Commuting in the Dark – Rack N Roll cuts & changes

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Pseudacris
Participant
#

I’m unsure about riding through the Panther Hollow trail at night alone, so I’m pretty happy to see that the “75 Ellsworth,” which runs between South Side Works & Bakery Square is now listed as a 7-day Rack n Roll route.

But, the 61s that were listed there before have been removed: bummer for me, since more than one could get me to the far side of Frick Park.

Here’s the list:

* 8 Perrysville

* 21 Coraopolis

* 26 Chartiers

* 54C North Side-Oakland-South Side

* 56 Lincoln Place

* 71A Negley

* 75 Ellsworth

* 87 Friendship

* 500 Highland Park-Bellevue

from http://www.portauthority.org/PAAC/CustomerInfo/RacknRoll/tabid/267/Default.aspx


Kordite
Participant
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On the plus side, if they cut routes and buses they can take racks off of unused buses to add them to buses that need them.

Or am I dreaming?


Pseudacris
Participant
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Not a bad dream.

Bike PGH: is there a good channel for requesting additional routes? Apologies if I am overlooking an earlier thread that addresses this.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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We’ve discussed it on a variety of threads over the years.

Buses are not dedicated to specific routes. If a bus out of Ross Division (8, 54C, half of the 500s) starts its day on one of those routes, it may run a non-rack route later on. If a bus starts out on a non-rack route, it may later go out on a rack route. Since about 3/4 of the regular sized buses have racks, it usually isn’t an issue. However, there is no guarantee that a rack route will have a rack bus.

Enough buses have them to make it attractive. Enough don’t to make it irritating.

Let’s hope they get the funding. Not to get it would be the bad dream.


the beast
Participant
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Other than the percentage of buses having racks being increased by cut routes or new buses, I would say one of the better ways to make sure you have a rack on a bus is to make firends with the driver and let them know that you plan to ride that bus everyday to go to work. I thik they have some ability to make sure they have a rack on their bus. Although this is only helpful if you rely on the same bus route to get to work everyday


Pseudacris
Participant
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Stu & beast – thanks for the info!


spakbros
Participant
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*sidenote

I roll on the hollow trail every night between 10pm and 3 or 4 am going on 3 years now and the scariest thing I’ve ever dealt with was an angry buck that kinda lunged at me as I rode past.

Maybe twice in that time I’ve seen a couple pitt students walking the path and scared the bejesus out of them.

The flock at 3am was kind of scary too I suppose. Looked like a spaceship was touching down or something.


Mick
Participant
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@spak The flock at 3am was kind of scary too I suppose. Looked like a spaceship was touching down or something.

The sound of those 80’s hits was probably equally scary and unworldly.


ieverhart
Participant
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Here’s a bit of a dilemma related to buses, racks and fenders. Maybe someone can offer some good advice.

I’ve used the bus bike racks a handful of times, sometimes when I’ve gotten a flat or had other mechanical failures, and want to get home or to a shop. I just got some fenders for the first time, though, and I’m concerned about damaging them.

The bus racks have the arm that comes around and clamps down on the front wheel, kind of at the top of the fork. That is right where my front fender starts. If I’ve got fenders on, I’m worried I may (a) damage the fender by letting the arm clamp down on the wheel, over the fender or (b) lose my bike because the arm is resting on the (lightly secured) fender and not the wheel itself.

Does it make sense to try and take the front fender off in a situation like that? I usually have a micro-tool with the screwdriver for it, and it’s not all that hard, but if I’ve got a flat and I see the bus rounding the bend, it’s not exactly a situation where I can say “hang on a few minutes while I unscrew these fenders and put my bike on your bus.” I feel self-conscious enough in terms of causing delays in using the racks to begin with.

So–any advice on removing the front fender, or not?


miasme
Participant
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i’d say rack on, don’t remove the fender. roll with some tape (cloth or even duct) and it’ll help in many types of failures. if you are worried about the fender, tape it down or up quickly. thing is- it depends on where the rack rests and your type of fender. (mine attach through axle so it’s not likely a rack system will dislodge it.)


edmonds59
Participant
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ieverhart, maybe if you carry a rag with you, when you need to rack on, you could stuff it between the tire and fender to take the pressure from the rack arm. If you wanted to get really fancy you could carry a short piece of foam pipe insulation to do the same thing.

If you rack a lot, you could just neatly trim off the last few inches of fender at the top, that part of fender probably doesn’t do much for you anyway.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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Last week I watched a cyclist take his BMX off the front of the bus and start walking away… the driver laid on his horn so the guy would come put the rack back up, and the cyclist just started screaming and yelling at the driver. Way to help relations, ass.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Things we (should have) learned in kindergarten: Put your toys away when you’re done.


the beast
Participant
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“If you rack a lot, you could just neatly trim off the last few inches of fender at the top, that part of fender probably doesn’t do much for you anyway.”

Thats what I have done and Ive had no problems.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I had two opportunities to use bus racks today. I’d say the amount of pressure that J-hook exerts on a fender is less than 20 pounds. Take two non-stretchy bungee cords and dangle two 10-pound sacks of potatoes over your fender. Yank up on the bike a few times to simulate bumps. If that seems problematic, well, you have your answer in the comfort of your own home, not picking parts out of Liberty Avenue somewhere.


alnilam
Participant
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If there’s a finer standard for weight than a sack of taters, I haven’t heard it. ;)


ErinK
Participant
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Just heard from a friend that on her way to work today she encountered a bus bike rack that wouldn’t unfold. The driver let her bring the bike on the bus. Yay for the nice driver! (Must not have been rush hour.)


dwillen
Participant
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This morning I had a PAT bus block me into the end of a bike lane, nearly hitting my outstretched left signal arm, then he passed me within inches a half mile down the road (he was mad I dismounted and walked around him on the sidewalk?). I guess it evens out.


dmtroyer
Participant
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Ian,

What kind of fenders do you have? If they are the plastic ones, sks planet bike or otherwise, you don’t really have to worry about damaging them… you can pretty much roll them up in a ball and they can go back to shape.


Erica
Participant
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“Just heard from a friend that on her way to work today she encountered a bus bike rack that wouldn’t unfold. The driver let her bring the bike on the bus. Yay for the nice driver! (Must not have been rush hour.)”

I’ve had a few good drivers – one driver got off of the bus and forced down a rack that wouldn’t unfold, saying, “I can’t just leave you out here.” (It wasn’t even inclement weather!)

Then, the night before the big snow storm last year, I got out of class and the ground was wet, slush-covered, and there were huge snowflakes falling like little marshmallows (but much less pleasant). The driver had no rack, was half an hour late, and couldn’t begin to tell me when the next bus would arrive, so he let me on with my bike, even though he anticipated a full house.


ieverhart
Participant
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They’re the Planet Bike ones. Maybe I’ll just try and manhandle them, then.


joeframbach
Participant
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Wow I can’t fathom bringing my bike on a bus. I think it would be terribly difficult to snake it between the dozen people who always stand in the front 5 feet of the bus even though the rest is empty.


eMcK
Participant
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I used to have a version of the same rack buses us on my car (Thule Sidearm). I always hooked it on top of my fenders. The sidearm ratchets closed rather than being spring loaded, and I bet it could easily produce more than 20 pounds of pressure. No issues with fenders whatsoever.

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