Over the last year or so, I’ve moved from mainly commuting by bike, to mainly commuting by running.  And as Rebecca said earlier, we also gained a family member, so schedules had to be adjusted, routes tweaked, methods of mobility modified and weather watched closely.  Eliminating the car crutch altogether made us excited and meant we were going to have to have to pedal/run harder and farther and plan ahead more.  Luckily, we love us some planning!  Here’s what we came up with:

Morning: Josh runs to work.  Rebecca takes E to daycare by bike.

Afternoon: Josh runs to daycare, picks E up, walks across the tracks to the West End MARTA station, takes the #71 bus home.  Rebecca bikes home.

On any day if the weather is bad, whoever is transporting Everett takes MARTA.

Simple.  Easy.  Relaxing…

Just in case Everett decided he didn’t enjoy the bus ride, his momma very smartly packed a “Flip-Out Bag©” full of snacks, drinks and whirligigs to keep him occupied for the 15-minute ride and brought it to me.  Awesome!

I left work at 4:00pm and started my 2-mile run to daycare.  It was over 60 degrees and sunny when I exited the building; a fantastic change from the snow we had two weeks ago.  Once there and buzzed in, I grabbed Everett and his diaper bag/backpack and went outside.

Problem #1 – How do I carry two backpacks and a 30-pound baby to the station a half-mile away?

Solution #1 – Tie the backpacks together so they stick out 3 feet from your back.  But hey – two hands free again!

A train was moving along the tracks I needed to cross to get to the MARTA station, so Everett and I went across the street to Adair Park and I let him run around while we waited.  After playing for a while (Everett running around pointing at everything saying “dog”,) I realized the train had not only stopped, but had not moved for the last 10 minutes.

Problem #2 – How do we get across the tracks and get to our station?

Observed Solution – Walk up to tracks with baby in stroller.  Remove baby.  Throw stroller between two train cars so it lands on the side of the tracks you want to be on.  Hold onto baby while climbing over the space between the cars.  Replace baby in stroller.  Continue on your merry way.

Not wanting to endanger the little guy – as well as not being too comfortable with trains lately – that solution was entirely off the table.

Solution #2 – Walk down the tracks to the end of the train and then cross the tracks behind it.

Finally, back on the road again, Everett pointed to the train behind us and said, “dog”.  Yes, my son.  Yes…

We arrived at the MARTA station just in time to watch our bus pull away.  Being rush hour however, I was more than happy to see the already overloaded bus depart without us crammed in there.  So we sat on a bench and waited for the next one.

Sometimes being out and about in the city, you’ll catch a brief whiff of some strange smell.  Thankfully it usually passes quickly or you walk through it.  As Everett and I sat there, a funky smell arrived, and I hoped the breeze would change and send it elsewhere.  Unfortunately, this smell came from close by.  Way too close…

Problem #3 – Everett dropped a deuce and I’m at a MARTA station.

Solution #3 – Commence the longest sigh/headshake EVER and then head to the bathroom in the station. Take off both backpacks and dig for the materials needed.  Stand Everett up on the heat register in the bathroom.  Change him while standing.  Wash up, suit up, and head out.

At first I thought this was going to be a giant disaster, but it turned out to be a surprisingly easy task.  The bathroom was not baby-friendly, but we made it work.  Everett was in a good mood and that really helped a lot.  Sometimes his diaper changes look like Greco-Roman wrestling matches.  Thanks for cooperating buddy!

Finally, the #71 bus arrived and we got on and grabbed a seat.  The ride was relaxing and Everett really enjoyed seeing all the people get on and off.  I never even had to break out the Flip-Out Bag©.  We got off at our street and walked home, enjoying the last of the day’s sunshine and looking forward to doing it all over again.

Dad’s Mileage

Running Miles:  5.5

Walking Miles: 0.75

Transit Miles: 1.8