The Commuter Chronicles #2: The Superhero of Commuters


Day in and day out, more than 30,000 people make the daily trek from Maryland to Washington DC, traveling 4-6 hours per day just to be able to call Charm City home. These are their stories.

by Claudia DeCarlo

Some days, getting out of the house and to the train on time is such an incredible feat, I feel like someone should give me an award. On these days, I am the master of morning multitasking; I am a dog whisperer, an effortless organizational expert, and a fashionista who can throw together a killer outfit in no time.

On this particular dark and rainy early Monday morning, I was a commuting superhero. Even though it was raining miserably, my superhero powers turned every stoplight to green just as I approached it. My superpowers made a spot right by the elevator in the covered parking garage adjacent to the station available when I drove up. I even had extra time to purchase a cup of coffee before calmly walking onto the train ten minutes early.

Sitting there sipping my latté, waiting for the scheduled departure time, I spotted a flashing light through the rain, off in the distance. The light got closer. The rain fell harder. That’s when I saw him. The real commuting superhero. The cyclist commuter.

As if this were the early days of the pony express, neither rain nor hail nor sleet will tempt this guy to call an Uber to get to the station. His bicycle (which folds up into what I am pretty sure is a wallet) is his stallion. His superhero cape is a bright yellow reflective rain poncho with hood, securely fastened around this face. His legs are lean and muscular, covered in long cycling pants, adding to the superhero effect. He glides up to the steps leading to the platform, dismounts with a flourish, folds up his bike up in seven seconds flat, runs up the stairs two at a time, and finds his way to a seat on the train.

I sat there, with my latté, my Burberry rain boots and damp umbrella, and quietly worshipped the All-Powerful Veteran Virtuoso of Public Transit: The Commuting Cyclist.

Want more Commuter Chronicles? Read the first installment, “The Whiskey Clutch,” here.