Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Southern California
Reload this Page >

Amtrak Century and taking the bike on the train

Notices
Southern California Southern California

Amtrak Century and taking the bike on the train

Old 08-31-12, 12:05 PM
  #1  
Gallo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Gallo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 766

Bikes: 2008 Wilier Motorolio Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail 1986 Paramount 2014 Pivot Mach 429c

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Amtrak Century and taking the bike on the train

OK so I am set for the Amtrak ride. Thing is I am from San Diego. I got a hotel for the night before. So I am heading up spending the night and riding home. I plan on taking the train up My question is how many of you have taken their bikes on the train and is it a hassle?

Thanks
Gallo is offline  
Old 08-31-12, 12:10 PM
  #2  
GP 
Senior Member
 
GP's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There are hooks that you hang your front wheel on. I think there are three per car. It's not a hassle.
GP is offline  
Old 08-31-12, 12:12 PM
  #3  
idoru2005
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've only taken the Amtrak from Oceanside to Irvine, so I can speak for the San Diego-Oceanside section. However, it shouldn't matter much. You just need to ensure the car you are planning to ride on has space in it's bike rack. There's only room for a handful of bikes (like 5 max) on the cars that have racks. Some cars don't even have the racks. Also, I heard there's some kind of track closure impacting San Diego to Carlsbad. You may want to check whether that closure impacts your plans. Bottom line, if there's room for your bike, its no hassle at all!
idoru2005 is offline  
Old 08-31-12, 12:39 PM
  #4  
BigJeff
Senior Member
 
BigJeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I don't know, but that seems far smarter than the "returning train".

As a friend put it, "imagine your bike being packed into a freight car with 1200 bikes by someone who has to handle 1200 bikes... none of which are theirs."

That's why my friend's wife is picking us up in San Diego.

But if you were one of only a few people on the train with a bike, the care will be highest; just do not be the last person getting on the train Saturday.

hahaha
BigJeff is offline  
Old 08-31-12, 12:41 PM
  #5  
rooftest
Despite all my rage, I am
 
rooftest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,613

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Colnago C-50

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Done it plenty of times - it's easy. You may want to bring a lock to secure your bike. I always ride to San Diego and take the train back, so I don't carry a lock. I just walk downstairs and keep an eye on my bike at the stops.

And - if you do the century; your bike doesn't go on the train. They have about half a dozen semi trucks that take the bikes back. (so you get to wait while the trucks battle traffic back, then try to figure out what truck your bike is on - and wait for it to come off the truck.)
rooftest is offline  
Old 08-31-12, 01:21 PM
  #6  
calamarichris
Horse Categorie
 
calamarichris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 6,197

Bikes: '09 Felt F55, '84 Masi Cran Criterium, (2)'86 Schwinn Pelotons, '86 Look Equippe Hinault, '09 Globe Live 3 (dogtaxi), '94 Greg Lemond, '99 GT Pulse Kinesis

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 231 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 35 Posts


Bikes and Amtraks: it's a winning combination. (Although I've always done it on non-Amtrak-Century days.) Taking your bike on the train to someone unknown town up the tracks is the best way to spend a weekend since the invention of drunken coitus.
calamarichris is offline  
Old 08-31-12, 09:35 PM
  #7  
stevepusser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 757
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Certain of the trains (the old one-story ones) require you to put your bike in a separate baggage car. The two-decker ones have the bike racks. The conductor will let you know which car is the baggage car and how to load it if you do get one of those old ones.
stevepusser is offline  
Old 09-01-12, 12:12 AM
  #8  
rooftest
Despite all my rage, I am
 
rooftest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,613

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Colnago C-50

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by stevepusser View Post
Certain of the trains (the old one-story ones) require you to put your bike in a separate baggage car. The two-decker ones have the bike racks. The conductor will let you know which car is the baggage car and how to load it if you do get one of those old ones.
I rode on one of those once, too. They're pretty rare, I think.
rooftest is offline  
Old 09-01-12, 06:11 AM
  #9  
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 6,966

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
Or you can do a training ride and ride down to Irvine.
Garfield Cat is offline  
Old 09-01-12, 06:18 AM
  #10  
Gallo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Gallo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 766

Bikes: 2008 Wilier Motorolio Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail 1986 Paramount 2014 Pivot Mach 429c

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Awesome

Thank you all
Gallo is offline  
Old 09-03-12, 03:49 PM
  #11  
tomdecel
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 14

Bikes: 96 De Rosa, all Campy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I also live in SD and this will be my fourth Amtrak, but I am lucky that a friend riding with us with a pick up truck is driving North Friday afternoon with his wife and our bikes this year.

I've gone from the Santa Fe depot and from the Solana Beach train station to Irvine a dozen times. Then ride back the next day (my stay at Mothers who lives in OC).

It is very easy, if there is room in the train. The number of bikes is limited. They used to allow passengers to check their bikes as "luggage" if all the hooks were occupied, but I am not sure if they still do or not. Best thing is to check with Amtrak.

By the way, I believe the closure of the track is scheduled to start after 10:00 PM Friday night. And for what is worth, the 900 +/- bikes returning to Irvine are handled by OCW volunteers and each bike is individually wrapped in a moving blanket in semi trucks.

See you on the train.....
tomdecel is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 11:56 AM
  #12  
cdp8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gallo View Post
I plan on taking the train up My question is how many of you have taken their bikes on the train and is it a hassle?

Thanks
CALL AMTRAK. I heard from an OCW member that is involved with the Amtrak Century, that there is a section of track near Encinitas that is closed for repair. According to this OCW member, riders will be bussed from the finish line in San Diego to Encinitas where they will board the train to return to Irvine.

Amtrak may not be able to take your bike on the bus to Encinitas. (OCW hires semis to transport the bikes for the Century). You may have to to get a ride to Encinitas and take Amtrak or go to Oceanside and take Metrolink from there.

Last edited by cdp8; 09-04-12 at 11:57 AM. Reason: typos
cdp8 is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 01:44 PM
  #13  
rooftest
Despite all my rage, I am
 
rooftest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,613

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Colnago C-50

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cdp8 View Post
CALL AMTRAK. I heard from an OCW member that is involved with the Amtrak Century, that there is a section of track near Encinitas that is closed for repair. According to this OCW member, riders will be bussed from the finish line in San Diego to Encinitas where they will board the train to return to Irvine.

Amtrak may not be able to take your bike on the bus to Encinitas. (OCW hires semis to transport the bikes for the Century). You may have to to get a ride to Encinitas and take Amtrak or go to Oceanside and take Metrolink from there.
Definitely call Amtrak or look on their website about this. This rail route is fairly heavily traveled, so I find it hard to believe that one section is just "closed for repairs."
rooftest is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 01:48 PM
  #14  
Pinigis 
Senior Member
 
Pinigis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Henrico, VA
Posts: 1,096

Bikes: Origami Gazelle, Origami Crane 8, Origami Cricket 7

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 231 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 56 Posts
You can often keep a folding bike in the partner compartment as long as it is in a bag.
__________________
Paul Pinigis
Owner of Origami Bicycle Company
Pinigis is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 01:56 PM
  #15  
cdp8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rooftest View Post
Definitely call Amtrak or look on their website about this. This rail route is fairly heavily traveled, so I find it hard to believe that one section is just "closed for repairs."
Hard to believe, yet oh so true...

The track closes Friday 9/7 at 10 p.m. So as long as you are north of Oceanside before that, you will be OK. And it looks like my friend heard incorrectly; the closure is from Oceanside all the way down to San Diego.

https://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1251622606025

Last edited by cdp8; 09-04-12 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Typo
cdp8 is offline  
Old 09-04-12, 03:43 PM
  #16  
tjh1960
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As noted, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains have bike racks in the cars so you can just roll your bike aboard as long as there's room. It doesn't look like Surfliner offers checked baggage service at either Old Town or Irvine stations so that's not an option.
tjh1960 is offline  
Old 09-09-12, 09:14 AM
  #17  
Gallo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Gallo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 766

Bikes: 2008 Wilier Motorolio Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail 1986 Paramount 2014 Pivot Mach 429c

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
So I went up on Friday

The hooks were full almost right away and there were several bikers heading north from a group ride. The kind folks at Amtrak opened the first car and loaded all of our bikes.

three thumbs up for Amtrak very cool

The ride was well supported and staffed. The constant lights through OC was annoying. It was stop and go in the beginning. Very cool shirt glad to have participated.
Gallo is offline  
Old 09-09-12, 06:48 PM
  #18  
GP 
Senior Member
 
GP's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gallo View Post
The ride was well supported and staffed. The constant lights through OC was annoying. It was stop and go in the beginning. Very cool shirt glad to have participated.
I didn't realize the Amtrak was this weekend. I got home from the supermarket at 1030 and had to wait for 50 cyclists to pass. There must have been over 1000 on the ride.
GP is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
leaping_gnome
Southern California
7
03-13-13 01:53 PM
dvald001
Touring
10
06-30-11 04:28 PM
msviolin57
Touring
35
01-09-11 10:23 PM
ls0725
Southern California
14
10-30-10 09:44 PM
cuattop
Road Cycling
4
10-20-10 03:24 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.