I was considering posting this on the Northeast regional forum, but there are plenty of folks in the northeast here in the touring forum.
Here's the problem: I have a 4-day tour planned, from Washington DC to Philadelphia, starting on Saturday November 28th. I was planning to take Amtrak out of Philadelphia, boxing my bike up, and would have taken NJ Transit from New Brunswick to Trenton, there to catch a SEPTA train to Philly.
(Those who are familiar with bikes-on-the-train policies in NJ and on Amtrak's NE Corridor can skip this paragraph.) Amtrak allows you take a bike on board as checked baggage, but the catch is that not all Amtrak stations do the checked baggage thing - there are none in NJ, you have to use either Philly or NYC. NJ Transit and SEPTA allow full-sized bikes during any non-rush hour time. My original plan was to get to Philly insanely early - around 7 or 7:30 am to catch the 8:30AM train to DC, so rush hour is not an issue. The catch is that NJ Transit considers November 27th - the day after Thanksgiving - to be a holiday, and I'd be bumping into rush hour on SEPTA in any case. (SEPTA operates on weekday schedules the day after Thanksgiving, I think.)
So... given that I don't drive, and would prefer not to ask a friend to get up insanely early to get me to Philadelphia, what are my options for getting me and my touring bike to DC on that day?
I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this. I've already put in for some vacation days for this, and don't want to reschedule this tour. I also really don't want to get stuck with cab fare from New Brunswick to Philadelphia.