Thursday, January 21, 2010

Multi-modal transport

When you mention multi-modal transport, most people would think of commuting to the train station by bike and then taking the train; or driving your car to a park & ride and then taking the train. (Well, what  most people would actually is think is something like "Multi-what?") This post, however, is about combining cycling and flying.

I had some research business to do in North Carolina, and because NC is too far to drive and flights were cheap, I flew from Ithaca to Durham this Wednesday. The Ithaca airport is about 10 km away from and 220 m above downtown and while a bus connection does exist, it's useless for both the early morning and the evening departures and arrivals. The alternative is to take a cab but that's pretty expensive, and thus I usually end up taking the bike. Well, to be precise: I don't fly out of Ithaca that frequently, and so this was the second time that I did the bike-and-fly combo.

The first time, I had actually contacted the airport's customer service in order to figure out if they provided any secure and dry bike parking. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this wasn't the case. The only bike parking they have for the whole airport is a measly wavy bike rack (no idea what they're actually called, something like this) that, at best, accommodates four bikes and of course doesn't have a roof or is covered by the airport's many CCTV cameras. Now I don't care too much about Wolfgang getting wet and Ithaca isn't exactly a bike theft hot spot. But still -- there's plenty of space for a couple of staple rack under the roof in front of the entrance.

Oh well, I'm perfectly aware of the fact that I'm probably the only nutcase cycling to the airport. But examples of more bike-friendly airports do exist.

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