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Old 10-10-12, 06:05 AM   #1
Tandem Tom
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Greyhound and a bike?

Has anyone had any experience using Greyhound and boxing up there bike to get somewhere?
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Old 10-10-12, 06:35 AM   #2
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Has anyone had any experience using Greyhound and boxing up there bike to get somewhere?
I recently moved across the country with Greyhound and took my bike with me. It was cheap, is the best thing I can think to say about it. Like the airlines, just box the bike and take it with you. I rigged the box up with a shoulder strap kinda thing because I needed to be able to transfer, with all my luggage, between busses, and there are rarely hand carts to help you. The luggage handlers rarely but the box right side up and was often stack with boxes on top its side! > I guess they cant read, "this side up," or more likely, just dont five a ****.

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Old 10-10-12, 08:26 AM   #3
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http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/9331
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Old 10-10-12, 08:57 AM   #4
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I used Greyhound for my tour's return trip, this past summer. I had a very positive experience. I boxed my bike up in a bike box from a local bike shop in Bangor, ME. My camping equipment went in the bike box too. I did attach some handwritten signs to the box with this-side-up instructions. I attached a carry strap to my pannier for some personal items that I might need more ready access to. I put a couple of carry on items (book/fleece top/pillow) in my sea-to-summit ultrasil bag. I checked the bike box and the pannier.

Like zeppinger said above, baggage transfers are done by the customer, so you need to be able to carry everything. I found that respectful and friendly interaction with the baggage loaders goes a long way in ensuring that your bike is handled well. Another important thing is to treat the bus-driver with the same respect that you would a ship's captain or a plane's pilot. When you think about it, they have the same ultimate responsibility.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:14 AM   #5
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That is great information. I suggest anyone going by bus with their bike to read that. I actually thought of doing that to get to VA when I do my USA tour to join up with the beginning of the Adventure Cycling Trans Am tour...when I retire, there's no way any employer would allow 3 months of vacation time!!

Also my understanding is they can treat your panniers like luggage, or you could put those in a box too if your concerned about possible ripping which is highly unlikely.

I actually did several credit card short tours back in the 80's taking Amtrak from Santa Barbara CA to San Francisco then rode back. Amtrak treated your bike like it was a human being...very well. Not sure if that's the case anymore but I haven't heard anything bad about them and bikes since then either.

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Old 10-10-12, 09:15 AM   #6
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I took a bike on a Greyhound all the way from Ontario to Vancouver, 4000km or thereabouts.

Simplest answer is that in my experience depends completely on the staff you get. The first guy I spoke to was an absolute a$$ and wanted to charge me $99CAD+ to take it on board, I came back later and a nice guy suggested I pay $30 (or was it $15? it was over a year ago) for over-size luggage and gave me a sticker to put on it. Maybe the first guy was having a bad day? Maybe he was just a ******? Maybe Greyhound don't have the clearest universal policy on bikes so it might pay to get a second opinion if you don't like the first person you ask for a ticket.

For the first stretch we had one of those bus trailers, and it sat on top of all the other stuff no problem. Some of the change-overs I was able to do myself, at others the staff seemed to take good care of it.. to an extent. They weren't gentle with it but certainly never rough enough to make me worried, a small amount of padding sufficed. Some of the drivers were very happy for it to go in the bus, others slightly less so, but as long as I had my ticket for over-size luggage it generally went fine.

Some things to remember, if there is grease anywhere whatsoever things might get awkward because if they think it will get on other people's stuff they won't take it. Don't let any exposed metal show whatsoever, no hard edges etc. If the package slides about during travel the edges can damage the bus or other people's stuff. Say a pedal makes a hole in your packaging, some drivers might allow it, some will be very strict about it not going on. The last thing is make the package as small as you possibly can. If you bring a giant bike bag into the station you're probably going to get a sceptical look from the attendant, and if you get an a$$ on duty like I did the first time you risk all sorts of complications. If you de-construct the bike, have the wheels flush with the frame and maybe have a few of the awkward parts like the cranks, the handlebars and the seat-post in your other luggage, chances are a reasonable person will just let you pay an over-size surcharge and it will be smooth sailing.

If you have it in a bike bag, or a tarp or something, make sure it looks neat, and that there are no awkward shapes like handlebars at odd angles or pedals still attached. If it is in a box make sure you've put enough tape on the edges to make it look seriously secure. If you give the staff the impression that this package isn't going to cause any problems for them, they are a lot less likely to go causing problems for you.

And again, pray that you don't get an a$$hole at the ticket office, and if they want to charge you loads of money, go away and come back later when someone else is on duty.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:17 AM   #7
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The Austrians know how to do it.




And they make it even easier. They have trailers but we caught the later bus with less bike luggage.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:45 AM   #8
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I have used Greyhound 3 times in British Columbia. Each time it was for several hundred to over a thousand miles which included transfers. I made my own boxes out of heavy-duty cardboard (cut and folded from discarded large appliance boxes) You have to be aware of your maximum dimensions allowed. I removed the pedals, wheels, seat, and handle bars, taping them to the frame and placing padding anywhere needed so that nothing would poke through. I used lots of duct tape around the outside, and added a strong cord so that the handlers could easily move it about. I didn't have any problems at all, and it is by far the cheapest method of transport, both for the bike, and for yourself even when paying for over-sized or extra luggage.
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Old 10-10-12, 01:23 PM   #9
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One thing that Jerry (CycleBum) pointed out and I definitely agree with is that the carrier can make a big difference. I have used Jefferson a few times and it was always quite tolerable (can't quite say pleasant). Another regional carrier and it was tolerable. Greyhound once and it was barely tolerable. My point is given a choice, I will take a regional carrier over Greyhound anytime.
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Old 10-10-12, 03:22 PM   #10
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We've had fair success with buses. Often the bikes did not need to be boxed. Other times they refused to take more than one bike at a time. This made it a little difficult for my wife and me on a couple of occasions. I think the driver makes a lot more difference than which carrier is used. A good driver would go out of his or her way to get our bike on board.

Those are our boxed bikes in the cargo bay. We had that bay all to ourselves for our bikes and gear. The driver was outstanding!


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.when I retire, there's no way any employer would allow 3 months of vacation time!!
My employer did. Not every year, but often enough to keep me working well past retirement age. But I finally retired anyway, and promptly left on a three month tour of Europe
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Old 10-10-12, 05:34 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies. After reading the posts and kicking it around I decided to use Amtrak. It ended up being about the same $ with a AAA discount. Plus my wife can drop me off at the station, with my bike on the back of her car, and I willbox it there. That way she does not have to drive my truck!
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Old 10-10-12, 10:38 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. After reading the posts and kicking it around I decided to use Amtrak. It ended up being about the same $ with a AAA discount. Plus my wife can drop me off at the station, with my bike on the back of her car, and I willbox it there. That way she does not have to drive my truck!
Riding Amtrak is much more pleasant than taking a bus, with or without a bike. Sometimes there's no alternative, though. I just found out about CREST, Eastern Sierra Transit, which has external bike racks for two bikes, and runs daily from the Lancaster Metrolink station up to Mammoth Lakes, CA for $40 US, and will make some impromptu stops along the way if you ask nicely. Maybe I will work that into some tour next summer....
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Old 10-11-12, 02:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies. After reading the posts and kicking it around I decided to use Amtrak. It ended up being about the same $ with a AAA discount. Plus my wife can drop me off at the station, with my bike on the back of her car, and I willbox it there. That way she does not have to drive my truck!
Amtrak is certainly preferable to a bus when available. It too can be an adventure. And slower.

Be sure and tape the box well. Yourself. A friendly employee in Rochester taped mine, sort of. The bike survived, in spite of the large hole ripped in the box. And a checked pannier arrived at my home via Fedex a week later. But, there was a transfer in Chicago, a zoo of a station if there ever was one. With no transfers, your trip should go smoothly.
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Old 10-12-12, 09:14 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies. After reading the posts and kicking it around I decided to use Amtrak. It ended up being about the same $ with a AAA discount. Plus my wife can drop me off at the station, with my bike on the back of her car, and I willbox it there. That way she does not have to drive my truck!
I just got back from a trip using Amtrak...even got free used bike boxes for both trips. Great way to travel, it's also cool to leave your car at the station downtown. There was a police car there every time I got on or off of the train,(multiple trips).
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