Bike Life. Train Life. Redmond to Seattle by bike, Seattle to Portland by Train.

This trip was a multipart adventure that was extremely rewarding. I also used new gear for the first time that I’ll talk about.

The trip started with the decision to take the Sammamish and Burke Gilman trails around the north end of Lake Washington on the way to get to King Street Station. This is clearly not the straight route to the train station, but it is the flattest of routes. I wanted to try out the Burley Travoy and also check timing overall since this is also my first trip from Redmond – new home – to downtown Seattle and King Street Station. I checked the google times on the trip and the most direct was 2 hours and 7 minutes, and this longer stretch was 2 hours and 23 minutes. With the trip being as long as it is to start with, another 16 minutes didn’t seem like a big deal.

Thus off I went, departing Redmond heading north, up through Woodinville, Bothell, down the west side of the lake into University District, through downtown, and finally to King Street Station.

Part of the way there, passing through Woodinville.
The tunnel, which is painted rad colors, that I consider the midway point on the north side of Lake Washington.
The full route from Redmond to downtown and King Street Station.

Burley Travoy

Upon arriving at the station I had my first *in the field* attempt at breaking down and stowing the Burley Travoy in its included bag. You can see in video, with these two images, that it went quickly and smoothly. It’s a great product and really easy to use.

Final step after fold up, sliding the detachable wheels into the base.
Slipping the folded Travoy into its bag.

Boarding Coast Starlight Southbound

Once the ride was complete, Travoy packed, bike loaded on the train, I was ready to board myself.

Being greeted at the sleeper car I was assigned to.

After boarding, a tradition I have is whipping together a traditional “train coffee”. Yes, it’s commodity beans, yes it is indeed drip, no it is not premium stuff but anything on the train just has an air of leisure to it, thus “train coffee”.

Train Coffee!

At this point in the video I play an acoustic improv bit that I felt matched the passing scenario.

Train Power Brick: Ankor USB Power Strip Surge Protector!

When taking train trips, specifically the long ones, you should bring yourself a power brick. At least, if like me, you have more than one or two pieces of gear you’d prefer to be able to plug in or recharge. In the past I’ve used a particular strip I have, and have talked about in past videos, but now I’ve picked up a new one with some additional features and hardware! Introducing my new train brick strip, the Anker USB Power Strip Surge Protector(300J), 5ft Extension Cord, Flat Plug, 331 PowerStrip with 6 Outlets & 3 USB-A Ports!

Ankor USB Power Strip Surge Protector

For more details on the Ankor, give the video a watch @ 8:48 along with final arrival at Portland Union Station.

  • 0:21 – From Redmond to King Street Station.
  • 3:17 – Packing the Burley Travoy.
  • 4:03 – Bike stowed, boarding the Coast Starlight.
  • 8:48 – IMPORTANT! Getting an appropriate power strip for the train trip. (Anker USB Power Strip Surge Protector(300J), 5ft Extension Cord, Flat Plug, 331 PowerStrip with 6Outlets & 3USB-A Ports –…)
  • 10:18 – Arrival in Portland, Oregon.
Bike Life. Train Life. Redmond to Seattle by bike, Seattle to Portland by Train.

That’s it for this episode. Catch some of the earlier episodes and be sure to subscribe the channel on YouTube. Albeit, if you’re subscribed to this blog, I’ll be posting them here too just a little delayed along with more details about what’s up with each video.

Bike Life. Testing out the new Insta360 with a tour through Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington.

Cruising along with Insta360 X3 in hand.

At some point I’ve got to just put a whole post together with the over under on the Insta360 X3 and the GoPro 11s I’ve recently purchased and been using to film this and recent VLOGs. Altogether massive improvements in the tech. The ability to get amazing shots, and absurdly cool shots, angles, and whatever odd views of video have gotten really good.

On this first quick experimental video from the Insta360 X3 I rode through Marymoor Park. while on this ride through the park I provide some introduction to and narrative of the various sections of the park. To complement the video, here are some key links to information about the park and the Insta360 X3 Camera.

The First Insta360 X3 Experience!

I went to Marymoor Park to test out the Insta360 X3 the first time for a few reasons.

  1. I knew it would be spacious and I could bike around without any concern for being in any narrow corridors or difficult to bike areas. I just wanted to be able to focus on getting footage and seeing how the camera performed.
  2. There is plenty of ride time, i.e. uninterrupted path, to travel down and record on. Easy to setup a route and get into a diatribe about whatever feature of the camera.
  3. Finally, I was planning to just hold the selfie stick with the camera on it, and wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to inadvertently hit somebody or something with it!


Beyond the topics I talked about in the video (scroll to the end of the post for the full video plus time points), there were a number of other post-video observations I made.

1st thing I noticed was, in spite of my effort to have the camera face a particular direction, I really didn’t need to have it face any direction in particular. The mics, which there are several, picked up my voice just fine even while moving. The video worked out regardless of which way the camera was pointing, it literally just needed to be on and out there a few feet away from me to capture everything.

2nd interesting observation, in conflict with my previous observation. After time spent reviewing the videos and moving the camera angle around during edits, it became obvious that there is indeed a very slender area of the 360 degree view that gets blurry where it is stitched together. Basically the very sides, top, and bottom – where the selfie stick attaches – go blurry. Which, this is the physical mechanism that they use to make the selfie stick disappear. A little bit of software to stitch it, and mostly it isn’t immediately visible. However, upon closer observation, you do indeed see that stitch line. Which means, you should at least keep either the front or back camera generally facing in some way toward what you intend to shoot.

3rd observation. The camera, albeit light in a general sense, sits heavy on the selfie stick. It tends to make it bend ever so slightly and in some rare situations, become visible again. More on these selfie stick situations in the more extensive write up on this and the GoPro cameras in the future. But suffice it to say, the selfie stick needs held at particular angles to get good shots. Letting it lean and bend too much can be problematic if you’re expecting it to properly disappear.

Beyond those, more in the near future, I’ve collected a number of observations, tips, tricks, and all that since I’ve been using the camera for a while now. So be sure to subscribe here to the blog, or the VLOG.

Insta360 X3

Marymoor Park

Video Time Points

  • 0:21 – Introduction and equipping the Insta360.
  • 0:47 – The route through Marymoor Park & start of the ride.
  • 6:10 – Wrap up of the ride and plans for the next Marymoor Park exploration.
Episode 30 of the VLOG.

That’s it for this episode. Catch some of the earlier episodes and be sure to subscribe the channel on YouTube. Albeit, if you’re subscribed to this blog, I’ll be posting them here too.

An Eastside Bakfiet (Cargo Bike) Meet?

UPDATE April 19th, 2023 – Latest on future meetups can be found here!

A discussion has begun on Bikey Discord about a cargo bike meet up on the east side. Bellevue was mentioned, since it’s somewhat central on the east side. Above I’ve numbered some prospective locations that might be good for a meet up of Cargo Crew.

If you’re interested in joining, leave a comment, or join the Discord and join #eastside-cyclists and we’ll get a location sorted out.

Looking forward to meetup #1, maybe we’ll carry some cargo around! (yeah yeah, such a dad pun)

Anyway, the suggested…

Meetup Spots?

  1. Bellevue Downtown Park.
  2. Hidden Valley Park.
  3. This is the intersection of the cross-Kirkland corridor trail and, whatever the one is that is called in Bellevue, where all the light rail vehicles are stored for the new extensions to Link.
  4. The Spring Blvd west end bike landes @ 120th. It’s where several PBLs come together.
  5. I’m not sure what exactly this area is, Spring Corridor or something, but there’s a brewing company and there seems to be some cool areas to meetup here.

and of course, whatever you might propose, I’m game.

After we finalize a spot, it’s just a matter of picking a time.

Riese & Müller Load 75 Electric Cargo Bike Day 2 – “Reload”

I’m officially naming this bike, like I do all of mine, and thus this bike is now named “Reload”. Goes along with “Mona”, “Spacey”, and “Pop Rocket” among the others.

So not a whole bunch to this blog entry, just a video of day 1 + day 2 riding and GoPro setup on the bike. Enjoy.

Traveling Trackball, AKA “GSD Better!”

Recently I purchased a trackball and a hardshell case for that trackball, which I then wrote a review of over yonder “A Review of the MX Ergo Advanced Wireless“. The hardshell case primarily because I displace a lot during the course of the day. Whether traveling far away from home or just within the city in which I live (i.e. Seattle these days, but in the past Portland, Memphis, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Krakow, etc) it’s been very important to have computer gear that holds up well to these movements during the day. Here is a video that details the trackball, hardshell case, and some of the different places I’ve used it since purchase. Below the video I elaborate on two of the scenarios I use these devices.

Trackball Travels

Coffee Shop Cycling Displacements

Often during the day, at least a non-pandemic day, I work coffee shop to coffee shop. Meeting other coders, working alone, or having meetings in person in coffee shops. As I move from coffee shop to coffee shop, sometimes I use transit (bus/train/tram/streetcar/etc) but more often I bike from shop to shop. During these displacements computer gear can get banged up heavily. That’s where the hardshell case for the trackball is hugely important!

Here are some detailed “product” shots from Amazon/co2CREA, and the link itself to the product if you want to pick it up.

While cycling all sorts of things can happen. I could biff it (i.e. *wreck*) on my pack (i.e. messenger bag, or backpack) and things are safe from direct impact in there, but can still be squished. I could toss my bag down or set it somewhere and it gets kicked, hit, or falls. The number of impact scenarios are numerous. But it doesn’t stop there while out cycling, since most of my packs are waterproof it’s nice to have individual elements packed in water resistant packages for when I pull them out of their pack. You get the idea, there’s a lot of potential oops scenarios, and for maximum gear lifespan it’s best to keep them safe.

Railroading Baggage Pannier Packing Style

Alright, using panniers for bike and train combo trips is another one of my specialties. I take a lot of train trips. Sometimes I ride coach, sometimes I get a roomette or bedroom, and on some trains I may end up standing. Whatever the case, traveling means luggage of some sort and luggage gets banged around. Again I’ve got my packs, but also in this scenario I routinely use my panniers. The combination is great as the survivability of devices – Apple Laptop + hardshell case for pointing device plus tough packs with panniers holding the remainder of things means surviving insane things like train wrecks (i.e. my experience of the train wreck of 501), or just regular travel trips like my trips to San Francisco for QCon, or my trip to Olympia, Washington to speak at a users’ group.

In summary, if you want to enjoy the bikey life combo powered with the rail life and keep your gear intact, it’s a good idea to pick up a hardshell case.