14 October 2015

Ground Transportation

At almost any major airport, there is an exit for "ground transportation".  In really enlightened cities, it means a bus, train or some other conveyance that will take you to the city center.  In a place like LaGuardia International Airport--where I disembarked last night--it means taxis, hotel or rental car company shuttles, an "express"  bus that (for $15) brings you to Grand Central or Penn Station (or the Port Authority Bus Terminal) or a city bus that connects with other bus lines or subways in other parts of town.  For some, "ground transportation" is whatever they drove to the airport, or whatever some friend or relative is driving to pick them up.

This was my "ground transportation":


La Guardia doesn't have any bike parking facilities.  It doesn't even have the basic bike racks one finds by the Air Train station at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  But I decided that, for this trip, I wanted to try parking my bike at the airport.  For one thing, the LeTour is my "lockup" bike.  For another, I was going only for five days--which meant that I wasn't carrying very much with me.

But, most important of all, Terminal B--from which my flight to Montreal departed--is only 7.25 km (4.5 miles) from my apartment.  I figured, correctly, that I could pedal there just about as quickly as any taxi driver could take me there, especially if there was traffic.

I locked the bike to one of the railings just outside the terminal building.  As you can see, I parked it behind the bins to keep it from blocking pedestrians or people in wheelchairs.  Also, that spot probably protected it from damage caused by errant carts and such.

If I were to pack light enough, and were going on a short trip (say, a week), I could imagine riding to JFK which, depending on the terminal and my route, is 22 to 25 kilometers from my place.

Riding to my bike to Newark Airport would be more difficult because of the Hudson River crossing:  The only all-bike route would involve going up to the George Washington Bridge and riding down to Jersey City, from which I'd have to take US 1 and 9 (a major truck route) across Newark Bay into Newark.  Even if I were to take the ferry from downtown Manhattan to Jersey City, I'd still have to ride the truck corridor.  I've ridden it before, but I'd rather not, especially if I'm carrying a load worrying about catching a flight.

Of course, I could also ride into Manhattan, take the PATH train to Newark and ride from the airport from there.  As with riding to LaGuardia or JFK, it could make sense if I pack light enough.

All I know is that this time, riding to LaGuardia and back turned out to be a relatively hassle-free experience that saved me $11 in bus and train fares, or $25 on taxis.  The next time I'm traveling under similar conditions (light load and short trip), I would ride to the airport--LaGuardia or JFK, anyway.

(More about riding in Montreal tomorrow.)


  1. Those in charge of transportation systems do not have the first inkling about bicycles or that people even use them!

    I have just returned from a holiday trip to find that my local mile plus river crossing is getting a new surface to replace the slightly damaged older one, the "new" one is badly laid metal sheets even more badly screwed down so that there are permanent bubbles to be displaced by walkers or cyclists. it is like cycling on melted tar! the remaining damaged surface is pure joy to ride on!!

    How will we get more cyclists if we are ignored or abused at every turn?

  2. At least you can get to the terminal by bike. The 30mph MIN on the DFW terminal loop pretty much rules it out as at http://dfwptp.blogspot.com/2014/07/bike-parking-at-dfw-airport.html?m=0

  3. Coline--It sounds like those metal sheets aren't the only things that were screwed!

    Steve--Do you remember "Get Smart", and all of the doors the agent had to go through to get in, and out, of the compound at the beginning and end of each show? Your post made me think of that.