Sometimes things have a habit of resolving themselves in unexpected ways.
This week I had a meeting in town. The distance was such that to walk there was a bit much, but not insanely far. As it happened we were a team of three where all do not own a car. Seriously! I mean we have a car but SO uses it to drive to work. I either walk or cycle to work and if I have a meeting out of town I use public transport. The other two (both male) have a similar position, except that one of the team lives out of town and travels to work by public transport (the company is near a train station). Besides weather was predicted to be atrocious. Arriving at a meeting looking like a bunch of drowned cats is not really what you want. So we were a wee bit stuck.
The company does not have many company cars, and even if we could have borrowed one, it was a late meeting and the owner would have been stuck until we would have finished our yapping. So through yammer we posted a request but apart from real loud laughter nothing happened. A taxi seemed to be our only option. One of my co-workers had a laugh and said we should take these sorts of things into account in future when picking a project team 🙂
I had planned on walking but seeing this tragedy unfold I decided to cycle, just in case. We were in luck the bad weather took longer than expected to arrive so the weather was still hot, humid, sticky and dry. We decided to take the bikes. A had his own bike and was able to take E’s bag. E was going to use my bike with me on the back. What a sight for sore eyes we were. E is nearly 2m tall and had his first words were “that is a small bike” My answer “well I am small, duh!” I had not been on the back of a bike for years and really it was not comfortable.
Enter brainwave. I was desperately uncomfortable on the back of my bike, and on the brainwave entering my head, I told E to pull over at the station and I would try to get a public transport bike (OV-fiets) for him. As I use public transport for meetings I took out a subscription for this a while back, so that I could get a bike in one of the locations as it is not very far from the station, but too far to walk (30 minutes) and the bus is not much help (takes 20 minutes, plus 10 minute walk) whereas by bike it is 10 minutes. However there it is a shed where people help you, our local station is not. Plus since I got it I had not been at that location, so I had never used the service, but the subscription is per annum so I still had it.
At this station they are in lockers and honestly I had no idea how and if it would work. I followed instructions, which was kinda hard with two men, also not in the know, telling you how it should work. Anyway I followed the instructions and used my memory of what I had read ages ago and lo and behold is worked! One lock opened and the screen told me which one. E could get a bike out. It also comes fully equipped with a baggage holder and ties, plus a very good bike lock.
Anyway we gently cycled on three bikes to the meeting, where we sat for two hours. As we finished close to 18.00 we were glad we did not have to go back to return a car or something. E, though only using public transport, had not heard about this cycling scheme really, but he’s hooked now and is going to get himself a subscription too.
Oh BTW the weather did take a turn for the worse, but not until the middle of the night when a huge thunderstorm woke us up and the rain was impressively thick and abundant. Many a tree lost limbs. So I am more than grateful that this was not at our meeting time and that we did not have to cycle or walk through that.