I’m Intermodal Today

It’s 14 degrees outside, and the streets are covered in ice. I don’t mind the cold, but I do mind the ice. So today I’m on foot and bus — the BearLine, that is.

Speaking of intermodal, I’ve added a new links category called Resources / Intermodal. I’m on the search for good websites that discuss intermodal passenger transportation, especially those that discuss using bicycles as part of the mix.

I’m planning my own little intermodal experiment for mid 2009 when I give up one of our two family cars. You can read more about it on our family blog dedicated to this experiment. It’s called The Last Road Trip. We haven’t posted much yet. And the site is temporary; it will come down after the trip in June.

Part of that intermodality will be a folding bicycle. Please give me your suggestions for the best one! The key things being for me are that I get a folder that can 1) be taken on trains, buses, and airplanes; and 2) double as a commuter/utility bicycle (i.e. fenders, rack, etc.). So far the contenders are bicycles made by Brompton and Bike Friday.

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Comments 7

  1. David Hembrow wrote:

    Can I recommend the Brompton ? It really depends what sort of journey you will be making, but nothing seems to come close on practicality and reliability – at least for the sort of journey where you want to fold quickly and often.

    I don’t own one, but have a few friends with them. I am sure they will outlast my cheap folder, but the capital cost was excessive for me for something that doesn’t get all that much use.

    I have a few posts myself about integrated transport (as we call it) which includes statistics about cycling and trains in the Netherlands (40% of train passengers turn up by bike – none of whom count as cyclists in the statistics on mode), pictures of cycle parking at railway stations etc.

    Posted 15 Dec 2008 at 1:48 pm
  2. Pam Thorne wrote:

    I wish I could be intermodal too. Columbia has bus routes but they don’t run out to my house. I had to go to the lab briefly this morning but then home to be with our daughter who is out of school today. I ended up driving in to the lab for 3 hours then home. I am with you, I have totally committed to biking in the cold but not on ice or slick road conditions. Our county blacktops were slick this morning, not sure I could have biked even if I wanted to.

    Posted 15 Dec 2008 at 1:54 pm
  3. Andy Cline wrote:

    David… Yes, those Brompton’s are sweet machines. I have several things planned that will require a folder — investigations more than necessary travel. I’m wanting to find out firsthand what’s possible. Thanks for the advice!

    Posted 15 Dec 2008 at 1:55 pm
  4. Pam Thorne wrote:

    My husband has a Dahon and has loved it. They are certainly more affordable and we have found it to be a well built bike. He is VERY picky about his bikes and likes it. If he is pleased I would assume most people would be. He’s a high-end bike kind of guy!

    Posted 15 Dec 2008 at 1:56 pm
  5. Andy Cline wrote:

    Pam… We have solid ice in Springfield today. I don’t fancy taking a spill.

    And I’ll look into that folder. Thanks for the advice!

    Posted 15 Dec 2008 at 1:57 pm
  6. Robert wrote:


    Email me at robert@pednet.org if you are interested in some instructions and pics on making some bicycle snow/ice tire chains.

    I built them last year and purposely tried to slip a tire on solid ice with them….could’nt.

    One morning I saw a motorist do a 360 and I just rounded the corner with ease!

    My plans only work if you have disk brakes otherwise I’m happy to share.

    They wear out pretty quickly and I did not replace them this year. I walked the two miles to work this morning and I’ll walk it home.

    Posted 15 Dec 2008 at 2:04 pm
  7. Robert wrote:

    Its interesting to hear the word intermodal being used to term a bicycle which could be folded and carried in any transportation medium(bus, train, flights etc…Earlier what comes to my mind is the logistics providers when I hear the word intermodal…In fact I came to know much about this term after seeing the website of a logistics company BGI Worldwide(http://www.bgiworldwide.com/domestic-rail-freight.php)…Interesting to see this term being used for bicycles too…

    Posted 26 Feb 2009 at 2:58 pm