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Old 02-15-12, 12:20 PM   #1
smokingcrayon
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Single female going X-country on the Greyhound and a bicycle--help?

Hi,

This fall I'm hoping to embark on a project where I go around the States (and parts of Canada) to blog about certain design programs in various universities. This will be a multi-month endeavor. I'll also be couchsurfing along the way to cut down costs (freshly graduated from college) I'll be starting out from the east coast and make my way to the Pacific NW (I'll be going all over the map).

I don't have a car and even though I have a license, I'm under 25 so renting is pretty expensive. Plus I'm reeeeally out of practice when it comes to driving...so I'd prefer not to drive for my own safety and for the safety of others on the road. So I thought I'd take the Greyhound for most of the trip (some Amtrak, maybe one or two flights for the tough spots) but I'd really like to bring a bike with me for that added mobility factor. (Not touring because I've never done it, don't have a touring bike, and will be traveling by myself) I'd just be bringing one bag with me though so ideally, I could hop off the greyhound with my bike and bike to wherever I can with all my stuff with me.

I skimmed over the Greyhound policy on bikes and it seems that as long as it doesn't look like a bike, they won't charge you extra.

Now, I know that Greyhound is probably not going to treat my bike with gentle love and care when they sling it on and off the bus. But for those who have done the trip or can sort of visualize what I'm going for here--do you recommend a folding bike? do you think I can get away with a soft case (Ideally if I take the bike out of the case I want to fold it up and put it away in my backpack so I can ride with all my stuff to my next destination)?

Or since I do have basic bicycle mechanic skills, I could bring this 70s Schwinn that I have. I don't have a folding bike so I'd have to buy it...and I am on a budget. I don't really mind if the Schwinn gets a little beat up since I got it for free and I changed out the cables and overhauled the hubs so it's in pretty decent shape as of right now. I was thinking I could maybe disassemble the bike and then wrap it up in a soft bag....but I'm worried about the wheels getting crushed under luggage.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!

-L
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Old 02-15-12, 02:55 PM   #2
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You can get this for $600, it would make the trains and bus luggage situation easy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53Kug...eature=related
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Old 02-15-12, 04:35 PM   #3
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Bike Friday comes apart, by design, for travel
and they offer a suitcase- trailer , that the bike fits into.
you tow the case/trailer, behind you on the road,
stuffed with things you had in a duffle bag,
when the bike was inside the case.

made in Oregon, are the Bike Fridays.
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Old 02-15-12, 07:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by smokingcrayon View Post
Hi,

This fall I'm hoping to embark on a project where I go around the States (and parts of Canada) to blog about certain design programs in various universities. This will be a multi-month endeavor. I'll also be couchsurfing along the way to cut down costs (freshly graduated from college) I'll be starting out from the east coast and make my way to the Pacific NW (I'll be going all over the map).

I don't have a car and even though I have a license, I'm under 25 so renting is pretty expensive. Plus I'm reeeeally out of practice when it comes to driving...so I'd prefer not to drive for my own safety and for the safety of others on the road. So I thought I'd take the Greyhound for most of the trip (some Amtrak, maybe one or two flights for the tough spots) but I'd really like to bring a bike with me for that added mobility factor. (Not touring because I've never done it, don't have a touring bike, and will be traveling by myself) I'd just be bringing one bag with me though so ideally, I could hop off the greyhound with my bike and bike to wherever I can with all my stuff with me.

I skimmed over the Greyhound policy on bikes and it seems that as long as it doesn't look like a bike, they won't charge you extra.

Now, I know that Greyhound is probably not going to treat my bike with gentle love and care when they sling it on and off the bus. But for those who have done the trip or can sort of visualize what I'm going for here--do you recommend a folding bike? do you think I can get away with a soft case (Ideally if I take the bike out of the case I want to fold it up and put it away in my backpack so I can ride with all my stuff to my next destination)?

Or since I do have basic bicycle mechanic skills, I could bring this 70s Schwinn that I have. I don't have a folding bike so I'd have to buy it...and I am on a budget. I don't really mind if the Schwinn gets a little beat up since I got it for free and I changed out the cables and overhauled the hubs so it's in pretty decent shape as of right now. I was thinking I could maybe disassemble the bike and then wrap it up in a soft bag....but I'm worried about the wheels getting crushed under luggage.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!

-L
First, if you're going to use Greyhound, better be prepared to pay for a box. Not all Greyhound stops have boxes to sell you, Also, better tell the driver if your stop allows the box to leave or you won't be able to do it! You see the driver will tend to put the box first and all the other packages are placed after making it impossible to leave the with the box!

If it doesn't look like a bike, they won't charge extra? That might be true if you're buying a Bike Friday with case. A bike in a box or softcover is a different story.

However, I was able to board with a softcover too! It all depends on the driver if you can use a softcover or not,. As for a softcover (ie Dahon Stow bag), they tend to rather large and will take up a third of the room in your backpack!!

I would look to get a cheap folding bike with a three speed hub. This way your derailluer doesn't get trashed in a soft cover. Dahon used to make inexpensive three speed hub folding bikes. You might be a able to find one on Ebay.

You didn't say about camping so it looks like you're about to embark on a credit card tour. If you're not going to camp, it can get pretty expensive paying for motels. I think you're going to need more than a backpack but that's my opinion.
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Old 02-16-12, 08:56 AM   #5
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You didn't say about camping so it looks like you're about to embark on a credit card tour. If you're not going to camp, it can get pretty expensive paying for motels. I think you're going to need more than a backpack but that's my opinion.
She's not going to be touring, but rathe travelling by other means and brining a bike along:

"So I thought I'd take the Greyhound for most of the trip (some Amtrak, maybe one or two flights for the tough spots) but I'd really like to bring a bike with me for that added mobility factor. (Not touring because I've never done it, don't have a touring bike, and will be traveling by myself) I'd just be bringing one bag with me though so ideally, I could hop off the greyhound with my bike and bike to wherever I can with all my stuff with me."
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Old 02-16-12, 09:11 AM   #6
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Get in touch with Russ and Laura. They've been traveling around by train/bus/plane and folding bike for about a year now.

http://pathlesspedaled.com/
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Old 02-16-12, 09:59 AM   #7
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I haven't taken a bike on the Greyhound, but from what I've heard, I would look seriously at the trailer/suitcase idea. To avoid extra fees and avoid box requirements, it seems like your bike had better look as much like luggage and as little like a bicycle as possible. That will also cover you with air and train travel usually as long as the case is within the required dimensions. I've heard of folks doing fine with soft-sided cases, but it's usually the occasional trip, perhaps to the beginning of a tour. If you're going to be packaging your bike up regularly, you might want the protection of a hard case.
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