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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 07-06-14, 07:34 AM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Intermodal touring?

Have you ever used a combination of train travel and bicycle touring to explore some scenic geography? Have you taken a ferry to a distant seaside location and extended the range of shoreline visited while touring?

Can a combination of cycling and train travel or ferry travel and bicycle touring provide a car-free vacation while combining the independent mobility of bicycle touring with the rapid movement of public transportation?
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Old 07-06-14, 07:43 AM   #2
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Absolutely!!

Most of our tours are intermodal (airplane, ferries, trains, busses) ... especially our European tours.
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Old 07-06-14, 07:45 AM   #3
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Someone asked about Car Free Vacations in the Living Car Free Forum. I've been talking about the various one I've done and most of these involved some sort of intermodal travel ...

Bike tours and carfree vacations
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Old 07-06-14, 07:49 AM   #4
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Yes to all those questions.
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Old 07-06-14, 07:56 AM   #5
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I have used ferries to cross various bodies of water in the middle of tours and used a number of other modes of travel at either end of the tour. I don't generally think of the latter as actually being part of the tour itself though.

I guess I have also ridden a bus in the middle of a few tours as well.

Getting to and from tours, I have used planes, Amtrak trains, light rail, buses, and rental cars.
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Old 07-06-14, 08:26 AM   #6
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Amtrak to start and from end points on bike tours.

Got home a week ago from this trip - Amtrak to Portland OR from Columbus WI. (Columbus is near my home town of Madison WI.) Then bus to Astoria. Then bike to San Fransisco from Astoria, 894 miles by bike. Shuttle bus from San Fransisco to Emeryville (across the bay) Amtrak Station. Amtrak to Chicago. Bus to Madison WI from Chicago.

Photo below from a ferry ride a year ago.

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Old 07-06-14, 08:45 AM   #7
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Likewise .. Rail and ferries , Island hoppers and overnight between countries ..

Locally there is the Cathlamet - Puget Island WA Bridge, and then a ferry across the river to Westport Oregon .

there is a Bus to get to the 3 towns in the county coming out of the PDX Train & greyhound station (a block apart there)..
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Old 07-06-14, 01:02 PM   #8
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My wife and I love multimodal trips.

E.g. a few in your area: Bike from home in Chicago's south 'burbs to Muskegon, MI,( or Ludington, MI) take a lake ferry to Milwaukee, WI ( or Manitowoc, WI), bike to Kenosha, WI, hop a Metra UP-North train to Chicago, bike cross town to the Metra South station, hop the Metra South train tothe station closest to home and bike home. Those trips were approx 400 (500) mi counting all modes of transport. We plan short daily miles (one day was 50, most were closer to 30 to 40) and leave extra time and extra days to hang out or visit interesting spots along the way.

Another: Bike from home to Joliet, ride Amtrak to St Louis, then Sedalia, MO. Bike west to Clinton, MO on the Katy Trail, then return east to St Louis on the Katy. Ride Amtrak back to JOT, then bike home.

We did a more upscale multimodal tour for a special occasion ... a Bike 'n' Boat tour from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary and back. The boat was essentially a hotel and gourmet restaurant that followed us.
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Old 07-06-14, 01:21 PM   #9
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Yes to all those questions.
This.
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Old 07-06-14, 01:28 PM   #10
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Last summer's ride was from home to New Carlisle, Que. and a train ride back to Montreal then a bus back as far as White River Jct., VT. This year's plan is a bus from Kingston, Ont. to Duluth, Minn. and then ride back to Kingston.
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Old 07-06-14, 02:36 PM   #11
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All of the time. The thing I love most about touring in a place like Italy is the trains. It makes your tour so much more flexible.

And I just love using ferries, I think they add a little spice to a tour.
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Old 07-06-14, 02:59 PM   #12
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Yes to all. For me the adventure-travel aspect of bicycle touring is key and supersedes the physical-sport-challenge. Incorporating alternative transportation as part of a tour is a great way to go.
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Old 07-06-14, 05:21 PM   #13
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And I just love using ferries, I think they add a little spice to a tour.
They can also take the place of a night's accommodation.

We've done the night ferry from Newcastle, UK to Ijmuiden, NL, and from Ouistreham, FR to Portsmouth, UK (I've done that one twice).

Have a relaxing dinner, wander around the ship, get a good night's sleep, have breakfast if you can (I usually can't manage much) ... and you're ready to roll the next day.
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Old 07-06-14, 09:57 PM   #14
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I have used the trains to move around the UK and Europe extensively bicycle touring. Also the ferry from UK to France. And once a bike and barge tour in the Netherlands. Rode the train from Hermann, MO to Sedalia after a tornado hit the Katy area. Took the Metro-Link from Belleville, IL to Lambert Field to catch the Katy.
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Old 07-06-14, 10:17 PM   #15
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One my wife's and my favorite tours, which we have done several variations, is to ride from our home to the Amtrak station, take the train to either Mt Vernon, WA which is about 15 miles east of Anacortes, and the ferry, or Vancouver, BC. There are several options from there that could include the Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, the Canadian Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast, as well as a portion of the northern Olympic Peninsula. Depending on how you do the route it might take 3-6+ ferry rides going to different islands and the mainland. When the tour ends we hop a train home. If we have a couple of open weeks we can get up there pretty fast and make a nice ride out of it.

We have used ferries to get out of Lisbon Portugal, to cross from San Francisco to Oakland (lands near Amtrak station), and numerous times in different parts of Europe. Like spinnaker, I enjoy the ferries.

Last summer we took our daughters on variation of San Juan/Vancouver Island tour. They loved it. Two of the "girls" getting ready to unload at Vancouver Island.


We have used trains a lot to get to the start or home from a tour. We have also used trains occasionally, mainly in Europe, while on tour, but more in a "hub and spoke" manner for side trips from our intended route. We use the train to travel the "spoke". When we tour our intention is to travel by bike, not to travel with a bike. However, this is just a guideline, not a hard rule, and we have used trains and buses to change our route.

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Old 07-06-14, 11:33 PM   #16
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Heh, what a weirdly worded question - sounds like a research paper or something. But yeah. Just came back from a 6 week trip to the UK and Iceland that was basically this. Some cycling as transport (eg, airport to friends' house), some cycle touring, some day rides. The most creative bit was squeezing in a 2 day hike in Iceland - not the easiest with cycle touring gear.

My biggest surprise was how easy it is to ride to and from airports. Heathrow (T4), Luton and Melbourne were all pretty easy - although Luton is a bit unpleasant around the town of Luton itself. Melbourne is fantastic - there's a great bike path almost to the door. Keflavik (Iceland) would have been fine, it's just quite a long way to Reykjavik.

The single worst moment with the bike was having to lock it up on the street overnight in London. I made the mistake of booking two nights in a hostel, assuming there would be somewhere safe to put it. I removed the front wheel and D-locked it, but still stressed out...
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Old 07-07-14, 08:29 AM   #17
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Hampstead Heath IYHA hostel was not needing a group I was part of (in '88) to lock any bikes up on the street,

which one did you book?
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Old 07-16-14, 05:02 AM   #18
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Have you ever used a combination of train travel and bicycle touring to explore some scenic geography? Have you taken a ferry to a distant seaside location and extended the range of shoreline visited while touring?

Can a combination of cycling and train travel or ferry travel and bicycle touring provide a car-free vacation while combining the independent mobility of bicycle touring with the rapid movement of public transportation?

How about you ... got any intermodal touring experiences?
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Old 07-16-14, 02:38 PM   #19
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I have used the trains to move around the UK and Europe extensively bicycle touring. Also the ferry from UK to France. And once a bike and barge tour in the Netherlands. Rode the train from Hermann, MO to Sedalia after a tornado hit the Katy area. Took the Metro-Link from Belleville, IL to Lambert Field to catch the Katy.
Belleville is where I live.

I've taken Amtrak from St. Louis to near Kansas City twice to ride across Missouri.

I've taken a bus one way to ride across the Katy Trail the last 4 years.
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