[M.A.P.L.E. V-21] Commute

I was considering making my post today about the tournament that I participated in today, but I think I’ll save that post for tomorrow. Instead, I’ll describe something about commuting and my take on it, as well as somewhat of a funny (?) story.

Commuting is the bane of many working people, as it’s a long train ride, or being stuck in traffic, or traveling a long distance. According to the US Census Bureau, the average travel time to get to work in the USA is 25.4 minutes.

Well, I have mostly bucked that trend! I’ll consider school and work to be equivalent for the purposes of this post, and I’ll list them in chronological order (approximately):

  • Elementary school (Fort Dodge): A 5-ish minute parental or carpool drive from my house. Would have probably been a 10-15 minute bike ride if I had ever ridden my bike there…
  • Elementary school (Lincoln): A 5-10 minute walk, or a less-than-5-minute bike ride.
  • Middle school: A 10-minute parental drive. I never biked there, except for a biking return trip on an unusually hot October day, on which I did not time myself. Ha!
  • High school: A 10-15 minute drive from home. Never biked to or from school in high school.
  • Undergraduate: A 10-15 minute walk from my dorm, or about a 3-5 minute bike ride to anywhere on campus.
  • Runza: About a 10-15 minute drive from my parents’ house, or a 15-20 minute drive from the university, or a 20-30 minute bike ride from my parents’ house.
  • Summer research in undergraduate years: About a 20-minute drive, or a 50-minute bike ride, or a 80-minute bike-plus-bus-plus-walk combination from my parents’ house.
  • Grad school: A 5-minute bike ride or a 10-15 minute walk/jog from my apartment.
  • First professional job: A 5-minute bike ride, or a 10-15 minute walk/jog from my apartment.

Granted, I have never lived in a big-city proper, so I have no concept of snarled traffic for getting to work, or even sardinesy trains, since I never had to commute to work from Chicago (well, maybe I did a few times, when returning after a parental visit, or the one time which I took a train ride of non-shame after a long night of bridge and board games).

On the other hand, however, I have endured some long commutes for fun things, especially Pokemon tournaments. Here is a list of some of my long commutes toward pleasure or other personal fulfillment:

  • 15-20 minute drive from my parents’ house or my dorm to Pokemon League in Lincoln (OK, so pretty much everything in Lincoln should really be disqualified unless it’s by bike :p)
  • 45-60 minute train ride from my hotel to get to the Pokemon national tournament in 2009. (At least the nitrates were well below that of what they would have been near the convention center!)
  • 45-60 minute bike ride from my apartment to Des Plaines for Pokemon tournaments when I was in Evanston
  • 90-150 minute combinations of train, bus, and biking to get to Pokemon League when I was in Evanston
  • 60-80 minute bike ride to get to CompuTraining in 2011. (Ha–it was in some sense part of my training itself!)
  • 30 minute bike ride to services in Wilmette from where I lived in Evanston
  • 40-60 minute train ride to get to down- or midtown Chicago from my apartment for various social functions
  • 60-80 minute drive to get to the Twin Cities from my current apartment for services, rendezvous with friends, etc.
  • 35-45 minute bike ride to get from my hotel to the Pokemon tournament this weekend in Madison. (I could have driven instead, but I brought my bike since (a) the weather was impeccable and (b) it saved me $5 in parking fees!)

So wherever I end up living next, whether in Kenosha or Menomonie, will I continue this “Live close to work; commute far for play” motto, so as it seems from my set of examples? (Of course, I could also handpick play examples that are within short walking or biking distance of my residence, especially when I lived in Evanston).


Today is the twenty-first day of the fifth round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes three weeks.

היום שמונה ועשרים יום-שהם ארבעה שבועות לעומר

Kenosha East: 2 days.

Rochester: 6 days.

Kenosha West: 11 days.

Twenty-Nine: 43 days.


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