Bikes + Trains: A Natural Combination

It took me awhile to embrace the potential of bikes + trains but now that I have I’m completely on board.  I only came to this realization after figuring out how I can utilize commuter and light rail combined with my bicycle, to get around once I get settled in Utah.

The author at Ogden's FrontRunner depot with the bike car visible.

The author at Ogden’s FrontRunner depot with the bike car visible.

Others are further along.  I’m not exactly tracking this, but I’ve noticed more and more stories about rail systems that are welcoming cyclists with bike cars and other accommodations.  Just last weekend, for example, MTA (Maryland Transit Authority) doubled bike car capacity on their trains in and out of Baltimore so that people could take the train to surrounding trails and enjoy their Labor Day weekend outdoors.

FrontRunner stations were designed so that you can wheel your bike right onto the train.  No lifting required!  By Ricardo630 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

FrontRunner stations were designed so that you can wheel your bike right onto the train. No lifting required! By Ricardo630 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Once aboard, you sit across from your bicycle so there's no need to lock it.

Once aboard, you sit across from your bicycle so there’s no need to lock it.

As good as that is, it’s bikes as transportation that we’re all about and here the UTA (Utah Transit Authority) leads the nation.   Along the Wasatch Front where most Utahans live, transit officials have adopted a plan that anticipates a future where 1/3 of all trips are made by bicycle, 1/3 by transit and the remaining 1/3 by automobile.  The interface between bicycle and train is already well established, as bicycles may be wheeled onto both FrontRunner commuter rail trains and TRAX light rail.  That means I can extend my Bike 5 range to well over 100 miles from our new home in Ogden without missing a beat.

In fact, I can actually extend my range globally because I can take the train to the airport and then hop onto a plane.  I never much thought about folding bikes but now I can justify getting one.  My sales territory includes Colorado’s Front Range, and I envision a day in the near future when I’ll pedal from my front door to the FrontRunner station in Ogden, transfer to TRAX at North Temple, hop Frontier or Southwest at SLC, land in Denver, take a bus downtown and then use my bike and RTD to make all of my appointments.   This is not a “someday” thing.  This is a “now” thing.

Lately, I’ve been fond of saying that we’re winning because I think we are.   Every convert to the Bike 5 lifestyle helps us move forward a little bit more.  We’re still a long way from Amsterdam, Copenhagen or even Montreal, but we’re getting there…one new cyclist at a time.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s