I want to bike to NAHBS, but…

I’ll be at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show this weekend in Sacramento. Give me a shout out if you’ll be there too.

Psst: I have a room to share at the downtown Hyatt Friday night. Two beds and floor space, and I snore. I don’t know yet if that space will be available Saturday night or not yet. Ping me if you’re interested.

According to NAHBS tradition, bicycle rides will take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Both are sponsored and fueled by Clif Bar and Company. Saturday’s ride is organized by deVere’s Irish Pub and starts from there at 8:30. This is a 14 miler to the US Bicycle Hall of Fame in Davis. Cyclists can ride back or catch Amtrak.

NAHBS 2012 logo Sacramento

Sunday’s ride is Sheila Moon’s Mimosa ride, a leisurely 7-miler that stops at Revolution Wines for mimosas and other refreshments. This one departs from outside the NAHBS show hall, 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

ArtBike! Party

March 1 (that’s Thursday), 6-9 p.m. at Hot Italian. Dancing, music, art bike contests, hilarity.

SABA Sacto Pedal Jam

A bike friendly street party with food trucks, music, and drinks at Old Soul Company, in the alley behind 1716 L Street, Sacramento.

I’m taking Amtrak Capitol Corridor from San Jose to downtown Sacto Friday morning, then Amtrak back on Sunday afternoon. I originally planned to bike from San Jose to Sacramento, possibly joining Wilson Tai’s Bike to the Bike Show departing Pittsburg / Baypoint BART at 9:30 AM, probably follwoing something like this route. But covering bike shows are exhausting enough as it is without a hundred miles of biking just to show up, plus I’d like to get an early start on Friday when everybody is still accessible for interviews and photos before the crowds show up.

So then I planned not to bring my bike at all, since the show and my hotel room are within a few blocks of the Amtrak station, but then I heard about the NAHBS rides on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I can bring my bike with me on Amtrak and join the relaxed, morning rides. Win win!

But then my friend Kit at Zero Per Gallon brought up a good point. Of the 10,000 people or so who will attend NAHBS this weekend, we can probably count on a couple of thousand taking Amtrak from the Bay Area to Sacramento with their bikes. Bike capacity on the Capitol Corridor is 8 bikes per train. If they’re nice the conductors might let us jam up to 30 or so onboard, assuming no elderly or handicapped travelers on Sunday. With 7 trains leaving Sacramento on Sunday afternoon, total bike capacity ranges from 56 (worst case) to 210 (best case). Even if I’m off by an order of magnitude, Amtrak Sacramento is going to be a madhouse of bikes.

So I’m not going to risk it. I’ll leave the bike at home and keep my life simple.

Will I see you at NAHBS?


  1. I’m not overly bummed that the bike-share hasn’t happened again yet if only because it was imagined as a privatized system. In theory, public/private partnerships can and do work, but they have to be very carefully managed, and it’s more often the case, imo, that privatizing something is about stealing resources (i.e. money) from taxpayers, and also offering cover for politicians when profit inevitably drives off low-profit operations (like bus routes, etc.).


    But, i guess we’ll see how it plays out.

  2. I rode from Sacramento to Pittsburgh/Bay Point last summer. Maybe in the reverse it’s better, but the headwinds can be brutal. Also, the levee roads have no shoulders and large pickups going very fast for substantial stretches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.