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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gallo's Avatar
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    Amtrak Century and taking the bike on the train

    OK so I am set for the Amtrak ride. Thing is I am from San Diego. I got a hotel for the night before. So I am heading up spending the night and riding home. I plan on taking the train up My question is how many of you have taken their bikes on the train and is it a hassle?

    Thanks
    "Are you finished and satisfied with the thread up to this point? If so, if you don't mind, I'm inclined to close it now, the quality posts have dwindled - it's circling the bowl now." BillyD

    I can't climb and do not sprint well so I over compensate with bad form and lack of endurance

    2008 Wilier Mortorolio - 2008 Stumpjumper Hardtail - 1986 Paramount

  2. #2
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    There are hooks that you hang your front wheel on. I think there are three per car. It's not a hassle.

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    I've only taken the Amtrak from Oceanside to Irvine, so I can speak for the San Diego-Oceanside section. However, it shouldn't matter much. You just need to ensure the car you are planning to ride on has space in it's bike rack. There's only room for a handful of bikes (like 5 max) on the cars that have racks. Some cars don't even have the racks. Also, I heard there's some kind of track closure impacting San Diego to Carlsbad. You may want to check whether that closure impacts your plans. Bottom line, if there's room for your bike, its no hassle at all!

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    Senior Member BigJeff's Avatar
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    I don't know, but that seems far smarter than the "returning train".

    As a friend put it, "imagine your bike being packed into a freight car with 1200 bikes by someone who has to handle 1200 bikes... none of which are theirs."

    That's why my friend's wife is picking us up in San Diego.

    But if you were one of only a few people on the train with a bike, the care will be highest; just do not be the last person getting on the train Saturday.

    hahaha

  5. #5
    Despite all my rage, I am rooftest's Avatar
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    Done it plenty of times - it's easy. You may want to bring a lock to secure your bike. I always ride to San Diego and take the train back, so I don't carry a lock. I just walk downstairs and keep an eye on my bike at the stops.

    And - if you do the century; your bike doesn't go on the train. They have about half a dozen semi trucks that take the bikes back. (so you get to wait while the trucks battle traffic back, then try to figure out what truck your bike is on - and wait for it to come off the truck.)

  6. #6
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Bikes and Amtraks: it's a winning combination. (Although I've always done it on non-Amtrak-Century days.) Taking your bike on the train to someone unknown town up the tracks is the best way to spend a weekend since the invention of drunken coitus.

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    Certain of the trains (the old one-story ones) require you to put your bike in a separate baggage car. The two-decker ones have the bike racks. The conductor will let you know which car is the baggage car and how to load it if you do get one of those old ones.

  8. #8
    Despite all my rage, I am rooftest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepusser View Post
    Certain of the trains (the old one-story ones) require you to put your bike in a separate baggage car. The two-decker ones have the bike racks. The conductor will let you know which car is the baggage car and how to load it if you do get one of those old ones.
    I rode on one of those once, too. They're pretty rare, I think.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Or you can do a training ride and ride down to Irvine.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gallo's Avatar
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    Awesome

    Thank you all
    "Are you finished and satisfied with the thread up to this point? If so, if you don't mind, I'm inclined to close it now, the quality posts have dwindled - it's circling the bowl now." BillyD

    I can't climb and do not sprint well so I over compensate with bad form and lack of endurance

    2008 Wilier Mortorolio - 2008 Stumpjumper Hardtail - 1986 Paramount

  11. #11
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    I also live in SD and this will be my fourth Amtrak, but I am lucky that a friend riding with us with a pick up truck is driving North Friday afternoon with his wife and our bikes this year.

    I've gone from the Santa Fe depot and from the Solana Beach train station to Irvine a dozen times. Then ride back the next day (my stay at Mothers who lives in OC).

    It is very easy, if there is room in the train. The number of bikes is limited. They used to allow passengers to check their bikes as "luggage" if all the hooks were occupied, but I am not sure if they still do or not. Best thing is to check with Amtrak.

    By the way, I believe the closure of the track is scheduled to start after 10:00 PM Friday night. And for what is worth, the 900 +/- bikes returning to Irvine are handled by OCW volunteers and each bike is individually wrapped in a moving blanket in semi trucks.

    See you on the train.....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallo View Post
    I plan on taking the train up My question is how many of you have taken their bikes on the train and is it a hassle?

    Thanks
    CALL AMTRAK. I heard from an OCW member that is involved with the Amtrak Century, that there is a section of track near Encinitas that is closed for repair. According to this OCW member, riders will be bussed from the finish line in San Diego to Encinitas where they will board the train to return to Irvine.

    Amtrak may not be able to take your bike on the bus to Encinitas. (OCW hires semis to transport the bikes for the Century). You may have to to get a ride to Encinitas and take Amtrak or go to Oceanside and take Metrolink from there.
    Last edited by cdp8; 09-04-12 at 11:57 AM. Reason: typos

  13. #13
    Despite all my rage, I am rooftest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdp8 View Post
    CALL AMTRAK. I heard from an OCW member that is involved with the Amtrak Century, that there is a section of track near Encinitas that is closed for repair. According to this OCW member, riders will be bussed from the finish line in San Diego to Encinitas where they will board the train to return to Irvine.

    Amtrak may not be able to take your bike on the bus to Encinitas. (OCW hires semis to transport the bikes for the Century). You may have to to get a ride to Encinitas and take Amtrak or go to Oceanside and take Metrolink from there.
    Definitely call Amtrak or look on their website about this. This rail route is fairly heavily traveled, so I find it hard to believe that one section is just "closed for repairs."

  14. #14
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    You can often keep a folding bike in the partner compartment as long as it is in a bag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rooftest View Post
    Definitely call Amtrak or look on their website about this. This rail route is fairly heavily traveled, so I find it hard to believe that one section is just "closed for repairs."
    Hard to believe, yet oh so true...

    The track closes Friday 9/7 at 10 p.m. So as long as you are north of Oceanside before that, you will be OK. And it looks like my friend heard incorrectly; the closure is from Oceanside all the way down to San Diego.

    http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1251622606025
    Last edited by cdp8; 09-04-12 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Typo

  16. #16
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    As noted, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains have bike racks in the cars so you can just roll your bike aboard as long as there's room. It doesn't look like Surfliner offers checked baggage service at either Old Town or Irvine stations so that's not an option.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Gallo's Avatar
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    So I went up on Friday

    The hooks were full almost right away and there were several bikers heading north from a group ride. The kind folks at Amtrak opened the first car and loaded all of our bikes.

    three thumbs up for Amtrak very cool

    The ride was well supported and staffed. The constant lights through OC was annoying. It was stop and go in the beginning. Very cool shirt glad to have participated.
    "Are you finished and satisfied with the thread up to this point? If so, if you don't mind, I'm inclined to close it now, the quality posts have dwindled - it's circling the bowl now." BillyD

    I can't climb and do not sprint well so I over compensate with bad form and lack of endurance

    2008 Wilier Mortorolio - 2008 Stumpjumper Hardtail - 1986 Paramount

  18. #18
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallo View Post
    The ride was well supported and staffed. The constant lights through OC was annoying. It was stop and go in the beginning. Very cool shirt glad to have participated.
    I didn't realize the Amtrak was this weekend. I got home from the supermarket at 1030 and had to wait for 50 cyclists to pass. There must have been over 1000 on the ride.

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