- All Forums
- EV Racing
- Electric Rides
- Electric Technology
- Community Marketplace
- V Forum
- Recent posts
- My ...
- Sign in
Traveling without driving
Submitted by reikiman on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 17:30
I'm traveling for a couple days and am in Sacramento for the national Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) conference. Maybe it's odd for peak oil advocates to travel from around the country to meet, who knows, but I chose to travel without driving. The conference is in Downtown Sacramento and there is an Amtrak station right in downtown, and it's relatively easy to get to Amtrak from my home, so I walked to the train station, dragging a small bag with my clothes, rode the train, and then walked the 1 block from Amtrak station to my hotel. Sure the train itself used a bunch of diesel fuel but that's amortized over a bunch of fellow passengers. A few thoughts ...
First is the tradeoff ... I could have driven my car and gotten here in 3 hrs, and it took 6 hrs from door to door. The tradeoff is that I am not directly responsible for the oil use, and someone else did the driving, I got to relax and look out the window or read or doze off etc. If I'd done any of that while driving the trip would have ended up in a hospital or morgue.
Another tradeoff is the cost, which is $31 each way for the train ticket. It would have cost .7 tanks of fuel in my car, or pretty close to the ticket price each way for fuel. What a deal! An alternate would be to ride my gas motorcycle but the cargo capacity is limited.
It would have helped the travel time to bring a bicycle. But I don't have a bicycle with cargo capacity to carry the rolling bag I use. Well, I could have done as this one lady who had a bicycle, a huge (and I do mean HUGE) backpack, and a guitar case. But I have no idea how she could have ridden with that heavy a load.
So while I wanted to bring a bicycle it didn't seem possible to do so. Instead I walked to the local train station (about 1 mile from my house, a 20 minute walk) and waited there 20+ minutes for the next train. If I had ridden a bicycle to the train station I could have made the earlier train and then I'd also have a bicycle here in Sacramento for getting around town. Fortunately the hotels are close enough together I don't really need a bicycle in Sacramento but it would've been nice.
I could have hauled the baggage on the trailer I use for grocery shopping... hmmm...? Would Amtrak have allowed me to bring that trailer on the train? I think not. The bicycle itself would be okay on the train but what about the trailer?
Another option is an Xtracycle bicycle. I recall reading Amtrak's rules and they have a maximum size for bicycles (?? 80" length ??). Xtracycle sells their frame in a form which is easily detachable meaning you could ride the Xtracycle bicycle to the train, and then take it apart to load onboard the train. But then there's the issue of it being more trouble to load on the train.
In any case that's my brain dump from the train ride. I'm looking forward to learning more about peak oil.