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Old 09-04-08, 07:54 AM   #1
ChrisH120
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Flying from the UK to Yorktown, VA

I made a thread earlier about my plan to cycle across the USA next summer. I got some great responses and I've decided to reverse my route so i'm now going east to west along the TransAm, then down the ACA Pacific coast route to San Francisco where I can relax for a few days before getting the flight home.

Flying back from San Francisco is easy, it's a major international hub. Getting to Yorktown is more difficult.

There are a few airports near Yorktown, the closest is Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Norfolk International Airport is slightly bigger but further away. I'm trying to fly with British Airways because they have a good policy regarding transporting bike equipment. They fly directly to Washington Dulles so I could go try to get from there to Yorktown somehow (train, bus, plane, I have no idea).

Does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 09-04-08, 08:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ChrisH120 View Post
I made a thread earlier about my plan to cycle across the USA next summer. I got some great responses and I've decided to reverse my route so i'm now going east to west along the TransAm, then down the ACA Pacific coast route to San Francisco where I can relax for a few days before getting the flight home.

Flying back from San Francisco is easy, it's a major international hub. Getting to Yorktown is more difficult.

There are a few airports near Yorktown, the closest is Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Norfolk International Airport is slightly bigger but further away. I'm trying to fly with British Airways because they have a good policy regarding transporting bike equipment. They fly directly to Washington Dulles so I could go try to get from there to Yorktown somehow (train, bus, plane, I have no idea).

Does anyone have any ideas?
This has been hashed over a good bit on the Crazy Guy forums maybe a year or so ago. You might try a search or ask there. I think starting out from at or near either of those airports is possible. I happen to know that there is a Warm Showers host in the VA Beach area who has helped others in the past.

Edit: Forgot to mention, there is a ferry to Jamestown (The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry) if you wind up on the wrong side of the river. Some people use that so they can start at the actual ocean rather than at Yorktown.

Another edit:
Not exactly what you need, but you might find some clues at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...nested=1#62924

Last edited by staehpj1; 09-04-08 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 09-05-08, 03:28 PM   #3
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Go to the Dulles Airport website and look for ground transportation to and from the airport. My guess is that there are van and bus services from Dulles to a lot of places in Virginia, even if they don't go to Yorktown there should be a service that will get you reasonably close. Expect the van services to charge you for a bicycle, their luggage space is limited.
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Old 09-05-08, 03:46 PM   #4
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Will an East to West Trans-Am ride mean a lot more headwinds or is that not actually an issue in practice?
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Old 09-05-08, 04:01 PM   #5
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http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak...dule&x=21&y=16
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Old 09-05-08, 04:52 PM   #6
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Will an East to West Trans-Am ride mean a lot more headwinds or is that not actually an issue in practice?
My experience (one trip) says that it is a wash wind wise. Weather and starting time are probably a bigger deal. Starting in the east you can start earlier in the year and miss some of the humid heat in the southeast. Another factor is, do you want the sun in your eyes in the morning or evening?
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Old 09-05-08, 09:04 PM   #7
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Maybe fly into BWI airport and take the train?

As an alternative to Dulles Airport you could try flying into Baltimore / Washington International (BWI), then heading into Baltimore to take the Amtrak Northeast Regional train to Newport News which is ~30 miles from Yorktown.

You could do pretty much the same flying Dulles then getting to Washington DC Union station, but the airport -> train connection would be shorter and cheaper in Baltimore. Not sure what airfare differences, if any there are between the two airports, but for domestic flights BWI is the 'cheap' airport for the DC region.

<gripe about US train system>
The sad part is that there's a train station at BWI airport, but you can only have your bike boxed and checked as baggage on that train line and there's no baggage service at the BWI train terminal.
</gripe>
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Old 09-06-08, 01:04 AM   #8
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I've done a quick check and found that flying to Dulles or Baltimore doesn't make a difference to cost so it's really down to whichever has the best transport options. From what i've been able to gather online, Dulles is quite far away from Union station, so Baltimore might be a better option.

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Originally Posted by marathon_affe View Post
You could do pretty much the same flying Dulles then getting to Washington DC Union station, but the airport -> train connection would be shorter and cheaper in Baltimore. Not sure what airfare differences, if any there are between the two airports, but for domestic flights BWI is the 'cheap' airport for the DC region.

<gripe about US train system>
The sad part is that there's a train station at BWI airport, but you can only have your bike boxed and checked as baggage on that train line and there's no baggage service at the BWI train terminal.
</gripe>
I've had a quick look and it's about 10 miles from BWI to Baltimore station. Maybe that could be cycleable?

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&sa...11158&t=h&z=14

How do I find out more about BWI station baggage arrangements? I've looked on the Amtrak website but it looks quite vague. Since my bike will still be boxed from the flight I could just unbox it later in Newport News.
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Old 09-06-08, 05:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ChrisH120 View Post
I've done a quick check and found that flying to Dulles or Baltimore doesn't make a difference to cost so it's really down to whichever has the best transport options. From what i've been able to gather online, Dulles is quite far away from Union station, so Baltimore might be a better option.



I've had a quick look and it's about 10 miles from BWI to Baltimore station. Maybe that could be cycleable?

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&sa...11158&t=h&z=14

How do I find out more about BWI station baggage arrangements? I've looked on the Amtrak website but it looks quite vague. Since my bike will still be boxed from the flight I could just unbox it later in Newport News.
Check on the light rail. I believe you can hop on the light rail with your bike. Double check as the rules have changes several times. I think there may be a restriction at rush hour. Light rail is quick and direct between BWI and Penn station.

Just checked and:
Bikes are allowed on Light Rail and Metro Subway except before and after a sporting event at Camden Yards Sports Complex

http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/lightrail/

Last edited by staehpj1; 09-06-08 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 09-06-08, 08:30 AM   #10
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Thanks staehpj1. My plan now is:

Fly into Baltimore.
Reassemble bike, ditch bike box.
Get the light rail to Penn station.
Get Amtrak to Newport News.
Cycle to the start at Yorktown.
Cycle 5000 miles.
Fly home from San Francisco.


Sounds easy except for the cycling bit in the middle.
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Old 09-06-08, 08:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ChrisH120 View Post
Thanks staehpj1. My plan now is:

Fly into Baltimore.
Reassemble bike, ditch bike box.
Get the light rail to Penn station.
Get Amtrak to Newport News.
Cycle to the start at Yorktown.
Cycle 5000 miles.
Fly home from San Francisco.


Sounds easy except for the cycling bit in the middle.
Sounds like a good plan.
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Old 09-06-08, 10:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ChrisH120 View Post
Fly into Baltimore.
Reassemble bike, ditch bike box.
Get the light rail to Penn station.
Get Amtrak to Newport News.
Cycle to the start at Yorktown.
Cycle 5000 miles.
Fly home from San Francisco.


Sounds easy except for the cycling bit in the middle.
Considering you're gonna spend 3+ months on the "cycling bit in the middle" , an extra 4 days riding from Washington to Yorktown would be an obvious solution, and it'd be my choice.

In fact, my wife and I did that a few months ago. The ride was absolutely beautiful in the springtime, there's a wealth of history in between DC and Yorktown, the roads are good, and it proved to be a good (relatively flat) 4-day warmup for the "bit in the middle".

There's a "Cycling Route 1" that runs down the east coast (the TransAm is "Cycling Route 76"). A portion of Route 1 goes through Washington to Ashland/Richmond; from there you can veer out to Yorktown or just turn west.

Check here for Virginia's state bike map.

Three drawbacks to this plan:
1) Finding a cycling route from the airport to DC. But that's trivial compared to researching the public transportation options that you're doing now.

2) Once you get into DC, you'll want to spend a week or so sightseeing..... Kind of blows a hole in your schedule

3) Leaving DC in the morning, the first day has very limited options for overnight accomodations. On Route 1, the only camping between Occoquan and Fredericksburg is off-route about 15 miles; some motels, but they're very expensive. But there are a lot of parks where it should be easy for a cyclist to pitch a tent.

-- Mark

Last edited by EmmCeeBee; 09-06-08 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 09-06-08, 10:56 AM   #13
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Considering you're gonna spend 3+ months on the "cycling bit in the middle" , an extra 4 days riding from Washington to Yorktown would be an obvious solution, and it'd be my choice.

In fact, my wife and I did that a few months ago. The ride was absolutely beautiful in the springtime, there's a wealth of history in between DC and Yorktown, the roads are good, and it proved to be a good (relatively flat) 4-day warmup for the "bit in the middle".

There's a "Cycling Route 1" that runs down the east coast (the TransAm is "Cycling Route 76"). A portion of Route 1 goes through Washington to Ashland/Richmond; from there you can veer out to Yorktown or just turn west.

Check here for Virginia's state bike map.

Three drawbacks to this plan:
1) Finding a cycling route from the airport to DC. But that's trivial compared to researching the public transportation options that you're doing now.

2) Once you get into DC, you'll want to spend a week or so sightseeing..... Kind of blows a hole in your schedule

3) Leaving DC in the morning, the first day has very limited options for overnight accomodations. On Route 1, the only camping between Occoquan and Fredericksburg is off-route about 15 miles; some motels, but they're very expensive. But there are a lot of parks where it should be easy for a cyclist to pitch a tent.

-- Mark
That all sounds great if your time is not tight. Riding in that area is typically nice, but I have not ridden that specific route.

Another option... If doing the entire TA isn't a big deal to you, you could ride from DC to Front Royal and down Skyline Drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway where you would meet the TA. It is a beautiful ride, but you would miss Yorktown, Jamestown, Williamsburg and a good chunk of the TA in VA.

If time is tight and doing the entire TA is your goal, stick with your plan.
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