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  • Dr. Stuart P. Stofferahn

Days #10-13: Missed the Bus

Updated: May 14, 2019

Day #13 (also 10, 11, and 12):


Days 10-12 did not see any bus use. Day #10 ended up being a “stay-at-home-and-stop-ignoring-administrative-duties day. On day #11, I went to Cozad with my family for a graduation celebration, and we came back on day #12. I can assure you that none of the driving was done by me – much to the chagrin of Heather.


For today, I had one appointment that I had to get to at the VA medical building near 70th and O. The appointment was for 1:30, but I had to make the bus stop by 12:05 (which would put me at the VA at 1:00-ish). No other bus route would leave later to get me there later, so I had to get there early (something else our students will need to understand).


My connection was at the Wal-Mart at 27th and Superior. Strangely, not one, but two busses rolled up with “Not In Service” signs on the front and side. So, I continued to wait. Then, a route 27 bus rolled up, and I recognized the bus driver (Troy). I went up to say hi, and he asked which bus I was waiting for. After I told him the 48, he pointed to the bus that had just pulled away. Note for our curriculum . . . even when the bus says, “not in service”, confirm the status with the bus driver.


So, I had a decision to make. Waiting for the next bus was not an option; I would miss my appointment. I had plenty of time to bike to my appointment, but it was a solid ten miles away, with lots of hills and a steady breeze. Or, I could call and cancel the appointment and reschedule. Faced with the options, I knew I had the ability to ride my bike there safely, so it was the option I chose. I wasn’t HAPPY about it, as I would arrive sweaty and stinky. But it was the right decision, and one we would want our students to make as well if they were comfortable with the routes and their bicycling abilities.


Face the challenge and find a way to overcome it.


I have tried to look at these circumstances as opportunities, which is of course what we teach our students. I had never biked across town, so this was an opportunity to try and find the safest, most efficient route to the VA. Unfortunately, I wasn’t familiar with the bike routes, so I stayed with the car routes on the way to the VA. Turns out I still beat the bus by ten minutes.


On the way home, however, I stumbled upon the Mo-Pac trail just off of 70th & O Street. It was a GORGEOUS trail that offered MUCH safer travel, and it took me through back yards throughout the city. It connected to the Billy Wolff Trail that traversed near Vine street and up Antelope Valley Parkway, and then a little bit of the Rock Island Trail. All safely away from vehicles.


The route I was SUPPOSED to take, the VA, and the Mo-PAC trail.

This was a gold mine, and it offered me another piece of the Community Navigation curriculum we will teach our students.


Had I made my bus connection, I don’t know that I would have included knowledge of the dedicated bike trails on the curriculum. Not only will it have a place, but I will make it a point to utilize the trails more during the remainder of this month.


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