The Sightline Institute is looking for car-free vacation ideas. In celebration of their 15 year anniversary, they are giving away a car-free vacation in the Pacific Northwest and they want your ideas. Details here.
A car-free vacation sounds like a lot of fun. We’re not great planners so we’ve yet to make it happen. Perhaps a train ride to Portland with bikes? With rising fuel costs, trains are becoming more popular in the States. How about a ride on the Victoria Clipper to Victoria B.C.? I just learned the Clipper stops on San Juan Island too.
Send along your ideas–who knows, maybe you’ll win a vacation?
My family are looking at taking an Amtrak vacation with the bikes, but the biggest issue is having to box up your bikes for Amtrak. If they were more like Europe with ride on policies, I think more people would ride.
we’ve actually taken these 3 routes more then once, Victoria by Clipper, (although that’s rather expensive now because they have fuel surcharges. ) Vancouver by rail, and Portland by rail. Be careful when booking Amtrak from Seattle. You could end up on a bus instead of the train.
I just took Amtrak to Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville to visit Nate the CEO of Xtracycle and attend the Bicycle Music Festival. I must say AMTRAK SUCKS as far as taking your bike along. First off you have to box it. Secondly your box cannot weigh more than 50 pounds. I had to remove my front wheel, seat, seatpost, kid bars, Free Loaders and deck AND my Rolling Jackass centerstand. Took off the waterbottle too. My bike in box weighed in at 49.5 pounds. I thew the water bottle back in the box and it tipped 50 pounds (metal water bottle). The baggage guys in Seattle have a scale. Actually they have 2 scales and a big sign stating the 50 pound rule. On the trip back, there were no scales! My Xtracycle weighs 80 pounds with all my gear and a full water bottle.
Caltrain and BART are way better at accomidating bikes, you just roll them on!
Anyway, I took my son and had a blast at the BMF. I recommend it for everyone. It is a rolling party that stops at a farmer’s market, an organic garden and 2 awesome city parks. All the music is amplified with pedal powered generators on the Xtracycles. Ross, the inventor of Xtracycle, said it was the most Xtracycles he has ever seen on a ride. He was riding the new Rad-ish, which he let me ride. Very nice! I plan on stocking them but will probably change the handlebars out.
The SF bike scene is way different than Seattle. One big difference was a complete lack of neon green. I only saw one person in a faded neon jacket the entire weeklong trip.
SF is a GREAT city to take a bike vacation on, especially in the summer. Nice people, great vistas, great Mexican food, good weather, etc.
With the exception of Amtrak, it is super easy to get there with your bike. Non-Xtracycle bikes are easier.