Bikes on the bus

A tweet and Instagram of a video my seven-year old took of me removing our bikes from the bus got more attention than I expected (especially from France, bonjour!) so I probably should put it up here, too:

* Yes, it takes longer to load than unload…but not much longer.
* Yes, all Seattle buses have racks for two or three bikes (as far as I know).

I’m no bus-on-the-bike pro since we usually only bus once a month to get to our orthodontist 20 miles away. Our trip to Tacoma with Three Bikes on Three Bus Systems last month was quite educational and makes our usual one- or two-bus trip to Issaquah feel easy in comparison.

How to
Before our very first bike/bus outing I watched the video on the King County Metro “Loading your bike” page a lot of times and used one of the practice racks.

About our racks
The rack in my video is the Sportworks Apex 3, the newest style here in Seattle. I discovered this by reading the comments of this Seattle Transit Blog post: Metro’s Xcelsiors hit the streets.

While I don’t know everything about bikes on buses, I have picked up a few tidbits…

* Just yesterday I learned from a lovely mostly-bike-and-bus-based piano tuner, Audrey Karabinus, that if the rack won’t fold down from the bus as expected, push it in towards the bus first. Worked like a charm on yesterday’s sticky rack!

* And from a friend who works for Sound Transit, the old DL3/Trilogy and DL2 racks can hold wheels as small as 20 inches and the Veloporter can hold wheels as small as 16 inches. I’d guess the new Apex also goes down to 16 inches.

I refer to the racks by the style of hook they have:
Apex = black plastic hook
DL3/Trilogy, DL2 = black metal hook
Veloporter = yellow claw

I like using the old black metal hooks best since they’re the easiest to deploy. Even the new ones can be sticky…a bus driver told me that when passengers don’t treat them gently they get like that.

Do you have any bike-on-bus insights? Please share them in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Bikes on the bus

  1. I know that balance move well! (Kickstand!) I should get a video of my rack-loading tweaks… The main difference between what they suggest, is that I put the hook on the wheel (technically wedged in the front under the fender). I’ve never felt that hooking over top of the fender felt sufficient. I also have a new move where I put the front wheel on the curb, hold my bike by the saddle while folding the rack back up, then roll out.

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