

The first day of February, and 26 Days to make it a habit to ride my bike more. To Do it is the objective, to follow through must be the directive.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Weekend - So Far No Ride

I often wonder sometimes why I do not ride, perhaps it was that I got lost in the world of the sims, lost in that virtual verse. Or was it simply because it is easier to not do then to actually do. Both valid questions that I need to answer for myself, or perhaps you can offer your insight, in the challenges you faced and how you overcame them for whatever goal, but preferably specific to Riding my Bike More.

With any change certainly there will be challenges, through those challenges I know I need to grow, and so I constantly set up one more entry, one more view, for the good and the bad of it. I will ride my bike more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

After the Initial Inspiration I went out and rode

To put action to the words, is the only way sometimes to overcome and change …

Even if it was only a short ride to the local library to pick up Nineteen minutes by Jodi Picoult as I had read some reviews of it on Heliumand decided to go and get a copy fortunately there was one on hand at a library near here.

There was also a book that was Overdue The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho that had been recommended to me, and I had read it and enjoyed it thoroughly. Yet I had fallen behind whether because I was in a habit of not getting out and riding or simply procrastination but I knew I had to do it and after seeing another cyclist still riding in the pouring rain I went for it.

Since it was raining though I put the Book in my Pannier(Click to Define what Pannier is) which I have found indispensable in riding my bike more. Not to mention it is great for bicycle commuting to boot. Put a plastic bag over the book to be sure none of the water would find it’s pages and opened the garage and was on my way.

As I am an advocate of bicycling as a vehicle, I followed the roads out and stayed on the roads from my house to the library and back using turn signals and keeping pace while getting soaked. I can honestly say though it felt good to be out there by Human Power traveling with traffic and even when I got home I may of been soaked but was glad I got out there and put action to the words, thanks to the anonymous cyclist who was doing just that. Putting action to the words rain or shine.