‘Watch your step’

Monday I rode about 70 miles on my bike with no ill effects, other than a little soreness. Tuesday I rode the bus downtown and now I can hardly walk. Proof that cycling is safer than public transportation. At least for the clumsy.

I was going to meet some former co-workers for a drink, and when I saw a couple of Number 6 buses, I ran. When the buses are bunched, if you don’t get one, you can wait a while for the next one. I caught the second one, but was moving a bit too quickly when I stepped in; I stumbled, falling on my right knee and smacking my ankle on the edge of the platform. I felt stupid but OK.

Downtown as people got off, the driver said, “Watch your step.” Words to live by. My ankle left me alone as I chatted with people, but on the way home I was limping, and a day later I’m still limping. The ankle doesn’t mind cycling — I rode to the store earlier today — but balks at walking and climbing stairs. So it’s an ice and aspirin diet for the thing.

A quicker thinking person than I might have been on the phone to lawyers already, planning what to do with that big CTA judgment, but a quicker thinking person than I probably wouldn’t have tripped in the first place. No, I can’t blame the CTA for my clumsiness.

But I can blame it for bus bunching. I’ve been at a bus stop with a dozen people waiting for 20 minutes, only to see four buses finally arrive together. Bunching is what we call it; apparently the CTA considers it the convoy system. Developed in wartime to help protect ships from enemy submarine attacks, the convoy system was adopted by the CTA to protect buses from being picked off by Downstate legislators bent on big infrastructure projects at the far ends of the state. Well, if they’re so keen to take our public transportation away, they should be the ones icing their ankle and cursing the fates, not me.

One Response to “‘Watch your step’”

  1. Cori Nalty says:

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