Headed for the hills this weekend? Feeling bad about wheeling up in your A4 Wagon with nothing but your gear and Learn Cantonese audio books? You're in luck: new ride-share and resort-bound bus services have been cropping up, connecting drivers with riders, riders with drivers, and helping everyone get to the snow with fewer headaches and less fuel-fed guilt.
Clif Bar just launched a new website, part of its Save Our Snow awareness campaign (receding snowpack, rising temperatures=bye-bye skiing and snowboarding), that provides a handy tool for connecting people who need a ride with those who want to offer one. All across this great nation. Even Hawaii. I'm not kidding.
And, of course, you can take the service on the road via an iPhone app.
The site also has links to Greasebus, a biodiesel shuttle service that connects skiers and snowboarders in Portland, Ore., to Mt. Hood Meadows. (Shuttles from Vancouver BC to Grouse Mnt, and between Seattle and Stevens Pass or Snoqualmie should be available this spring, according to the site.)
There are state-based and region-based rideshare services, too. Like SkiCarpool.org in Colorado. Or SnowPals in the Lake Tahoe region. Oregonians are extra lucky because Outdoor Rideshare also hooks up folks looking to bike, climb, surf...name your poison. For you intrepid Northeastern skiers and snowboarders there's Ski Hitch. And no matter where you are, bet you can find a ride or a rider on your local Craigslist. Go to Community --> Rideshare.
Some forward-thinking shops, such as Seattle's Evo, offer ride-share boards on their websites.
And, of course, ski areas (those who have the most to gain) offer ride-share services, as well. Check out the handy interface on the Alpine Meadows site, for example. Your local hill might offer a similar service, and many areas provide free parking or other perks to carpoolers.
OK so what other sites or ride-boards have I missed? Have a review of any of the services I've listed? Chime in with a comment here or on Twitter, and make sure to add #goodroute. And however you get up to the hill this weekend, I bet it'll be easier (but more polluting!) than The Bikecar. Check it out:
--Mary Catherine O'Connor is a freelance writer, covering the environment, sustainability and outdoor recreation. The Good Route, her blog for Outside Online, is focused on the places where the active life and sustainability merge.