Bike fenders on the bus

Oxbow Park was so fun last week we had to go again. I wanted to bike the whole way down, not because I was in the mood for an hour-long ride, but because I wasn’t sure about putting the arm of the bus bike rack on my fender. Unfortunately the kids were really looking forward to the Westlake Transit Tunnel so the bus it was.

I’d been putting the bike rack arm directly on the tire, in front of the fender, but when someone tried to help me last week and wanted to put it on the fender I took to Twitter to ask VeloBusDriver because that seemed easier than checking the Metro site. Now I know that yes, one should put the arm on the fender and not worry about it getting squished, but this morning I hadn’t yet decided what to do and just let the friendly guy who ran up and wanted to help put the arm where he wanted to (on the fender). It weathered the ride just fine and on the way home I noticed the sticker right on the arm of the rack making it clear to squish the fender.

Once we were Hat n’ Booted out, we took the 124 bus to King Street Station again, but didn’t take the long route along the waterfront home this time. Last week we discovered the tree sweaters are gone from Pioneer Square, but today we found a new batch in City Hall Park.

We had to get creative with layers on the way home. I had the foresight to bring a towel along to remove overnight rain from the slides, but I didn’t account for the boys playing in the drinking fountain and getting all wet. Wrapping the big kid in my sweater did the trick for him, but the little kid wouldn’t trade his damp sweater for dry jacket and seemed to be OK with just the addition of mittens. Time to become a better Pacific Northwesterner and travel with more layers.

Today’s miles: 14.8 miles
October cumulative: 106.9 miles
Days missed: 2

7 thoughts on “Bike fenders on the bus

  1. I always feel like such fool when I find myself out with the kiddos and am lacking proper clothing for them. It’s not like I don’t know it can be cold and wet here.

    One downside of the long bike is that the bus isn’t an option. I’ve taken my big dummy on the light rail in PDX twice. Once it was early morning on a weekend so not an issue but the other time was mid-day so more people and I was totally in the way.

    The black tire makes your bike look much more utilitarian.

    • And here I thought Xtracycles always have aboard all that stuff I’m always meaning to pack my car’s trunk with–extra clothing, earthquake kit, blanket.

      I hear Xtracycles fit on Metro bus racks, but after a few normal-sized bikes fell off they’ve forbidden longtails. Maybe that’ll change at some point. Can you lift your bike up, though? I can barely lift the Milano.

  2. My BD weighs about 60 pounds. The problem with lifting it isn’t so much the weight (yes, it is heavy) but that it’s an awkward size and shape. All the Portland transit info basically says “no unusual bikes”. When I rode the light rail with it I just wheeled it on and took up a bunch of aisle space.

  3. The old metal bus racks (still in Portland, I think) fit Xtracycles no problem.
    Just remove the front wheel and put the arm over the top tube.
    Scroll down here for pix.
    I hate the new plastic racks. It is hard to deploy and retract the rack (can’t see the yellow handle)
    Both the handle and and the arm need lube! They are very difficult to slide sometimes.

    FYI, the next cargo bike ride goes to the Hat-N-Boots (aka Oxbow Park) in Georgetown.
    This ride was formerly led by Val Kleitz. More info here:

  4. Here’s my pro-tip about fenders and bus racks… Get a short piece of foam pipe insulation. I had Dunn lumber cut me off a few 6″ bits, ($2) and an old dish towel ($free?). Put the towel over the tire in front of the fender, put the foam on top of that, then roll the bike back to move both under the fender. Then fold the towel back over the top.

    Result is that the towel keeps the fender from getting scratched up, and the foam keeps it from getting bent. I’m thinking about redoing it and sewing it all together, but the folding works just fine, for now.

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