The Fox, Goose, Running, Bike Commuting, and Beer Puzzle

We all know that the aversion some people have to commuting to work is partially because of the logistics and planning involved — at least in the beginning.

After a time, these logistics become as second nature to us as, say, stopping for gas, or texting while driving is to many motorists.

Bike commuting has become so mundane for me, that I need a new logistical challenge. I’m also not getting enough exercise from my puny bike commute — less than two miles when I take the shortcuts. I never even work up enough sweat to worry about changing clothes. I just commute in the same clothes that I will wear all day.

I’ve even been forgoing beer because of this imbalance between my caloric input and output.

River Crossing Puzzle
Similar to the Sheep and the Butt-Sniffing Wolves Puzzle

Something needed to be done. I need to start running again.

Figuring out how to get some running back into my schedule presented something similar to a “river crossing puzzle.” You know the kind where  a farmer must carry a fox, goose and bag of beans from one side of a river to the other, but the boat can only hold the farmer plus one other item, but the fox can’t be left alone with the goose, and the goose can’t be left alone with the beans, etc.

Only it wasn’t quite that hard.

The best time for running is during my commute to or from work. My only constraint is that I don’t want to carry anything on me when I run. I need clean clothes waiting for me at work, and I need to get the stinky running clothes home.

I was motivated by the prospect of having a beer with dinner again.

So today I loaded up my already cluttered Vaude Silk Road Plus racktop bag with the following items:

Running LogisticsI will run home today, leaving my bike at work. So I need:

  • Running shirt
  • Running shorts
  • Running socks
  • Running shoes
Vaude Silk Road Plus Rack Top Bag
Note: This bag is already loaded with clutter: a rain jacket, a fleece pullover, a video camera and accessories, and other ballast.

And I will run to work tomorrow morning, so I brought what I will wear tomorrow.

(Sorry, coworkers, if this eliminates the suspense.)

Tomorrow afternoon, I will stuff everything into my rack top bag again and take it all home on my bike. Then I’ll have a beer with dinner.

Puzzle solved.

This cycle lasts two days. If I can do this twice a week, that’ll be four runs a week.

So, I’m curious: What logistical puzzles have you solved that allowed you to continue to bike commute within constraints that might have more easily been solved with a car? I’m interested even if your puzzle and solution don’t involve beer.

Tell about it in the comments.

*And now there is no mystery left in our relationship.

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