Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin and then on to Chicago.

Now, on the way home with stops for cycling in Santa Fe, Sacramento and the wine country, and then Seattle. From there by bicycle back home.

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Sacramento, Ca to Seattle, WA
Date: 2006-10-04


Thoughts for the Day



The train pulled late into the Sacramento station. Not unexpected as I had just finished reading a newsletter from a Californian advocacy group on better passenger train services. The feature article questioned if the Union Pacific was not trying to kill the Ocean Starlight train, the one I was taking, by providing poor track services resulting in frequent arrival delays up to 4 hours. As I write this and as the train is now past Albany, Oregon and two hours late, the article keep coming to mind. The usual battle I see. The bureaucrats who are supposed to ensure good passenger rail service take the word of the railways for the delays. Heavy freight traffic is the excuse while statistics show that the freight traffic tonnage has been stagnant for many a years. The real reason is most likely that the capitalists who run Union Pacific are more eager on bottom line and the contribution that makes to their own income than building a railway with proper facilities to accommodate growth. This system needs to twin a lot of its coast line tracks. Today, about every hour a train passes us so that means either this train or the oncoming train must pull into a siding. Also, the track conditions are questionable as the train keeps bouncing around.

    So, on to the train about 20 minutes after midnight and to sleep as fast as possible. A restless night with frequent periods of interrupted sleep. Had someone in the seat next to me for a change.

    As morning light broke the darkness, Mount Shasta loomed majestically to my right. Still in California when we should have been in Oregon.

    Another stop coming up as a southbound passenger train will be passing.

    Next came Crater Lake and Klamath Falls. The scenery is very interesting with boulders every where. Looks like leftovers from a past lava flow. The colours are also very interesting from both the soil and the trees. Very soft pastel type yellows, browns, and reds of varying tones. Much enjoyment in viewing it. A painter would be inspired by the colours, the rocks, and the trees.

    The Cascade Mountains were passed though. While the mountains are too old to have rock peaks, the canyons were interesting. I wanted to be out there cycling and enjoying them a bit more closely than a fleeting train. There were some very level high plateaus that were passed through. The descend from the mountains was slow with fall colours about.


Then came the flat lands of Eugene, Oregon. Farm lands about. No sign of any vineyards. And so continues this flatness as the train speeds towards Portland.


    At Salem, while the train was stopped at the rail station, I tried to steal an internet signal to get the e-mail. It worked long enough to receive messages but was too short to send anything. Well, Portland will come up in a couple of hours or so. Will try again. It was amazing to see the number of wireless services that came up and how many were protected and were not.


Nothing eventful for the rest of the ride. Darkness eventually fell. Nothing much to do but try to sleep. The train arrived just two hours overdue after a few more delays to allow passenger or freight trains to pass. Outside of Portland on the way to the other Vancouver, in Washington, the train went onto a side track to allow the Sounder to pass. Then it had to back up onto the mainline and wait front a freight train before the trip continued.

    Seattle eventually was reached. Time to take a taxi to the motel and let the luggage stay at the station till tomorrow.


Cycling Facilities



Bike Lanes on Municipal Roads

    As the train rambled through small municipalities on the way, it was not unusual to see intersecting streets with bike lanes on them. Must be the value of the US funding program that requires cycling facilities as part of any federally funded road improvements.