Musings on transport

Sep 05 2012 07:50
Adriaan Bester

IT TAKES a mild knock to my forehead to admit it, but there are still advantages to having a car.

This week, reluctantly dusting off the keys to my sedan to fill the tank before a record-breaking hike hits us in blade-running proportions, I reflected on the love we've grown for one another - and the secrets we share.

I live in a city where signs of public transport are cocooning quietly like the subtext of a modernising urban population.

I surprised myself, and the school psychologist of my youth, who did not tick the "early adopter" box on my careers test, in transferring my transport expectations to public options.

So began regular MyCiti bus adventures, combining my journey sometimes with Metrorail and more frequently with Oscar, my muddy thick wheel bicycle that fondly remembers his proudest moment when he finished the Cape Argus Tour.

Oscar does not have a coffee cup holder. A creative friend offered a gadget that resembles the balancing act of a single gin and tonic mix, but we agreed that drinking and cycling is socially frowned upon. Especially on the breakfast commute rush.

Other optional extras in absence are a magazine rack for my stash of Big Issues, a linen cupboard for my dog #Ben's travel blanket and a boot filled with tools that will defuse a small timebomb on a steel bridge. Should the need arise.

And yet, for daily office commute designs I can comfortably live without these luxuries. What I battle with, though, is the ability to complete a journey.

Enter the oil-sipping sedan luxury machine. And even though it also chips away at the coins I keep in the ashtray to pay for parking, it is still a safer bet for completing a journey.

Thundering though my thighs may be from early efforts, a cycle in trendy office wear from City Centre (where I live) to Bellville (where I meet some clients), about 30km away, is an unlikely occurrence.

Ditto the nearly 5km walk from the nearest rail station to said offices.

Like you, I also stare at the solution that seems so obvious, but completely impossible in the home stretch: integrate the lot (I hear you all say in a silent, huffed unison).

In time, I'm told, it will happen. There will be bus stations within walking distance that connect to rail stations within cycling distance, linking city brother to suburb sister.

Until then, the race is against time herself.

Keeping cycle fit and a tank filled with the platinum liquid to narrow the gaps between my unconnected spaces requires deep breathing in the gym and a blue-eyed wink in the bank manager's grey cubicle to settle the out-of-control garage card.

In related news, I submitted my tax return this week and sealed the transaction with a wish for above outlined integration.

 - Fin24 

On Twitter, Adriaan will be accused of subtweeting with the last line of this column. Yet he braves it as @aiBester while he co-ponders a @FutureCapeTown

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cape town  |  transport



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