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Old 01-11-14, 12:15 PM   #1
robow
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Question for those that might have done the Erie Canal Bike Tour

A colleague of mine wants to the do the Parks and Trails New York supported Erie Canal Bike tour this upcoming July. He (and maybe we), are looking for the easiest way to get back to Buffalo, NY which is the starting point from Albany, NY where it ends. I know there is Amtrak service between the two cities but didn't know how difficult bike transport is on that line or if there were any specific stipulations, and/or how difficult is it to get to the starting point or ending point from those two Amtrak stations. Would you have any other suggestions or ideas or would it just be easier to rent a car one way back to Buffalo since I know of no other shuttle services available? As always, thank you for your input.
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Old 01-11-14, 01:24 PM   #2
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A colleague of mine wants to the do the Parks and Trails New York supported Erie Canal Bike tour this upcoming July. He (and maybe we), are looking for the easiest way to get back to Buffalo, NY which is the starting point from Albany, NY where it ends. I know there is Amtrak service between the two cities but didn't know how difficult bike transport is on that line or if there were any specific stipulations, and/or how difficult is it to get to the starting point or ending point from those two Amtrak stations. Would you have any other suggestions or ideas or would it just be easier to rent a car one way back to Buffalo since I know of no other shuttle services available? As always, thank you for your input.
I did the Erie Canal trip last year. I took the train from Buffalo back to Boston and it was really easy. The end of the trail at Albany is really close to the Amtrak station (it's just over the Dunn Memorial bridge and there is a good bike path on it). $15 buys a bike box and there'a a $10 baggage charge. Just remove the pedals, turn the handlebars sideways and the bike will roll into the box. The Buffalo-Depew Amtrak station is the closest to the start of the trail in Buffalo, it's about a 30 min to hour ride.
Here is a link to the blog post where I joined the trail at Troy. I then rode a combo of trail and NY Rt-30 to Niagara Falls and took the train back from Buffalo-Depew to Boston.

http://wheelsofchance.wordpress.com/...gara-day-four/

Here is some stuff about the train

http://wheelsofchance.wordpress.com/...ra-day-eleven/
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Old 01-11-14, 02:10 PM   #3
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Do you need to box your bike from Albany to Buffalo?

Robow, From a driving standpoint, it might be easier for you to start in Buffalo.
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Old 01-11-14, 02:33 PM   #4
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Do you need to box your bike from Albany to Buffalo?

Robow, From a driving standpoint, it might be easier for you to start in Buffalo.
Definitely, we had planned to drive to Buffalo, leave our vehicle there, bike the 400 miles or whatever to Albany and then look to find the the easiest way back to Buffalo.
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Old 01-11-14, 02:40 PM   #5
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Don't know your situation well, but buds and I have occasionally found renting a small Uhaul to be the most efficient way to get back to a start point.
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Old 01-11-14, 03:56 PM   #6
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Don't know your situation well, but buds and I have occasionally found renting a small Uhaul to be the most efficient way to get back to a start point.
I cant believe I didn't think of that. Probably costs less the train as well.
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Old 01-11-14, 04:44 PM   #7
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Definitely, we had planned to drive to Buffalo, leave our vehicle there, bike the 400 miles or whatever to Albany and then look to find the the easiest way back to Buffalo.
Amtrak would be very convenient, just ride the mile or so to the station and catch the train.
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Old 01-11-14, 04:47 PM   #8
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Or drop a car at each end?
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Old 01-11-14, 05:55 PM   #9
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Or drop a car at each end?
That would require up to an additional 800 miles of driving, on top of the 600 miles to get to the starting point, not going to happen.
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Old 01-11-14, 06:25 PM   #10
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I cant believe I didn't think of that. Probably costs less the train as well.
Probably won't cost less, unless at least a three way split. It is likely to be faster and may be more convenient. Sure easier dealing with the bikes. Bud and I will be Uhauling from NOLA back to Vicksburg after a ride on the Mississippi River Trail next week. In forecast near perfect weather.
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Old 01-11-14, 07:29 PM   #11
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Amtrak would be very convenient, just ride the mile or so to the station and catch the train.
But do you need to box your bike on that route or do they have RORO?
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Old 01-11-14, 10:43 PM   #12
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But do you need to box your bike on that route or do they have RORO?
Just looking at the schedule the only train from Albany to Buffalo that takes checked bags (ie bikes) is the Lakeshore Limited and that runs once a day leaving Albany at 7:30pm so you get into Buffalo after 11pm. so that might not be very convenient. However, the actual boxing of bikes for Amtrak travel (when it's available) is really easy and only costs $15 for the box and $10 baggage fee.
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Old 01-12-14, 12:53 AM   #13
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You need to go to the Depew train station because the Buffalo station doesn't handle checked baggage. The PTNY guidebook has instruction getting from the ends of the canal to the train stations (Buffalo, Depew, and Rensselaer).
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