Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-19-09, 10:22 PM   #1
tomn
www.Click-Stand.com
Thread Starter
 
tomn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Aberdeen, WA
Bikes: Owner built touring & tandem
Posts: 374
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Amtrak. Sending your bike ahead of you.

Hello,

I know that I will eventually have to ask Amtrak, but does anyone know if it is possible to do this: Embark with your bikes at Toledo, Ohio, sending your bikes to Seattle while we spend a few days in Chicago on the way.

Tom
tomn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 06:52 AM   #2
lighthorse
Senior Member
 
lighthorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Bikes: LeMond Buenos Aires, Trek 7500, Scattante CFR, Burley Hudson
Posts: 498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tomn,
I do not know if Amtrak provides that specific service or not. Twice I have packed my bike and had it shipped (FedEx/UPS) to a LBS at my destination who then unpacked it and had it ready when I arrived. Maybe that would work for you.
lighthorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 09:33 AM   #3
wahoonc
Senior Member
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
They used to, I have been unable to verify if they still do or not. I have traveled with bike by Amtrak a few times on the Silver Service/Palmeto, with the bike as luggage. I was required to box the bike (not a big deal) and the box is available from Amtrak, it is plenty big enough to put a most bikes in by just turning the handlebars, lowering the saddle and taking the pedals off.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 10:26 AM   #4
tomn
www.Click-Stand.com
Thread Starter
 
tomn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Aberdeen, WA
Bikes: Owner built touring & tandem
Posts: 374
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi All,

I think I need to add more info. This is for the return trip after our tour. Last year we pedaled from Aberdeen, WA to Williston, ND and took the Amtrak back. It worked so wee that we are going to use the train again this year. Our plan is to take the Amtrak from Seattle to Williston with the bikes boxed in Amtrak's boxes. Then we will pedal to Toledo, Ohio. There we will start the train trip home. The difference, and my actual question is that we want to stop and spend a few days in Chicago, but let the bikes go ahead, and claim them when we get to Seattle. Has anyone done anything like this?

Thanks,
Tom
tomn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 12:03 PM   #5
paul2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Bikes:
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Back in 1996 we shipped our bikes by Amtrak to Portland. Our bikes sat in the train station in Portland for a few days until we flew out and retrieved them.
paul2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 03:20 PM   #6
tomn
www.Click-Stand.com
Thread Starter
 
tomn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Aberdeen, WA
Bikes: Owner built touring & tandem
Posts: 374
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
Back in 1996 we shipped our bikes by Amtrak to Portland. Our bikes sat in the train station in Portland for a few days until we flew out and retrieved them.
Oh, I hadn't thought of that! Does anyone know if you can still ship a bike on Amtrak in their box even though you are not going to ride the train?

Thanks!
Tom
tomn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 03:46 PM   #7
wahoonc
Senior Member
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomn View Post
Oh, I hadn't thought of that! Does anyone know if you can still ship a bike on Amtrak in their box even though you are not going to ride the train?

Thanks!
Tom
It used to be called Amtrak Express, but I cannot find any current information on it. I am under the impression they did away with it. Best bet is to head on down to the local Amtrak station and ask the stationmaster.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 07:13 PM   #8
velonomad 
Older I get, Better I was
 
velonomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Greenfield Lake, Wilmington NC
Bikes: '14 BD Lurch Fatbike, '10 custom road,'06 custom expedition, '94 Yokota Tandem, '88 custom MTB
Posts: 1,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Problem with asking AMTRAK employees about something like what you want to do is that you if you ask 3 different employees the same question you often get 3 different answers . In my experience the station agents give out more accurate information that the phone agents.

Last time I did something like you want to do was in 2005 riding the train from Washington DC to Albany NY. I checked the bike as baggage in DC, The first leg of the trip was to NYC where I spent 2 days visiting my son before going on the final leg to Albany where my bike had been waiting two days. I didn't ask in advance I just did it

In your case you would change trains in Chicago so you can probably pull it off just by purposely missing your connection train (The empire builder) The only hitch with that train is in the height of the summer vacation season when it sometimes sells out in advance.

If you do this make sure you clearly print your name address and phone number on the bike box just in case there is an issue.
velonomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-09, 08:50 PM   #9
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
Posts: 1,130
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomn View Post
I know that I will eventually have to ask Amtrak, but does anyone know if it is possible to do this: Embark with your bikes at Toledo, Ohio, sending your bikes to Seattle while we spend a few days in Chicago on the way.
Tom
I once cycled to Chicago and rode Amtrak back to Fort Collins. When I arrived in Chicago, I left my bike with Amtrak for a day and a half before boarding my train. That was 1991 and so a lot may have changed, but one additional possibility to check would be that when you disembark in Chicago could Amtrak keep the bike in their luggage area before your connecting train leaves?

I've done that to a lesser extent a few times in San Luis Obisbo when I did a favorite ride of mine, cycling from San Jose down the coast to SLO over a three day weekend and taking the train back to SJC. Once I arrived in SLO, I would get Amtrak to let me box the bike and leave it with them while I spent a few hours downtown.
mev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-09, 11:00 PM   #10
jobtraklite
Senior Member
 
jobtraklite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Quincy, IL
Bikes: too many
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can ship your bike ahead. I believe the rules are that it can sit in the baggage room at the destination for two days. After that the charge is $10 per day.

However, all Amtrak rules are hit and miss. Last summer I checked a bike in Seattle heading for Chicago. I stopped off for three days in Minneapolis before continuing on to Chicago. The bike was waiting for me and they didn't charge me for the extra day.

I am pretty sure Amtrak Express is still in business and may be cheaper than UPS or FEX. You will have to check with Amtrak to find out which stations have it.

velonomad, you sound like an Amtrak veteran. Most will say that what you experienced is due to a) a lack or training and communication, or b) laziness; if they say no, then they don't have to figure out how to provide the service. Never the less, train is the only civilized way to travel, except by bicycle of course.
jobtraklite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-09, 05:56 AM   #11
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 8,852
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I have not use Amtrak Express (their package service), but... I used Amtrak on my last tour and was pleasantly surprised in many ways. Unlike the airlines they were a joy to work with when I had to change my schedule. The box was huge so packing was easy. The staff was very helpful. Overall it was a positive experience. It was a pretty nice way to see the scenery as well.

On the negative side, I was surprised with how slow the train was. I could have driven the route faster. Also the seats were not that comfortable to sleep in on a long ride.

Be sure to check on the stations you use since they must have baggage service or you will not be able to load or unload a bike. In some limited stations and routes you can even just roll a bike on, but these are in the small minority.

I liked the service well enough that I will use it again.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:21 AM.