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Bikes on public transport
#1
lately I've been riding to work and if the weather is bad I hop on the train with the bike as it saves getting drenched, I don't mind it as much coming home as I can jump in the shower but it's never good to spend a few hours working and trying to dry out.

Anyway I get quite an early train and as the weather is gradually getting better I've noticed the amount of bikes getting on and off the train has increased, it seems like English trains haven't really been designed with bike users in mind as they only have about 2 spaces on a carriage at each end of the train.

Also the ticket barriers seem to be ill thought out, I always have to go through the disabled one as the others are too narrow for my handlebars to fit through, when it's a busy station I'll usually hang back and let the grumpy foot commuters go first, that way there's no chance of annoying anyone lol.

Seems a shame that after all the good feeling that surrounded the cycling events in the London Olympics last year, those people who choose to keep up the sport and do it for fun get a raw deal.
Cannondale, handmade in USA............................................Refined in Surrey, England
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#2
It took several years of aggressive activism in Los Angeles to first get the train service to allow bikes on the trains at all times of day (previously banned at rush hour), and then to get them to reconfigure the seating so there is some actual space for bikes. Still not seamless and occasionally you have to skip a train and wait for another with a bit more space. We're still fighting for adequate bike parking and stations that aren't inherently inaccessible for pedestrians and cyclists. But the combo of subway and bike is a fast, powerful transit option, even in good weather and luckily our local transit agency seems to be waking up to this.

A big part of the progress on the cycling front in Los Angeles has been directly related to changing the perception of cycling as a "sport" or a thing that is done solely "for fun" to a transportation option. I don't think Europe lost the idea of bikes as transport quite to the degree that the US did. Nothing like riding an old Raleigh 3 speed down the street in a jacket and tie and having someone yell "Outta the way Lance!"

(and yes, LA has trains, thank you very much.)
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#3
I don't often take my bike on the trains(south England) but must agree there really isn't a lot of space, the last train I went on literally only had 3 bike spaces on the whole train and it was poorly designed and awkward to get my bike out of once other people but their bikes in the 2 other spaces. I've noticed a lot of people leave their bikes locked up at the station though.
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#4
We are very fortunate in the SF Bay Area; Caltrans has half a car (or more) on the commuter trains to/from SF from the South Bay. VTA Light Rail has four bike racks in every car set (trains are typically one or two sets); with additional room for standees with bikes. We often take our tandem on the VTA on weekends.
Nigel
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