We’re finally taking a bike-train trip! The littles and I will ride the Amtrak Cascades to Portland next week. If you’re in the area, come to a bikey family playdate:
Tuesday, December 6th
SE 31st Ave & Market St, Portland, OR
King Street Station is pretty nice. I’m mostly basing that on the state of the bathroom. I especially like that theres a very large sitting room in the ladies room so I was able to wheel the bike in there and leave it for a moment while the boys used the facilities. Probably not the best idea to leave one’s bike unlocked in any location of any train station so I won’t do it again.
Naturally, I forgot to time how long it took to get to the train station so that part of the test run didn’t work so well, but it was good to get a lay of the land and purchase tickets in advance. Since I’m using the Chinook Book free kid coupon, I don’t think I could have purchased them online.
I haven’t had a chance to figure out any of the logistics yet, but I did think to ask what the bike accommodations are and learned bikes hang vertically from hooks on the train. I’m not sure how I’ll get the bike up there, given past failures: trying and failing to use the tilted bike rack at Whole Foods, and trying and failing to get the front wheel over the bike fence at Pike Place Market. Should be interesting. I’m not ready to think about how I’m going to pack three people’s worth of stuff into two little bags.
Riding to the train station I was reminded of a Seattle Bike Blog commenter’s complaint about the 2nd Avenue bike lane. I started in the offending bike lane, but when I saw another bike riding on the other side of the street in the Bus Only lane, I did the same. The bus lane is next to the parked-car-free curb and I didn’t see one bus our entire time on the street. The bike lane, however, is next to a solid wall of parked cars. Given the slight downhill slope, I was moving faster than normal which makes the “door lane” scarier. At my incredibly slow uphill rate, I can see into each car and am warned if the driver is inside and might swing the door open into my path.