Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Santa Fe to Lamy, NM and on to Sacramento, CA
Date: 2006-09-27


Thoughts for the Day




    Had a chance to look at some stars last night. It has been a while but when was I out side late enough at night to look at them. The train is a bit more crowded than on the first leg from Chicago. It is much more comfortable when the seat next to you is not occupied. However, one has a chance to talk to another person on the way.

Tonight, the gentleman boarded at Flagstaff and is also enroute to Los Angeles. He splits his time between Flagstaff and Bangkok. Did have a chance to get some insight from a local on the recent political event there with the disposing of the billionaire prime minister. He apparently sold off a billion dollar company to foreign investors. The company may have been a sort of private / public partnership. Also, the succession line for the king may not be to the likening of the people, as the king’s son seems to not be the right type of person for that job.

As the train made its way through the dark night up mountain ranges, it seems that the crew may have forgotten to turn on the heat. It was cold in the car.

Light appeared at about 6:30 am as the train made its entry into greater Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the scenic countryside has been past replaced by urban sprawl, clouds, and a bit of drifting fog.

In the coach cars there seems to be one electrical outlet or maybe two. When I was seated I found out that one was a row in front of me and the occupants were disembarking in Flagstaff. So, I made arrangements with the conductor to switch seats. By that time the battery was almost drained.

The view from the train is not the most exciting as the tracks run through industrial and commercial lands. Large storage yards of material, two storied buildings, trucks, and an occasional tree seems to be the view.

Once Arizona was reached, the tracks became very much smoother. No longer the bumps, pitches, rocking, and roiling and the occasional occurrence where one wonders if the cars will remain on the tracks. The track was now smooth.  
  Los Angeles Union Station

  Sitting here in Los Angeles Union Station. Quite an attractive structure. Comfortable old arm chairs connected together in two’s or six’s, back to back with plenty of space between. Wood is used on the ceiling, windows bring in much sunlight, tile floor, hanging chandlers, curved arches, give the place a feeling of grandeur days of the early nineteen hundreds. Had a chance to get some fresh bagels, good, and frozen yogurt, also good, for breakfast.

  Still, in a public place like this where transcontinental and regional trains, commuter trains, LRT, and subway come together there is no internet service, other than a private one with restricted access. When will Amtrak catch up to its customers’ needs?

  Californian Coast

Now the train is making its way for the next 180 kilometres along the Californian coast. Sometimes there us a bit of land beside the track and the ocean. Other times there may be sandy beaches. Sometimes there is a road between, usually with bike lanes or paved shoulders.

There are oil platforms positioned out in the water.

The sun is beaming down. Haze sits on the water. Now there is a campground by the water.

On the east side the pastel coloured hills climb sharply up.

From rough lands with sage brush, sand dunes, dark red coloured soil covering plants to fields of market vegetables neighboured by iron horses and oil refineries, the land transitions.


Setting Sun


As the sun was making its way down the Pacific Ocean the train was passing through flatlands where market vegetable were grown bounded by two mountain ranges to the west. The first range was painted a soft horizon blue. The second range hovering above the first caught some of the late sun. A pastel pink / rose light settled over it until the sun slipped away form the horizon.


Cycling Facilities







Out of the window I just noticed a concrete lined canal passing under the tracks. On the banks of each side were bike trials with dotted centre lines. At the intersection to a road, bike ramps were in place.


Paved Shoulder - Two lane county road

Paved Shoulder - Two lane county road

Paved Shoulder - Two lane county road


Bike Lane- Four lane divided highway

Paved Shoulder - Four lane divided highway

From the train window, roads passing by with paved shoulders or bike lanes.