October 19, 2012


So, what’s the connection between folding bicycles and gasoline prices?

I can’t give you a clear explanation, but I promise you will know, I mean really know, by experience, if you get a hold of a folding bicycle and use it to get to and from your favorite the Capitol Corridor stations. Switching to a folding bike may give the following benefits:

  1. Feeling healthier happier you’re  to saving the gas in your car’s tank for another more gasoline-worthy journey;
  2. Having disposable income due to gasoline savings (and perhaps fewer parking charges);
  3. Joy you get from being ultra-mobile and all touchy-feely/eco-green because you’re blending a folded bicycle ride with your Capitol Corridor train journey; and
  4. Knowing your folded bicycle will provide more room on the train for others who maybe can’t get a hold of a folding bicycle but still want to reduce their gasoline usage by bicycling to/from their respective stations.

I wish I could walk the talk and claim that I’m part of this wonderful folding bicycle culture but that is not the reality…yet. I continue to use one of two full-sized bicycles, depending on my travel needs for the day but assure you that I am in heavy shopping mode for a folding bicycle.  I’m busy searching for a folding bicycle that will meet my needs (but I can’t say which one it is since this is a non-company endorsing blog). I have been dreaming of owning a folding bicycle for several years now and been considering several makes and models but as an avid bike user I have many factors to consider.  My search is narrowing and I think I have settled on one that I hope to purchase soon.

Yes – if you already have a bike, a folding bicycle can set you back a bit BUT, the holiday season is upon us and you can add it on the top spot of your wish list and blame it on CCJPA. Use my list of benefits mentioned above! Should you be successful, and your elves need stocking stuffer suggestions, it might be nice to get some of the clothing that colder riding might require: gloves, rain-gear, woolen cap . . .

To make your folding bike search easier (or to bolster the holiday gift request methodology), the CCJPA is planning several folding bicycle demonstrations in the coming months where local bicycle dealers that sell folding bicycles will be on hand at stations for you to try one or more models of folding bicycles yourself. Who knows, they might even offer some discounts along with the demonstration. We are still working out the details on that but we will keep you posted. Or keep an eye out for demos at a station in the near future. You might discover a folding bicycle that hits a nice price/feature point and you can be on your way toward confirming those folding bike benefits I mentioned above.


Based on recommendations from our peer group who reviewed a draft of the CCJPA Bicycle Access Plan, we are going to be conducting a “mode of access” survey which we hope YOU and YOUR TRAIN FRIENDS will fill out.  We need your input! This will be an online survey so that we be efficient and use your time most effectively. We will ask our riders about your transportation mode of access to the train and from the train to your destination. There will be other questions which will help us best categorize some solutions we are considering with a special focus on potential at-station bicycle facilities and the results will be compiled just in time to help influence the Bicycle Access Plan and other measures we are considering with other modes of travel other than bicycles. If the gratification of filling out another survey, online no less, were not enough, we are offering survey incentives to you and your best train friends with prize drawings that will include as a grand prize a high-quality folding bicycle. Other prizes involve free Capitol Corridor travel. You read about it here first but you will be getting more details on that through the other channels of communication CCJPA utilizes, including our staff walking the aisles of the train to promote the survey.

For one last thought, I will leave you with a potential marketing quote I’d love to use, which we got from one of the bicycle planners in Oakland. It touches on many of the things we have been saying about bicycles on the trains in the past and emphasized heavily per the above folding bicycle discussion: “You gotta know when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em.”