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Old 10-25-08, 09:50 PM   #1
chainlife
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touring and Greyhounds

thinking of traveling using a grey hound bus, wondering what people have for advice or stories, cost, thanks
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Old 10-25-08, 09:53 PM   #2
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In the US ... scary!

In Canada and Australia ... quite nice.

Are you thinking of taking your bicycle with you?
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Old 10-25-08, 09:58 PM   #3
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Done it twice it, total suckage, try to avoid.
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Old 10-25-08, 10:04 PM   #4
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yeah, thinging of taking my ss bike just for a vacation
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Old 10-25-08, 10:19 PM   #5
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yeah, thinging of taking my ss bike just for a vacation
If you're travelling in Canada or the US, you'll need to pack your bicycle into a box, and be prepared to send it by a different bus ... not the bus you travel on. They'll likely tell you it will go on another bus, and that if you want it on yours, you'll have to pay more.

I did manage to get them to take my bicycle "as is" on busses in Australia in 2004 -- not sure what the policy would be now.

The Greyhounds in the US are like glorified transit busses and the entertainment is a brawl breaking out in the back; the busses in Canada and Australia have nice comfy seats and show movies. Although, lately you run the risk of being stabbed on Canadian Greyhounds going to Winnipeg.

If you're travelling in the US, you might want to consider Amtrak instead.
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Old 10-26-08, 12:31 AM   #6
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Greyhound has gotten expensive , $107 from Columbia SC to Baltimore MD with no notice.

I've ridden greyhound many times, including some cross country. If you sit in the front, it's not so bad. The problem makers are always in the back. Most bus stations though are horrible, from the food to the bathrooms to the long lines waiting to get on the bus. Try to be one of the first in line so you can pick a front seat.

I always donate my bicycles when I am done touring so I've never had the experience of sending a bike via greyhound. But from what I read confirms what Machka said. I think if I had to ship my bike while on the bus, is I would use FedEx/UPS to ship the bike to another UPS store and pick up the bike there while you ride the dog.

It also seems to me that people get a lot more friender and less scum element when you cross west of the Mississippi River. I had a very enjoyable trip on Greyhound from Las Vegas to Oklahoma City one time... then after OKC it went downhill real fast.

Amtrak is an alternative but Amtrak's are often late....no wait, very very late.... and some stations like Cumberland, MD Amtrak station doesn't even allow bicycles to be put on them or take off.

If I tour again, I will once again use Greyhound and donate the bicycle.

Cheers.
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Old 10-26-08, 01:02 AM   #7
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Greyhound is really the way to go if it's a trip of under, say, 400 miles. But you'll need to work the system to the most out of it.

Yes, some of the other riders can a tad scary. But overall, it's as safe as air travel.

Your bike will have to be boxed of course, just like most other forms of travel. Stay out of the big city bus stations and you'll be fine. Remember the bus stops at little stops all over, making it slow. But it also means you can catch it more places. If you pick it up at a small town stop (even if it's 10 miles away from a dirty, big city bus depot), you'll make sure your bike is on the same bus as you, and the question of paying extra for you bike will most likely never be asked.

Also try to have the bus drop you off at a small, outside the city, stop. riding out of a metro bus station (or airport) is often stressful.
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Old 10-26-08, 01:57 AM   #8
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I would suggest taking both wheels off and throwing the bike in a 55 gallon heavy duty opaque trash bag, and waiting until the last minute to board so you can put it on top of the rest of the luggage. Greyhound usually is the best way to get between small towns in the middle of nowhere and I'd not like to discourage that.
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Old 10-26-08, 10:17 AM   #9
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You can fly just about anywhere in the US for <$100 one way. A bike box will cost more, but you'll pay for it on the bus too.
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Old 10-26-08, 11:30 AM   #10
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Yeah, but airlines want around $150 to check a bike as luggage. Greyhound wants $25 or so extra, and if you're smart, you don't even have to pay that.

It's easy to take the bus to some little podunk town a couple of hunderd miles from your home and cycle back. I wouldn't go coast to coast, but for a short local trip, it's hard to beat the bus. You can go from Tacoma Washington to Salem Oregon for around $35 (that's around 200 miles) You might have to kick in abother $25 for your bike, but I'm betting not.

Taking the backroads, you could do an easy 1 week tour home. Total costs would less than $70 for non bike travel. Say you have $300 total for the trip, that's $230 or so for the road.

Flying to Portland with a bike? that's going to likely cost $230! (maybe less with the right deal, but I wouldn't count on anything less than $100 extra charge to bring your bike)
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Old 10-26-08, 05:35 PM   #11
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If you can look at riding with drunks, just released convicts, and just released mental patients who shouldn't have been released as an adventure it is OK. Every time me or anyone in my family traveled by greyhound it was an adventure.

From Harry Chapin lyrics:
Take the Greyhound.
It's a dog of a way to get around.
Take the Greyhound.
It's a dog gone easy way to get you down.
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Old 10-26-08, 07:13 PM   #12
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Ick! Remember this?

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americ...bus/index.html
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Old 10-26-08, 07:20 PM   #13
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Flying to Portland with a bike? that's going to likely cost $230! (maybe less with the right deal, but I wouldn't count on anything less than $100 extra charge to bring your bike)

Not with any of the US airlines ... but here in Canada, the charge to fly with your bicycle is anywhere between $35 and $50.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:01 PM   #14
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I would suggest taking both wheels off and throwing the bike in a 55 gallon heavy duty opaque trash bag, and waiting until the last minute to board so you can put it on top of the rest of the luggage. Greyhound usually is the best way to get between small towns in the middle of nowhere and I'd not like to discourage that.
Agreed.

He's riding a SS, less to worry about. I've taken Greyhound to Boston and PeterPan, found them quite comfortable. I took my folder in a bag with no box at all! They didn't charge me extra either and I suspect taking a full size SS in one of those bags from Nashbar should be enough. You would only have to worry about the wheels but just get a cover and tell the drive to be gentle or put them by yourself far away from everyones stuff.

While on Peter Pan, which is just like Greyhound, they showed a movie. I like that!
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Old 10-26-08, 08:05 PM   #15
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Remember the bus stops at little stops all over, making it slow
Actually, Greyhound has really really really cut back on small town stops in order to maximize profits over the past few years.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:26 PM   #16
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Sit in the front and it's ok, sit in the back and prepare to either fight or get TB. I had to offer to beat someone's ass last time I rode the Greyhound because he went into the bathroom to drink a bunch of cough syrup, then wanted to pass out on my shoulder. It is invariably a surreal yet sucky way to travel. A friend of mine had the driver literally lose his ****ing mind, refuse to drive anymore, and sat on the ground alternating between screaming and crying until Greyhound sent another driver on another bus, and you know that had to be fun.
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Old 10-26-08, 09:36 PM   #17
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Don't trust they will have bike boxes on hand, even if you call in advance. I took Greyhound from Chicago to Indianapolis. I called in advance to check on box availibity - was told they had several. On arrival was told they had no boxes and would not take my bike without a box. The clerk did help me locate a nearby bike shop - Village Cycle Center in Chicago. I got to VCC about 5 minutes before they closed. VCC gave me box free of charge. I pedaled the 3-4 blocks back to Greyhound, dragging the box beside me in windy conditions. The pedestrians and motorist must have seen me as a complete idiot. I looked like a complete idiot. Finished packing my bike in the greyhound station 15 minutes before we departed

Besides not having a box, the rates were reasonable and the trip was fine.

Thank you Village Cycle!
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