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View Full Version : Info on, or experience with, Rail Biking?


bikieboy
11-07-2007, 09:48 AM
I'm curious about the curious world of rail biking -- that's where you customize a standard bike with an outrigger, or use a specially designed bike, to travel on railroad tracks. Google searches turn up a few resources & books & how-to kits from the far-flung reaches of the continent, but I wondered if there was someone locally with knowledge/experience in this area.

And no, I'm not contemplating riding on the UP/BN mainline. There are a fair number of lightly-utilized rail lines (with slow-moving trains, very important!) throughout Oregon that just beg to be explored, and walking's just too slow & mt. biking on rail ballast is pretty awful.

This may be a thread that stumps even the cycle-factotums of BikePortland ... so waddaya know?

K'Tesh
11-07-2007, 09:58 AM
I picked up a copy of the movie "The Quest" w/Henry Thomas (of E.T. The Extraterestrial fame) for that reason exactly.... but it was a used rental copy on VHS... so it's a little tired for freeze framing.

K'Tesh
12-01-2007, 05:57 PM
Oh, I'd love to try this one out on a hill...

http://rrbike.freeservers.com/PHOTOS/RBikeol2.jpg (http://rrbike.freeservers.com/)

Follow the image's link to a site that sells plans...

K'Tesh
12-02-2007, 12:13 AM
Here's a couple more pics... from Make Magazine (http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/03/railway_velocipede.html)'s Site.

http://blog.makezine.com/odveloc1.jpg


heres a great shot from Musee McCord Museum (http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/scripts/large.php?accessnumber=MP-0000.600.8)

http://eich.wsg.mcgill.ca/largeimages/00600008.jpg

Gotta Love those Ole Time Cyclists... Looks like they were having fun!
It's late, I should be making tracks!

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

Simple Nature
12-02-2007, 12:03 PM
Somehow I thought all rail lines were off limits to the general public.

So is your interest in a quick conversion that you can install so you can wander the rails from time to time?

K'Tesh
12-02-2007, 07:20 PM
I don't know about the legal aspects of railbiking in Oregon.

What I do know, is that:

1) When I saw it in "The Quest" I thought that it looked like a really cool way to ride, and the traffic situation would be greatly reduced.

2) When I saw a Nat. Geo. article about someone doing it in Africa (Sahara Desert?) I thought that it would be a really cool way to ride. ;)

My personal intrest would be to someday have a conversion that I could:

1) Tour long distances easily.

2) Have a really cool bit of kit that few others have.

Gotta be Making Tracks ;)
K'Tesh

K'Tesh
12-04-2007, 08:16 PM
Get BENT! (With a friend!)

http://www.railbike.com/images/DoublePrototype.jpg (http://www.railbike.com)

WOW! That looks like it could be a lot of Fun! Picked up the pic from http://www.railbike.com and it looks like they sell them too.

Perhaps, I'll see ya where the rubber hits the rail!
K'Tesh

bikieboy
12-27-2007, 12:54 PM
thanx for the photos, K'tesh. S/N, you're right about the questionable legality of this railbiking thing...the place i had in mind along the beautiful Salmonberry River west of Portland, which seemed to run about one slow-moving train a day, is now in about $12 million worth of hurt -- you may have seen the Oregonian story this past week on the storm damage:

http://www.oregonlive.com/oregonian/stories/index.ssf?/base/news/1198295714103490.xml&coll=7

Anyway, now maybe the best hope is that this becomes a rail-to-trail conversion sometime in the future, since rebuilding the rail seems questionable.

artizin
12-27-2007, 03:51 PM
Get BENT! (With a friend!)

http://www.railbike.com/images/DoublePrototype.jpg (http://www.railbike.com)

WOW! That looks like it could be a lot of Fun! Picked up the pic from http://www.railbike.com and it looks like they sell them too.

Perhaps, I'll see ya where the rubber hits the rail!
K'Tesh

They're based in COSTA RICA:)

You might see me on one of those soon, Railbike.com operates Railbike tours in Costa Rica!!!! I'm already going there On January 4th!!

Cruizer
01-03-2008, 10:00 AM
This link goes to a great slide show of railbiking in Costa Rica:

http://railbike.com/photoalbum/pages/3Riders_jpg.htm

I especially like the one with the dog :)