Get to your hike by bus, train, or bike

3:56 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Get to your hike by bus, train, or bike"

Want to reduce the environmental impact of your trip to the trail, avoid road stress, or just don't have a car? Consider bikepacking, bike shuttling, a carpool, train, or bus to get you to your hike.

Full article at

6:52 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I at 55 have never had a car or any motorized vehicle since I was 16 when I had a Moped. I use my bicycle to get to work and when I travel I bike tour. My last big tour was in 2006 when I pedaled across Alaska from the Beaufort Sea at the North Slope to Homer Spit below Anchorage, a distance of about 1000 miles over 30 days.

8:13 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Wow!  Gary, you may be my new non-motorized idol.  I've yet to own a car too, but you've done it for 20 more years than I have!  What kind of bike did you ride across AK?  Did you camp?


8:30 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I rode a mountain bike. Yes I camped every night. Most of the route was paved except over the Brooks Range, I rode down the dalton Highway from the North Slope to Fairbanks then the main highway to Homer. I saw grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, a lynz, dall sheep,bald eagles, alaskan bison, salmon and a porcupine. I had not one flat but something stole my spare tirewhile i was camping one night. I started in early August so I had 24 hours of daylight every day, tho the sun dipped below the mountains.

But my bike was stolen the first night after returning to Anchorage as I went partying with some others and neglected to lock it up at the hostel where I left it. I discovered it gone the next morning. I had planned to ride it all the way back to Utah thru Canada. I ended up staying in Anchorage till January 2nd 2007 and flying back to Utah. I also lost my cameras spare batteries, my binoculars and a 500mm lens for my camera which were in my handlebar bag on the bike when it was taken. And my bike racks.

I designed some pail panniers from old square Mayonaise buckets from a restuarant. I have two for the back and two for the front. They are sturdy and make excellent camp tables,chairs, water buckets, even a ice chest. I also use the same type of buckets for camping when I cache my food in backcountry areas on longer than a month trips.

When I left alaska the security at the airport had me open my panniers as they had never seen them used as luggage.

9:39 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Good read/info. I must be part of the 18% that sat in traffic more than the 32hrs/yr. I know when I use to do my daily commute from Ft.Washington to S.E.(DC) on the beltway I use to burn that 32 up in a month. :)

9:44 p.m. on June 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Meetup included Google maps in their disastrous update a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, the new maps didn't work at all for hikers,since locations like, 'Jacques Lake Trailhead, Maligne Lake  Road, Jasper National Park', weren't recognized. That particular one would give you an unchangeable location downtown in the Town of Jasper not the actual trailhead some 25 km away. Even city locations like 'Emily Murphy Park' wouldn't work unless you could give them a numbered street address.

That winter, this resulted in my members being sent to meet at non-existent locations out in the countryside, often at -20°C, down icy back roads. There was a very real risk of someone landing in a ditch, lost in the snow, with no way of finding out where they were, and no likelihood of rescue for days or even weeks. This resulted in a posting on all of my Meetup events saying "IGNORE GOOGLE MAP FOR THIS EVENT. IT IS WRONG. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS GIVEN IN THE EVENT POSTING."

It took Meetup a number of months to change the links so that the map locations could be manually moved from the ones assigned by Google to the correct ones.

Yesterday evening, I had someone get lost by using Google to generate a map to get to 'Riverside Campground, Richmond Park, Alberta' instead of following the clear and accurate directions on the event posting. It sent her 6 grid lines north of the correct turnoff, then seven lines back, but to the wrong location. Since cell phone reception was poor, we had to send out a couple of vehicles (who had used a legitimate set of directions) to find her.

Great ideas here; hikers are almost all concerned about the lowest possible impact on the environment. But be warned - while Google maps for urban locations might be reasonably accurate, when it comes to finding a trailhead or other rural location, they have proven (in Canada at least) to be quite unreliable. Always double check.

12:18 p.m. on June 3, 2012 (EDT)
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via monster truck

2:37 p.m. on June 3, 2012 (EDT)
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We finally delivered our rustbucket Subaru to the crusher last December. We didn't dare take it out of town for more than a year before that. We joined the local car coop and can get cars of various sizes whenever we need them. We do our daily commute and shopping by bicycle (with trailer), or we can take buses if we need them. But for hiking and skiing trips, it takes so much longer to get to a trailhead using trains and buses, if you can get there at all, that we usually end up taking a car. Humping ski gear around also makes it hard. At Easter time a few years ago we all, including the dog, took a train down to Rjukan at the southern edge of Hardangervidda, skied across the Hardangervidda to Finse over 10 days, then took a train back home. The tour my daughter did from Åndalsnes to Oppdal a few years ago is also a potential train-to-train hike, but my wife gave us a ride one way so she could join us for the first few days, and we just took the train home. I have various schemes for other carless trips, including taking our new folding canoe north to the Swedish border region around Sarek and Kebnekaise, where there are some big lakes. Overall, for me it's a big relief not to own a car anymore.

May 22, 2018
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