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Cycling news & info with a special focus on notable bike tours, bike trails, bikeways, lanes and bicycle routes as well as innovative bicycling products like space saving & easy to transport folding bikes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bigfish Folding Bike On Amtrak

by Larry Lagarde

Bigfish on bus in Los AngelesThis weekend, I took a brand new, European made Bigfish folding bike aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Albuquerque to catch the famous Balloon Fiesta. Photo right: Bigfish (unfolded) on a bus at Amtrak's Union Station in L.A.

The Bigfish folds so small that the train conductor allowed me to carry it on board. In fact, no one had a clue that a bicycle was inside the soft sided carry bag slung over my shoulder (one of the train's attendants thought it was a musical instrument).

Amtrak logo

During the journey, I upgraded from a coach seat to a roomette in the sleeper (see details & photos right). The sleeper was 4 rail cars back so I hauled my gear from the coach car to the sleeper to keep everything together. To move the bike, I unzipped the carry bag enough to allow the rear wheel to roll. Holding the bike by the front stem, I levered it 90 degrees, then wheeled it through the moving train on the back wheel like a unicycle.

The Bigfish folds so narrow (about 8") that rolling the bike folded through the moving train was a breeze. Even navigating the nimble Bigfish folder between rail cars and through the zig zag maze of double and single recliners on the Cafe Car's upper deck was easy and safe. I'd compare it to rolling a folded umbrella stroller.

As the train came into Albuquerque, I unfolded the Bigfish in the sleeper car's lower vestibule, installed a seat post rack, panniers and strapped on my rolling suitcase. When the train stopped, I removed the folding bicycle from the sleeper car and pedaled through the city on my carbon neutral transportation, taking in the sights and sounds of Old Town before checking in at my lodging accommodations. Wanna see? Here's a 3 minute video from that bike ride. Enjoy.

By the way, more videos from this trip will be posted soon.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Places To Go Bicycling - Tuscaloosa, Alabama

by Larry Lagarde

Located in northwest Alabama about 60 miles west of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa is best known as the home of the University of Alabama (Crimson Tide), several large hospitals and the place where Daimler-Benz produces the Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV. In existence since the early 1800's, Tuscaloosa is more than simply a college town. A former capitol of Alabama, Tuscaloosa offers over 20 points of interest including museums and antebellum homes.

Places To Go Bicycling In Tuscaloosa
According to Stephanie Roberts at the Tuscaloosa CVB, Tuscaloosa offers three great places to go bicycling: River Walk, Lake Lurleen and Sokol Park.

River Walk
Since 2002, Tuscaloosa has been working on a 13 mile biking and walking trail along both banks of the Black Warrior and North rivers. Though only a portion is complete, the trail is developing into a recreational attraction that links the University of Alabama (UA) with shopping & dining opportunities downtown.
(Photo: Bridge on the River Walk Trail.)

Lake Lurleen State Park
Located 9 miles Northwest of Tuscaloosa and 14 miles from UA, mountain bikers like Lake Lurleen's approximately 15 miles of multi-use trails. Lake Lurleen also offers a campground, fishing & boat rentals.
(Photo: Mountain biker a riding single track trail at Lake Lurleen.)

Sokol Park
Located on the north side of the Black Warrior River off of Watermelon Rd, Sokol Park offers @ 14 miles of mountain biking opportunities including challenging and technical sections which are sometimes steep.

Getting There
Tuscaloosa is served by both I-59, Amtrak's Crescent and a regional airport. The Amtrak station is only a few blocks from downtown; both the university and the River Walk are just a mile away. (Photo c/o David Smith: River Walk bridge.)

More Bicycling Info
For additional info about cycling in and around Tuscaloosa, try...
The Bicycle Shop
1408 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa Alabama, AL 35401
Ph: 205-758-4906

More Sports/Fitness Info
Stephanie Roberts
Director of Sports Marketing/Public Relations
Tuscaloosa Convention & Visitors Bureau
Ph: 205-391-9200

Places To Go Bicycling is a new, weekly feature of RideTHISbike.com.

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