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Old 03-04-2008, 05:18 AM
sabernar sabernar is offline
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Default NE 42nd Station - too crowded for bike at rush hour?

I'm moving to the area around NE 41st and I was thinking of doing a bike-max-bike commute to NW. I was wondering how crowded MAX is around 7:30 - 8:00am. If I did this type of commute, I wouldn't want to have to wait for several trains before I could get my bike on. Anyone have any idea how crowded it is for bikes?
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:50 AM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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That really depends on where you are planning on getting on and off. What are the stops you're thinking of?

I don't normally venture to the east side, but try to get on before any park and rides (Loyd Center comes to mind)...
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:32 AM
sabernar sabernar is offline
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Getting on at the 42nd St stop. Getting off at....Chinatown I think. Whatever the first stop across the river is.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:25 PM
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beelnite beelnite is offline
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Default Just ride it...

Saber - have you considered just riding that stretch? It's relatively flat and would be wayyyyy quicker than crawling past Lloyd, then Rose Quarter and finally over the bridge.

We're only talking 1-2 miles extra I think.

I've ridden E.Bound. That train is full at rush hour from Gateway to Lloyd Center. Starts to thin out a bit at Lloyd but it's mostly a Downtown bound crowd. When school is in session it's even more crowded - a ton of kids get off at Lloyd.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:58 PM
sabernar sabernar is offline
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Yeah, I'm probably going to ride the whole stretch sometimes. I'm certainly not in biking shape right now, so I was hoping to work up to it. It's only 4+ miles, so it should be pretty easy once I get my bike tuned up and some new tires to replace the ultra-knobby offroad tires I have on it.

Kilickitat to 9th to the Broadway Bridge is probably easiest, wouldn't you say?

Of course, downhill all the way there means uphill all the way home.

Oh the other reason I was thinking of doing bike-max-bike was so I wouldn't be all sweaty by the time I got to work.
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:10 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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Puttering along in the middle ring will get you there at 8mph using less energy than walking, you should be fine. Just don't wear a backpack over cotton!
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:45 PM
sabernar sabernar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyfalcon View Post
Puttering along in the middle ring will get you there at 8mph using less energy than walking, you should be fine. Just don't wear a backpack over cotton!
Don't worry, I'll wear something that wicks away moisture. The company I work for makes some pretty good stuff.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:17 PM
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erth64net erth64net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabernar View Post
Getting on at the 42nd St stop. Getting off at....Chinatown I think. Whatever the first stop across the river is.
Honestly...that's a pretty short trip, especially when you factor in waiting for the train, you're better off just riding the distance - time-wise at least.

I used to commute from between SE 135th & Stark into downtown (~10mi), and many winter mornings I'd jump on Max at Gateway (about SE 92nd & Glisan). Once I factored in the average time spent waiting for a train, I actually shaved ~10 minutes off my commute by simply "toughing it out", and biking all the way in. Start doing it sooner than later, and before you even realize it, a 4-mile ride will feel like nothing

BTW: Did you know fareless square started at Loyd Center? If you biked from the Hollywood stop to the Loyd Center stop, then it'd be a free ride across the bridge. But then...if you biked that far, why not just go another 20 blocks, and then you're ready to cross the river.

As for Max, if you can get onto a Red Line train, it's a 50/50 shot. Blue Line trains are almost always packed by the time it hits 42nd. Though a few tricks;
1) Red Lines are always nearly-empty coming from the airport, though often-times a good-sized crowd will be waiting at Gateway.
2) Roughly every 30 minutes, from about 7:30 to at least until around 9am, an operator starts their shift at Gateway (or ends a break), with an empty train headed westbound. That always guarantees a hook for the bike, and a seat for you Though it's timed so that there's plenty of folks waiting at the next stops, so by the time 42nd comes around, it's still getting pretty busy (though often-times still not nearly as packed as a blue-line from Gresham).
3) When heading eastbound, during rush-hour, Max is already between 20-30% capacity at the Library stop (hint; that's where you want to get on!), and often barely has standing room by the time it hits Loyd Center. I was never kicked off, but technically, on a full train, cyclist are supposed to make room for other passengers by getting off the train (or so I'm told).

When I first started toying with the bike/max/bike combo, I picked a few mornings to simply hang around on the platforms observing traffic patterns, until my very-last option arrived (ie: before I'd be late for work)...learned all kinds of neat tricks, like the empty trains during rush hour...might be worth you trying too.
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