Many of our rides require MetroNorth for those of us coming from the City. If you’ve taken MetroNorth in the past – a bike pass is no longer necessary. If you haven’t taken a bike on MetroNorth before, here are some pointers…
– Get on the train at a door marked with a wheelchair/handicapped sign (♿), then put your bike in the space that’s set aside for wheelchairs. If it’s full, run to the next door that has a handicapped sign and try there (if the conductors see you running they’ll hold the train).
– There are two types of handicapped areas on MNR trains. On older trains it tends to be a long space across from the bathroom. On newer trains it’s smaller spaces with fold-down seats. I’ve put pictures of each below.
– On the older trains with the long space (see below) people tend to just lean their bikes up against the side, but you can fit more bikes in if everyone hangs their front wheel off the rack above the space. I carry a length of velcro for this purpose, but you can also use the straps of your helmet – put your helmet on the rack above and then clip the helmet straps through your front wheel. Even if you lean your bike against the side velcro is handy to stop your bike rolling forward and back – just velcro a wheel to the some part of the frame. The picture below shows bikes both hanging and just leaning against the side.
– On the newer trains (see top pic) it’s best if you basically flip your bike upside down and put the handlebars against the seat or partition. The smallest bike should go in first, and then you alternate sides with subsequent bikes. You can fit 3-4 bikes on the 3 seat side of the train and 2-3 on the 2 seat side of the train if you do that. If you just “park” your bike in the space you can only fit 1 or 2 bikes on each side before they start obstructing the aisle. The top picture shows two bikes stacked that way and another just leaning up against them.
– When there are a lot of bikes and not many passengers the conductor might tell you to hang your bike in the seats. It’s the same idea as hanging it in the wheelchair area – you hang the front wheel off the rack above. Pick seats on the 2 seat side of the train.
– And lastly – it’s not hard for bikes to get damaged on the train – so wherever you put your bike – make sure if there’s some movement that there won’t be damage.