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  1. #1
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    Return my car from Astoria, Or. To the San Francisco Bay Area?

    I'm trying to work out the logistics to start a tour in Astoria and finish in San Francisco. I might end up leaving my car in the Bay Area and taking "ride sharing" from a Craigslist ad to Portland and then a bus to Astoria but I got to thinking that it sure would be a lot easier if I could find someone (responsible) in the Astoria area that might be interested in driving my car back to the Bay Area. Maybe someone from Portland area that plans to start a tour in the Bay Area? Probably a slim chance but I thought I'd post it here and see if anyone has some helpful suggestions. Date is a bit flexible but between 8-30 and 9-4.

    Thanks,
    Bob

  2. #2
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Another possibility - Amtrak to Portland and ride your bike from there to Astoria, then head down. I've done this before, no problems.

  3. #3
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    That was my first thought but I don't want to hassle with the boxing and unboxing. plus I think the schedule arrives there pretty late at night if I remember right.
    BTW, I lived in Grants Pass from 76 to 84. I loved it there but it was too tough to make a living so I caved and moved to the big city. I may end up back there in retirement (soon).

    Thanks for the response,
    Bob

  4. #4
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Boxing and unboxing the bike for amtrak isn't that difficult, it is not like boxing a bike for the plane. Another option could be renting a car one-way, I did that to tour from cresent city to SF.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  5. #5
    Senior Member burbankbiker's Avatar
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    I'll be doing this same route in a few weeks time. Can't wait. I haven't booked a flight or train ticket yet but not having a car makes the choices more clear... i HAVE to get up to Portland by boxing/unboxing my bike. Many people recommended the train which leaves at night from Oakland and arrives around 3:30pm the next day. They say it's great but I'm not sure if I want to start the trip with a long train ride when I could get up there on a plane in 50 minutes.

    But to your point, when I was a kid my family moved out to San Diego from the east coast and we had some people drive the car out, some students if memory serves me. All went well with that. I suppose if you find the right people and the needs and schedules match up it's not the worst option.

  6. #6
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    One way rental car from SF to Astoria. That's how I got home from Brookings, OR to the Bay Area. Look around, it's not as expensive as you might think.
    ...

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
    Boxing and unboxing the bike for amtrak isn't that difficult, it is not like boxing a bike for the plane.
    Yeah the boxes are huge. I took of the pedals, turned the bars, lowered the saddle, and wheeled the bike in when I used Amtrak.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by burbankbiker View Post
    I'll be doing this same route in a few weeks time. Can't wait. I haven't booked a flight or train ticket yet but not having a car makes the choices more clear... i HAVE to get up to Portland by boxing/unboxing my bike. Many people recommended the train which leaves at night from Oakland and arrives around 3:30pm the next day. They say it's great but I'm not sure if I want to start the trip with a long train ride when I could get up there on a plane in 50 minutes.

    But to your point, when I was a kid my family moved out to San Diego from the east coast and we had some people drive the car out, some students if memory serves me. All went well with that. I suppose if you find the right people and the needs and schedules match up it's not the worst option.
    If you're going to travel by Amtrak, their pricing policy makes it a LOT cheaper to buy your ticket early. The first seats sell for about one-third of what they sell the last seats on the train for. This doesn't affect me anymore since I just redeem points on an Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card (same number of points no matter when you book). Occasionally low-price seats magically reappear late in the game, usually because they have added a car to a sold-out train.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    You can also continue from the Portland train station to Astoria on the Amtrak bus, and skip the ride from PDX over to the coast. There are several motels and B&B's within a short distance of the bus station. It would allow a good night's rest before setting out, and an extra day on the coast.

    As the others have said, boxing is not a problem.

    Enjoy your ride, ride safe, and welcome to Oregon

    From the FWIT Department: This is how we handle our gear on trains and planes.

    The big yellow bag is a lightweight ripstop nylon duffle bag. All the contents of the panniers go into this bag. and the empty panniers go in the bike box with the bike (there is a lot of room). This leaves only the duffle, the rack pack and the handlebar bag to manage rather than 4 panniers, rackpack, and bar bag. The bag looks fragile, but it has been checked as baggage on several flights, and is still intact. Packing for the train is relatively easy, planes are a little more challenging.


    Amtrak boxes, with the 3 pieces of luggage apiece to manage. Empty panniers shoes and helmet are in the boxes. My wife's duffle is black. She got hers at REI. The bag, 5 ounces, is carried in one of the panniers for the return trip home.

    Last edited by Doug64; 08-27-12 at 10:53 PM.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    LBS in Astoria Receives boxed bikes all the time, for touring folks. UPS, fedEx
    you can take AMtrak from Emeryville to Portland, and there is a very Nice Bus from Portland to Astoria , seaside , cannon beach and so forth. big cargo hold so you can box the bike up in an Amtrak box
    and unpack it out here..
    10th st is the transit center stop, Bike shop is on 11th, so dragging the bike box a couple blocks
    becomes another option..
    borrow back room space to assemble your Kit, there.

  11. #11
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    I just returned from this exact trip.

    i took amtrak from Salinas to PDX then bus to Astoria. easy

  12. #12
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    Thank everyone for the suggestions. I found a ride but will arrive pretty late. Doug You mentioned that there are a few places to stay close to the bus/amtrak station. Can you tell me the name of the places that you were speaking off?

    Thanks I appreciate it.

    Bob






    "There are several motels and B&B's within a short distance of the bus station".

  13. #13
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheels78 View Post
    BTW, I lived in Grants Pass from 76 to 84. I loved it there but it was too tough to make a living so I caved and moved to the big city. I may end up back there in retirement (soon).
    I love it here. Trees, mountains (ok, hills) and rivers, my favorite setting, without tons of snow. Friendly people, for the most part. I'm a California kid so am not too fond of the winters here, so usually head south for a few months to skip that. But you're right - if you need a decent job it's very difficult here. I moved here right after retiring, 4 years ago. If you don't need a job, it's hard to beat.

    Best of luck with your tour. It's a beautiful ride, if you haven't done it before.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Doug You mentioned that there are a few places to stay close to the bus/amtrak station. Can you tell me the name of the places that you were speaking off?
    There are several on Marine Drive, which is the street that runs along the bay. The best way to find the location and prices might be to look at Booking. com http://www.booking.com/ We have used them a lot, and they have good prices. However, all motels in a city may not be listed.

    We stayed at the Rose River Inn (1510 Franklin 1-888-876-0028) at the start of a trip a couple of years ago. It is a nice B&B and the folks are "bike friendly", but it is uphill from the bus station.

    We have also stayed at the Best Western, Lincoln Inn. It is located all the way across town, almost on the approach to the bridge to Warrenton. Another, the Columbia Inn is a little more down scale, but perfectly adequate and clean. It seems like it was just a few blocks from the bus station.

    If you can put your bike in running order at the station, you can get to all of the major motels in town within 15 minutes.
    Last edited by Doug64; 08-29-12 at 02:02 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member adventurepdx's Avatar
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    I'll add a couple more options to the Astoria lodging list:

    The Norblad is more an SRO than true hotel, but it does have a bunk room. ($20 a bed, I believe.) When I stayed there a couple years ago a private room (minus bath) was around $40. Clientele can be...interesting, however.
    http://www.norbladhotel.com/

    Just a block away is the Commodore, a new hotel that's more designed for a "hip" clientele. (Think: Ace and Jupiter in Portland.) My girlfriend and I stayed there in June, and it was pretty nice. About $100 a night, I think.
    http://www.commodoreastoria.com/
    They have bike parking in the basement.
    http://urbanadventureleague.blogspot.com/ http://societyofthreespeeds.wordpress.com/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanadventureleaguepdx/

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