Saturday, May 7, 2011

National Train Day 2011

Today was the 4th Annual National Train Day, a marketing event invented by Amtrak.  Big cities had big events.  In our town we enjoyed chatting with a volunteer at a goodie table.

The NC Piedmont trains which travel between Raleigh and Charlotte each have five upright bike racks in the baggage cars.  They transport bikes for free, with handlebars and pedals intact, and a box is not required.  You must make a reservation in advance.  (Click left photo.)  I spoke to the conductor, stuck my head in the baggage car, and saw the racks.  Beware, I think a full fender on the rear wheel won't work since the bike rests on the back of its rear wheel.  Still this is a sweet deal.  I'd like to try it some day.

Foamer trivia:  This year is the 40th anniversary of Amtrak.  If you look closely at the anniversary logo (click right photo) you can see five generations of locomotive, starting with the classic 1930s electric GG1 at left, to the current Acela on right.

Here is a "run by", a 40-second video of the train leaving the station:

Here are some photos

PS: "Foamer" is a pejorative term describing a rail fan who gets excited and foams at the mouth when a train approaches.  Guilty, guilty, guilty...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day on the Tar Heel 200

This cyclist had a bad day.  (Click for a better view)

In contrast, We had a great day today, May 1st, on the RUSA Tar Heel 200K in eastern NC.  Randos Jayjay, Dean, and I rode from Benson to Tar Heel NC, and back.  Weather was perfect, company was excellent, and we had no mechanicals.  We heard trains nearby all day, and  had visits from only a few dogs.  Even caught this brief video of Randos Jayjay and Dean.  Enjoy