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Bike to Seattle, on the cheap

Posted by on December 15th, 2006 at 12:30 pm

[Shared Route logo.]

Ever wanted to get up to Seattle with your bike? Everyone knows about Amtrak, but trains are slow and why not try something new?

Jacob Rosenblum recently told me about his new service called Shared Route — a “biodiesel passenger shuttle between Portland, Olympia, and Seattle” which was covered in the Willamette Week a few weeks ago.

Jacob says for $30 he’d be glad to put your bike on his 4-space rack and shuttle you and your stuff up North.

But if that’s too expensive and you’re in the mood for a bit more exercise and adventure, why not take two days and pedal the whole way?

Resident route expert Michael Wolfe has done it many times and just published his insights, along with a detailed route map on his excellent blog.

Come on, you can do it…it’s only 183 miles!

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adam
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adam

anyone know of a cool way to get to SF from portland?
I have taken a train before, flown, rideshare, etc…
I would prefer a biodiesel bus full of cool people driving through the night, or something.

Michael Wolfe
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Not sure if you actually save much money by pedaling. You still have to pay for overnight accomodations (or find a place to camp), and for the ferry ride onto Vashon Island (bike and foot passengers get free passage off the island). But it sure is fun and scenic!

Also, there is almost nothing better than checking into a cozy inn like the Olympic Club after a long day of pedaling. Take a shower, get a beer, catch a movie…fun!

nuovorecord
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nuovorecord

“anyone know of a cool way to get to SF from portland?”

Do the Green Tortoise buses still operate?

Dabby
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Dabby

We were wondering if they had the capacity to move at least 6 bike polo bikes at a time for us?
This could be very handy……Especially since they are right down the street from the polo house…

josh m
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josh m

I think they said they had room for like 3 or something.

It’s a nice idea, but it’s cheaper for me to throw my bike in a box and take the ‘ole greyhound.

but i’m a cheap bastard… the back lash of being unemployed.

griffin
Guest

I just came back from a trip to Seattle, my son and I, and our bikes, rode the rails both ways. Seattle was great, but our experience on the trains was mixed, to put it nicely.
I was very excited to see this article with two cool alternatives. It had not occured to me to ride up there, but ya got me thinkin, and the idea of a biodiesel bus is just too cool to pass up! Thanks Jonathan!!

Jeff
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Jeff

Jonathan, i disagree with your assessment that Amtrak is slow — compared to what? I’ve always had pretty good experiences over the dozen or so times I’ve gone between Portland and Seattle: generally on time (3.5 hour trip), magnificent scenery (especially compared to I-5), & they carry unboxed bikes ($5) — just avoid the Coast Starlight run (aka Coast StarLate) that doesn’t carry unboxed bikes.

My only complaint is that there aren’t enough trains, and that there’s no AM train south to Eugene.

Jeff
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Jeff

Michael, good lookin’ route — avoiding the worst of the Tacky-Sea conurbation mess by ferrying over to Vashon is a creative solution.

One complaint, not about your route: G-Maps Pedometer has had a nasty little bug that doesn’t permit the user to scroll down (it zooms you wayyyy out instead…). Makes using G-MP irritating, if not impossible.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

One more thing — this website:

http://www.bikely.com/

seems to work a lot better for bike route mapping in a variety of ways than G Maps Pedometer.

Aaron
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Aaron

I was thrilled to read the article in WW. I would like to know if Jacob is considering a route to Eugene. This appears to be an equally (if not superior) service to the Oregon Bike community. The two towns are very close in style, but crossing the Willamette in Newburg is horrific.

cdc
Guest

Okay, I’m a little late here, but let me plug the route I did two summers ago; I put it on the cool bikely.com site (thanks Jeff!) here:
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Seattle-to-Portland-by-way-of-Mount-St-Helens-s-backside

It’s a not the easy way between the cities, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. I did it in three long days, camping in the woods along the way.

So – once the snow melts – do the ride. We’d love to have you up here in Seattle!

mattonabike
Guest

re: dabby’s post:

as long as we have no wheelchairs in the back, we can easily accomodate six bikes. in fact, we can prolly fit four bike in the back. with the rack on the front, that’s eight bikes total.

holler!