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Bringing an assembled bike SoCal to NorCal

Old 10-28-10, 01:11 AM
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Bringing an assembled bike SoCal to NorCal

Okay, a buddy on mine is so lazy to post he asked to ask you guys.

He intends to bring along his bike (assembled) from LA to SF using the public land transportation system. My initial reaction is no way because the Amtrak train is not direct from LA to SF and has 2 shuttle bus sections. He may be able to bring it on board the train but definitely not on those Greyhound type buses. I dont know of any alternatives under the conditions (assembled bike & land transpo) mentioned. Anyone done this?

Any advice would be appreciated.

He is used to bringing his bike all around SoCal using the trains (Metrolink, etc.)
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Old 10-28-10, 06:50 AM
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What exactly are his objectives? I mean, most everyone in Calif has a car of their own.
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Old 10-28-10, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
What exactly are his objectives? I mean, most everyone in Calif has a car of their own.
he can't drive. forced for a period of time rather than by choice.
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Old 10-28-10, 08:31 AM
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Apparemtly he has a bike. He could ride it.
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Old 10-28-10, 09:44 AM
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Take the AMTRAK to Berzerkeley, have a couple of pints at Triple Rock on Shattuck, then take the BART across to the City.
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Old 10-28-10, 03:21 PM
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Amtrak Coast Starlight from LA to Oakland. Bart from Oakland to SF. No buses needed.
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Old 10-28-10, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Heckboy
Amtrak Coast Starlight from LA to Oakland. Bart from Oakland to SF. No buses needed.
This.
The Coast Starlight will require that you box your bike. The boxes can be purchased at Union Station. He will probably have to remove the bars to get the bike into the box.

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Old 10-28-10, 04:23 PM
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Thanks for asking this question, and thanks for the awesome response, Heckboy.
I've wondered a few times about this too, but just assumed the Greyhounds wouldn't be at all bike-friendly.
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Old 10-28-10, 04:25 PM
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The Amtrak buses have bike carriers underneath, where the luggage compartments are. The bikes do not have to be boxed, they just slide into something that looks a bit like a giant drawer. There's complete information about bringing bikes on board on Amtrak's website.

Also, if you want to connect directly from Amtrak to BART, go to Richmond. They share a station there. For a direct Amtrak to Caltrain connection, go to San Jose.
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Old 10-28-10, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ro-monster
The Amtrak buses have bike carriers underneath, where the luggage compartments are. The bikes do not have to be boxed, they just slide into something that looks a bit like a giant drawer. There's complete information about bringing bikes on board on Amtrak's website.

Also, if you want to connect directly from Amtrak to BART, go to Richmond. They share a station there. For a direct Amtrak to Caltrain connection, go to San Jose.
On a lot a Amtrak trains you don't need to box the bike but for some reason on the Coast Starlight they make you do this. I inquired about this just a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 10-28-10, 06:45 PM
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I did not know there was an all-train ride from LA to SF. But I guess the bike has to be boxed right? I thought they had that Amtrak coaches where you can bring the bike on board and they are stacked standing up in a baggage area.
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Old 10-28-10, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ls0725
I did not know there was an all-train ride from LA to SF. But I guess the bike has to be boxed right? I thought they had that Amtrak coaches where you can bring the bike on board and they are stacked standing up in a baggage area.
It depends on the route. Details are here: https://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1241267294303

The Coast Starlight is a lovely ride, by the way. It's a really nice train, and there's a lot of beautiful coastline to see on the trip.
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Old 10-29-10, 10:29 AM
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You can take the Pacific Surfliner to Santa Barbara (except for trains 798 and 799, they all have bike racks), then transfer to an Amtrak bus to San Francisco's ferry building. The reserved thru-way buses will let you put your bike underneath with the luggage (there isn't always a "giant drawer"). No dis-assembly, boxes, or additional fees required.
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Old 10-30-10, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by augustgarage
You can take the Pacific Surfliner to Santa Barbara (except for trains 798 and 799, they all have bike racks), then transfer to an Amtrak bus to San Francisco's ferry building. The reserved thru-way buses will let you put your bike underneath with the luggage (there isn't always a "giant drawer"). No dis-assembly, boxes, or additional fees required.
I would disagree. Just take Coast Starlight from LA to the SF area. The train ride from SB north is really nice (especially the section right north of SB through Hollister Ranch). Also, the on-time stats for Coast Starlight have improved since a few years ago (I think they worked out a deal for priority on the freight-owned lines they travel on a few years ago that allows them to keep the delays down). As for the cost..from what I remember, Amtrak only charges something like $5 for bike boxes on lines like Coast Starlight. Not bad (assuming this is still the case).
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Old 10-30-10, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rallison
I would disagree. Just take Coast Starlight from LA to the SF area. The train ride from SB north is really nice (especially the section right north of SB through Hollister Ranch). Also, the on-time stats for Coast Starlight have improved since a few years ago (I think they worked out a deal for priority on the freight-owned lines they travel on a few years ago that allows them to keep the delays down). As for the cost..from what I remember, Amtrak only charges something like $5 for bike boxes on lines like Coast Starlight. Not bad (assuming this is still the case).
I prefer the Coast Starlight as a passenger (I've ridden the length of it several times - the observation deck is awesome!), but it does take a little longer (~2 hours, even when it is running on time, + time on BART), cost a little more ($10 -$15+ more for the train ticket, $5 bicycle fee, $15 for the box, $3+ for the BART ticket), and add a minor inconvenience (partial dis-assembly and re-assembly*; carrying a pedal wrench).

Just wanted to throw the Surfliner + bus out there as an option (since not a lot of people know Amtrak thru-way buses allow bikes in their holds).

*in Oakland, at night...not that Jack London Square is all that sketchy
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