Thursday, February 07, 2013

Bike and Fly

I've always wanted to ride my bike to the airport, park it there, catch a flight, and then return back home by bike. But I've never done it. I've biked to O'Hare and Midway in Chicago and to SJC and SFO. I've also taken the rental bike out to the Copenhagen airport (but I had to return to the downtown train station to return the bike.) The closest to a "real trip" was when I biked to the airport to pick up a bag I left on the plane.

Why haven't I ever done a bike and fly?

Many airports are bike accessible. In China and Japan, I've seen big bike racks near the airport. SFO has a page about biking to the airport, along with two week bike parking areas. SJC also has a bike/pedestrian page, though the crux of it is "we really didn't care about you when we remodeled the airport", but we have a couple racks available. That is really sad, because SJC was a great walking airport "back in the day". I once had a few hours to kill between an Amtrak train and a flight. Rather than take the light rail and sit around for a while, I did the first street walk. It was a pretty nice, easy walk. There is also a bike path that runs right through the airport. One time I ran in to some joggers in the airport terminal. There conversation was something like "well this is the airport. Uh, why did we come here?" That was also the time when you would walk off the plane in to the open skies of the tarmac before walking inside the terminal building. Since then, they have turned the road near the airport in to a freeway and built a big gleaming new terminal. But, they've also seen the dot com boom and the entire economic crash and the flight volumes at the airport plummet. But, I'm really digressing.

I've also left SFO on foot after arriving from one flight. (I only walked to the Millbrae train station. However, walking saved the huge cost of the short BART trip to the train station - and I ended up on the same Caltrain I would have been on had I taken BART. Much better to spend the time walking than waiting at a train station.)

I've also walked from the Las Vegas airport to a hotel on the strip. (There I had to watch out for the homeless guy.)

I've explored the area around Narita in Tokyo and LAX on foot during long layovers.

But, I still haven't done the bike trip.

In Chicago, I once purchased a folding bike for an attempt at doing the "carry the bike on the plane" trip. But the bike was junk and then came September 11th.... (I did carry a scooter on the plane.)

One day... One day... (I just hope the bike will be there when I return.)

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