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Old 02-05-12, 01:40 PM   #1
Aquakitty
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How good is Greyhound for transporting bikes in California/Nevada?

How is Greyhound at transporting bicycles specifically in California/Nevada?

My one experience here in BC was nearly a disaster. We followed the rules listed on the website, I called ahead to ask about it, we packed the bikes properly, went in to pay the extra for the bikes and were told that they no longer ship bikes via Greyhound unless freight is used. The problem with freight is that the bikes may be on a different schedule than your bus. At the time it was a weekend when freight was not open so we would have had to cancel our trip.

I only got our bikes on by crying and the lady felt so bad she let us go on with them.


I am going to take off along the coast route from BC to Northern Cali and once there may bus around to different locations (or just ride). My bike will be my main transportation.

My decision is whether to take my folding bike that is suitcase-able or to build a full size bike and trust Greyhound/other public transport around Fresno.

It would be easier to go the Bike Friday style route, and use a suitcase trailer, then just pop the bike in and check it as normal baggage.

However I am also pining for a Salsa Fargo and this would be more difficult to transport.

What is Greyhound like down there? Are there other bussing options more bike friendly?
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Old 02-05-12, 01:55 PM   #2
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Havent coped with them in a Long time ..
The County , here on the NW oregon coast is served by a different Bus, quite nice..
Lv out of the Main Rail station , and the Hound station, in PDX they're a block apart.

Amtrak OTOH, from Van BC,
by rail will get you as far south, thru Emeryville/Oakland in the SF bay. its the Coast Starlight to LA
there I think there is a east bound train over the Sierras..
and the Talgo train, a commuter link, is more often .. I-5 corridor as far south as Eugene..

You could Order the Bike and pick it up at the Dealer near the trip start.

QBP sells to thousands of bike shops, though The Shop may not stock it..
Here Trek does a creditline to dealers, QBP is 30 days to pay.

maybe the GST on a used bike is less when you cross the border again.

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Old 02-05-12, 04:08 PM   #3
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I've had good and bad experiences with bus lines. Avoid if possible. I understand train service in CA is pretty good, and more civilized.

Once on the bus with the bike in cargo, no problem. Getting the bike in cargo and makeing sure it gets transferred is where problems can arise. You gotta be proactive about it. If tears help, use them. If bribes(tips)help, use them.
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Old 02-05-12, 10:02 PM   #4
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haha, ya.. I would rather avoid the tears scenario when having a holiday

I would be leaving from the Okanagan or Van Isle by bike then down to Fresno on my own power so transportation is not an issue until I get to Cali, I will need to get around and explore so that is why I want things to be simple.

Last time I was down there I had my truck, and I have never been in a big city more than a couple weeks at a time never mind take a bike around one/between, so I have no idea what public transportation is like, I'm so sheltered, ha.

Thanks for the tips so far.
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Old 02-05-12, 11:08 PM   #5
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Haha! Cyclebum, your article was the first thing that came to my mind on reading the OP question, but I didn`t know you were you.

AK, I`ve never moved a bike by any form of public transportation, so can`t say whether bus or train is better, but I wanted to let you know that AMTRAK and Grayhound both have very limited service in Nevada, and they both serve the same places (the bigger townss along I-80). I get the impression that there`s a lot more service in CA, so hopefully you won`t have much trouble in that part of your travels.

PS: Thanks for the tears tip- when it comes time for me to try out bus/bike combo tours, I`ll keep it in mind.
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Old 02-06-12, 06:21 PM   #6
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The general consensus is that relying on buses or trains in the United States is a real gamble when it comes to bicycles. The Bike Friday idea would probably work though. A lot of public transportation (local buses) have bike racks on the front, but you probably won't be able to put a loaded touring bike on them either, just the bike itself.
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Old 02-07-12, 08:08 AM   #7
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I don't know about Nevada and Ca. I have used a BF suitcase and trailer from Kansas City to Natchez Ms on a Greyhound, no problem except for the attitude that the customer is a moron and the driver is God, ( I would not even attempt a boxed bike with these jerks), however the customer is responsible for moving their luggage from bus to bus at transfer points. I have used Amtrak to go from Kansas City to Jackson Fl this was a much nicer experience and they take care of transfers, however not to many stations have baggage handling, so your debarkation points are quite limited.

Allen
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Old 02-07-12, 08:15 AM   #8
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I don't know about Nevada and Ca. I have used a BF suitcase and trailer from Kansas City to Natchez Ms on a Greyhound, no problem except for the attitude that the customer is a moron and the driver is God, ( I would not even attempt a boxed bike with these jerks), however the customer is responsible for moving their luggage from bus to bus at transfer points. I have used Amtrak to go from Kansas City to Jackson Fl this was a much nicer experience and they take care of transfers, however not to many stations have baggage handling, so your debarkation points are quite limited.

Allen
Exactly. At a couple of transfer points on my ride on Greyhound, Green Bay to Texarkana, the bike was transferred. At another, I was told that I would have to move it. As I had paid freight charges, I refused and failed to bribe the baggage handler. That's where we got seperated. The bike arrived a day later than me. I had no problems at all on Jefferson Lines heading west to Rapid City.

I was told by a Greyhound employee that the company had been bought by some European outfit and that morale had plummeted. That for sure was quite evident.
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Old 02-07-12, 08:52 AM   #9
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no problem except for the attitude that the customer is a moron and the driver is God, ( I would not even attempt a boxed bike with these jerks)
I would recommend treating the driver with the same respect as you would a ships captain or an airline pilot. Not sure but my guess is your experience might have been better.

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Old 02-07-12, 09:00 AM   #10
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As I had paid freight charges, I refused and failed to bribe the baggage handler. That's where we got seperated. The bike arrived a day later than me.
Huh? I definitely bring a different attitude when touring. I do whatever it takes to secure my bicycle and equipment.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:19 AM   #11
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I actually didn't have a problem with a driver I was just commenting on the way they treated other passengers. But thanks for the recommendation I will keep it in mind for interaction with future drivers ship captains airline pilots etc.

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I would recommend treating the driver with the same respect as you would a ships captain or an airline pilot. Not sure but my guess is your experience might have been better.
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Old 02-07-12, 06:08 PM   #12
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I actually didn't have a problem with a driver I was just commenting on the way they treated other passengers. But thanks for the recommendation I will keep it in mind for interaction with future drivers ship captains airline pilots etc.
That's funny because when I was on the bus for the same tour I talked about above, there were several screaming matches going on with the drivers and some passengers. One guy was not allowed to get on because he pissed off the driver... what were they doing? Not lining up in the building. Some of them tried to just get on the bus.
The guy in question who was kicked off essentially said something about the driver under his breath and the driver heard.
I was just relieved it wasn't us. We would have also lost our bikes if we had not been vigilant at our destination, the bus driver assumed our bikes were going to the next town and wasn't going to unload them!

Yea I think folding is the way to go for my particular lifestyle and tour in the future. Full sized bikes are just too difficult to transport. Plus I can use them for overseas plane rides when I go do Europe and Japan.
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Old 02-07-12, 06:25 PM   #13
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Huh? I definitely bring a different attitude when touring. I do whatever it takes to secure my bicycle and equipment.
Yeah? So do I when heading to a start. I was headed home so not critical that bike and I arrive together. By not slipping the handler a 5 spot to do the job he was hired to do......nothing in the rules says freight has to stay with the passenger.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:16 AM   #14
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California has good Amtrack service down the Central Valley from Martinez to Bakersfield--double decker cars with internal bike racks. Once in Bakersfield, I was allowed to put my bike unboxed into the connecter bus to LA, then transfer to the commuter train to San Diego, which also had bike racks. Amtrack has connecter buses that head on over due west to the coast from Bakerfield also.
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Old 02-26-12, 11:01 AM   #15
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The general consensus is that relying on buses or trains in the United States is a real gamble when it comes to bicycles.
I've had good luck with Amtrak in California. Greyhound, not so much... Haven't shipped a bike with them, but did have several large items shipped by freight from the east coast. One item arrived on time and the other was lost for several weeks. Condition of the boxes made it apparent that both items had seen quite a bit of abuse in transit.
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