Mixed Mode Commute

I haven’t talked about mixed mode commute in a while. It is a favorite of mine because it is what got me into commuting by bike. One difference now is that I am not the only one at my house with a mixed mode commute. My 20 year old son does not currently have a car. He rides from our house to the local community college and catches the bus into Raleigh for his job. He takes his bike on the bus. If the timing is good he transfers buses, otherwise he rides the last stretch on his bike. The summer heat and not showing up too sweaty is why he uses the bus as much as possible.


My commute is car and then bike in the morning and bike and then car in the afternoon. I can tell you that even when the car is parked in the stage I get much sweatier in the afternoon after I get in the car. Not having that nice breeze you generate while riding certainly makes the sweat seem worse.


The drive then ride really helped me out when I was getting started. I worked out several places I could park that made my ride more manageable until I got used to it.


I am considering putting the rack back on my road bike and riding the whole way for part of the summer. This route will be all road (no greenways). The summer traffic is a little lighter since some percent of people are always on vacation. The morning will be fine. I will have to see how the afternoon goes. A lot of this route has new sharrows. It will be interesting to see if this makes much difference to the drivers.



I know others out there have a mixed mode commute. If you mix car, bus, train, or something else with your bike commute, leave a comment and let us know about it.


  • rossdelduca

    Regarding sharrows:  That’s actually what they are technically supposed to indicate – that you should expect cyclists to be in the middle of the lane.  And if I want to put on my hard-core advocacy hat I may point out that you are not blocking traffic because, well, you are traffic.  But before this turns into a rant I actually wanted to share my own multi-modal experiences.


    I’m a bike-train-bus-train-bike commuter.  I used to do this three days a week, but presently I’m only making one round trip a week.  I live in Sacramento, but work in San Mateo.  I think that is about 135 miles by car or so.  My commute in involves riding the 8 miles to the train station, riding the Amtrak Capitol Corridor to Emeryville.  Capitol corridor is awesome – lots of room for bikes.  I think it is a big selling point for them.


    From Emeryville I take the Amtrak shuttle (with my bike) to the Caltrain station, and finally take Caltrain to my final stop.  The last mile is ridden.


    Locking the wheel to the bike is a great stop-gap measure for the front of the bus – or on Caltrain.  I’ve had a bike stolen off of Caltrain, and they don’t let you lock the bikes to the bikeracks on the train (wouldn’t make sense to do so)  I actually wrote a little piece about tips for securing your bike on Caltrain for JustAnotherCyclist.com.  Amtrak, however, does allow you to lock you bike – they even encourage it.

  • stevecompton

    Great work Jack!  I start my “Oh Shite! Is Tha Fat Guy In The Mirror Really Me?” training plan on April 1 (yes I realize the irony of the date).  Maybe I’ll follow your lead and blog about it here to keep myself honest and on track.