Friday, March 30, 2012

Cargo bikes by train

A fellow blogger recently posted about his desire to travel by train with his cargo bike and explained how the current Amtrak restrictions on weight leave many of us cargo-cyclists unable to enjoy the freedoms of train travel.  Traveling by train is a delight for so many reasons, not least of which is it's affordability and relaxation factor!  Is it possible to be stressed on a train? I think not, unless maybe Hercule Poirot is seated in the next cabin. 


Rather than sit back and complain about the current restrictions (which is all I'd done when I found out about them a few months back) this blogger wrote a letter to Amtrak in the hopes of inspiring them to make a change, even if temporary, to allow those restrictions to be lifted for a period of time.  In support of his work I went to Amtrak's Facebook page and their website and wrote short notes of support for the idea and I encourage you to do the same.

Having the tracks open for those of us on a car-less journey would give a sense of freedom usually only felt by the super fit touring cyclists, not slow poke, ex-couch potatoes with little tykes in tow.  I personally would love to visit my brother and his family in Portland- they have been so supportive of my journey and I would love to show off my bike to them.  We also have a relative in Seattle who was born a week or so before Jack, whom we've yet to meet and I would love for him and Jack to get together and enjoy some cheerios and a sippy cup while us adults catch up on the last few years. 


Here is a link to the TRANSPORTland blog,  I hope you'll "make tracks" and go there to check out the letter and lend your support!  It didn't take me much more than a few minutes.

12 comments:

  1. The link brings me back to this page.

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    1. Thank you, some odd glitch! Hopefully corrected! Cheers

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  2. Good thinking about going to the Amtrak facebook page. I will.

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  3. Don't you have to get to the Tri-Cities to take an Amtrak? We can't take it from Walla Walla, right?

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    1. Locally we can get the Grapevine that stops in WW and CP, I'm not sure if they take bikes. Or you can get the Greyhound from here to Pasco. Or hope a friend will drive you there at 5am! Yes, there are still many, many issues to be worked out- but if it was possible to definitely take the bikes it would at least be worth it, not worth it if you can get turned away.

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    2. I've written Amtrak on the bike policy. My Ute is under the weight limit and I believe it fits within the current policy because I can pack it in two telescoped bike boxes as Amtrak recommends for tandems. I have a week long training in Portland this summer and my plan is to pedal from Walla Walla to Pasco to catch the train to Portland. My longest ride on the Ute so far was 31 miles so I'm not to worried about adding another 15 miles.

      You can also catch the train in Pendleton but I don't think you can load a bike there because they do not offer checked baggage service.

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    3. Luke- that sounds like an awesome trip, you'll have to take lots of pictures- will you go the back way through the vineyards and orchards or stay on the 12?
      I wish the train came to Walla Walla, I think it would be great for tourism, with all our vineyards- be pretty nice!

      Thanks for writing to Amtrak and your comment! Lindsay

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  4. I was very disappointed recently to find out exactly how limiting pets were to traveling also. Not only for hotel rooms to those who choose to drive, but you can't have any animals at all on Amtrak, or buses like Greyhound. You can't have pit bulls on an airline unless you ship it in a crate like cargo on a non-passenger flight. I was very very disappointed. We ended up having to rent a car (more fuel efficient than our own). And we had to break rules to transport our pets with us (not allowed) and swap drivers (I was the only one supposed to be driving) to make it across the country and back within our week-long rental. We made it with time enough for all 5 of us to unanimously fall into a bed to get some real rest before unpacking and returning the car.

    If I ever get rich I resolve to offer pet-welcoming (not pet-friendly, as in we love you AND your pets) transportation options and lodging without all the BS that exists now. Space for cargo bikes wouldn't be a problem either :)

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    1. Red-Eyed Tree Froggy-

      The subject of traveling with pets has long been a problem for me- in fact not a week goes by when Kyle and I don't discuss how rotten it is that we can't take our dog with us to the U.K. because she fits the profile of an aggressive breed- she's actually a Staffordshire Terrier (Ironic, being her breed originated from England.

      Irresponsible owners of all kinds of animals have really made it practically impossible to rent a home, a car or travel with an animal of any kind. I would have done the same thing in regards to renting a car- we've done it before too.

      When you open your hotel we shall be customers! You will find our Beatrix better behaved and cleaner than many humans;)

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  5. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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