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.

GAP Riding Window

Reply

Old 01-11-14, 10:24 AM
  #1  
Ridefreemc
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ridefreemc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Florida
Posts: 1,539

Bikes: 2017 Kona TI, 2016 Bike Friday Haul-A-Day, 2015 Bike Friday New World Tourist, 2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2011 Mezzo D9, 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro, 2014 Xtracycle Electric

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
GAP Riding Window

On the way back to Florida during a recent motorcycle trip, I got to stop along the C&O pathway and it renewed my strong interest in riding the GAP. I love the history of the area and the adventure. I'll look at camping most of the way to save money, but will consider some of the hostel type places to stay so as to meet some people along the way. I prefer not to have a room to myself when I travel.

I'd like to determine when the earliest this year the GAP would be rideable. Not that I plan on going extremely early in the year, but so that I could better plan my "escape" and have a good window to work with.

Question #1 (and I know this depends on my gear and how much cold or rain I can handle - I do have fenders!). When is the earliest that one can expect to be able to ride the GAP? I don't mind some cold or rain, I just don't like freezing (literally freezing, not just the phrase used often for really cold, but not solid water) cold. I might like the solitude too - if it were on the edge of the normal riding season.

Question #2 . Without poking around for days online (Amtrak website = ugg), can you tell me if I can take the train from DC to Pittsburgh with my bike? I have a full touring bike now (no folder for this trip) so it would be best not to have to take it apart. I plan on taking the train from Tampa Florida (and back from DC).

Note that if it worked better from a logistics point of view, I could travel to Pittsburgh and ride to DC.

Thanks for your help.
Ridefreemc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-14, 10:41 AM
  #2  
Tandem Tom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,821

Bikes: 1992 Serotta Colorado II,Co-Motion Speedster, Giant Escape Hybrid, 1977 Schwinn Super Le Tour

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 199 Post(s)
As for Amtrak you can take your bike from DC to Pittsburgh. It will have to be boxed. Very easy to do even at the station as boxes and tape are available. As long as a station has baggage service it can handle bikes.
The GAP has a few tunnels and one, Big Savage, is closed through the winter and is scheduled to open the first week of April. Check the Great Allegheny Passage FB page. Also get yourself a copy of the Trailbook. Well worth the cost.
I have ridden it a number of times and taken my bike from Cleveland to Pittsburgh and ridden to DC. This Spring my wife and I will be riding cross country starting in Delaware and going to DC toward Pittsburgh. We are planning to start about the first week in April so we hope the Big Savage tunnel is open.
Tandem Tom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-14, 11:44 AM
  #3  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,426

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1096 Post(s)
When I did it early May in 2013, some days were quite wet but it was warm enough that we wore shorts most days. I rode Pittsburgh to DC.

Regarding camping, camped at Rivers Edge Campground and camped in a park next to YMCA in Cumberland.

Hostels I used were Hostel on Main, and the Hosteling International Hostel in Washington DC.

Also stayed at the C&O bunkhouse which is not a hostel, it is sort of in between a hostel and camping.

I would stay at all of the above again if I did the ride again.


Our bikes and gear in Union Station in DC.



My bike after pulling it out of a box in Amtrak station in Pittsburgh.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_20130517_095751.jpg (93.6 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg
20IMGP4131.jpg (68.9 KB, 45 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-14, 12:50 PM
  #4  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,198

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3135 Post(s)
By mid April, things start to warm up but snow is not unheard of mid April to early May. If you are staying in motels and B&Bs I would say the temp should be tolerable from that time one.

The big issue is going to be rain and snow melt. The path drains fairly quickly under a normal rain but after a long snowy winter, the snow takes time to melt an really saturates the ground. The trail can be a bit mushy in early spring. It is a lot like riding in Cream of Wheat when it is really soft. I think I actually prefer a muddy C&O over a mushy GAP.

My recommendation is usually after Memorial Day. By that time the trail has had a chance to drain of any built up moisture and you are pretty much sure of comfortable evenings. Rain is still anyones guess. For the GAP, August will be a bit dryer but also a lot hotter. As far as the C&O, I understand that corridor actually gets more rain than rainy old England.

I would not start a trip any time much after October if you are cold sensitive. While still excellent riding during that time, the weather can turn cold awfully quickly in the Highlands. If you are coming a distance to ride and don't want to take the chance of cold weather it is best to start no later than very early October.


You will need to box your bike. I have not looked but my guess is you would need to take the train to DC, then the Capital Limited to Pittsburgh. If that is the case then you will be arriving in Pittsburgh awfully late.

Options would be:

1. Take train to DC and ride DC to Pittsburgh. Rent a car or take a train back. But for some reason I have no desire to ride in that direction. Maybe it is because I live here. Plus it is a long steep climb out of Cumberland. A lot more fun to ride down. Pretty much the same climb going to Cumberland just spread out.

2. Take train to DC and rent car to drive here.

3. Ship you bike to me and either fly, drive or take the train. Assuming I will be home at the start of your trip.
spinnaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-14, 05:08 PM
  #5  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 20,649
Mentioned: 144 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7478 Post(s)
Unless you want to take a difficult detour, you have to wait at least until the tunnel that is closed for the winter opens, which I think is usually around mid-April.
indyfabz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-14, 07:16 PM
  #6  
Ridefreemc
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ridefreemc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Florida
Posts: 1,539

Bikes: 2017 Kona TI, 2016 Bike Friday Haul-A-Day, 2015 Bike Friday New World Tourist, 2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2011 Mezzo D9, 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro, 2014 Xtracycle Electric

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
So probably mid April would be the earliest reasonable start date, with potential for rain and soggy conditions. Sounds to me like May should give me better/higher chances for better conditions. I will probably start looking for the late May window.

Thanks all.
Ridefreemc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-14, 07:25 PM
  #7  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,198

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3135 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
So probably mid April would be the earliest reasonable start date, with potential for rain and soggy conditions. Sounds to me like May should give me better/higher chances for better conditions. I will probably start looking for the late May window.

Thanks all.
I would definitely opt for late May. But be advised that Rolling Thunder will be in DC Memorial Day weekend along with probably a number of other groups so DC is going to be packed on the weekend.
spinnaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-14, 07:54 PM
  #8  
Ridefreemc
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ridefreemc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Florida
Posts: 1,539

Bikes: 2017 Kona TI, 2016 Bike Friday Haul-A-Day, 2015 Bike Friday New World Tourist, 2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2011 Mezzo D9, 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro, 2014 Xtracycle Electric

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I would definitely opt for late May. But be advised that Rolling Thunder will be in DC Memorial Day weekend along with probably a number of other groups so DC is going to be packed on the weekend.
I don't care for crowds so that is good information - thanks.

Last edited by Ridefreemc; 01-13-14 at 06:23 AM.
Ridefreemc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-14, 08:38 PM
  #9  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,426

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1096 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
So probably mid April would be the earliest reasonable start date, with potential for rain and soggy conditions. Sounds to me like May should give me better/higher chances for better conditions. I will probably start looking for the late May window.

Thanks all.
Like I said above, early May in 2013 worked fine for us, does not need to be late May. We had several days of rain, but that can happen any time of year.

I was pleasantly surprised how solid the ground was under the puddles on the C&O after a few days of rain. I expected to find soft mud under the puddles, but the ground was pretty firm. I thought that the GPA soil was a bit slower but since we were usually going up a slight grade on GAP, I could have been imagining things.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
20IMGP4241.jpg (61.0 KB, 34 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 06:24 AM
  #10  
Ridefreemc
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Ridefreemc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Florida
Posts: 1,539

Bikes: 2017 Kona TI, 2016 Bike Friday Haul-A-Day, 2015 Bike Friday New World Tourist, 2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2011 Mezzo D9, 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro, 2014 Xtracycle Electric

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Like I said above, early May in 2013 worked fine for us, does not need to be late May. We had several days of rain, but that can happen any time of year.

I was pleasantly surprised how solid the ground was under the puddles on the C&O after a few days of rain. I expected to find soft mud under the puddles, but the ground was pretty firm. I thought that the GPA soil was a bit slower but since we were usually going up a slight grade on GAP, I could have been imagining things.

That is a pretty cool pictue. I bet that is a nie place to get out of the heat in summer, but quite cold in spring.

Last edited by Ridefreemc; 01-13-14 at 02:52 PM.
Ridefreemc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 08:16 AM
  #11  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,426

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1096 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
That is a pretty cool pictue. I bet that is a nie place to get out of the heat im summer, but quite cold in spring.
The temperature in a tunnel like that is pretty close to the annual average temperature. So, in spring should not be much colder than in summer. On this tunnel, my flashlight batteries were pretty low which did not make walking y loaded bike thru it very easy.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 01:09 PM
  #12  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 20,649
Mentioned: 144 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7478 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
That is a pretty cool pictue. I bet that is a nie place to get out of the heat im summer, but quite cold in spring.
That's what you find in the two tunnels of the abandoned section of the PA Turnpike. I rode through them back in September. One is nearly 3,800' and the other is around a mile. Outside it was mid to upper 80s in the shade. Felt hotter with sun beating down on me and with the humidity. It was easily 20 degrees cooler inside the tunnels. Even standing at the mouths you felt like you were standing in from of a central AC system.
indyfabz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 02:01 PM
  #13  
Altair 4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Along the Rivers of Pittsburgh
Posts: 964

Bikes: 2011 Novara Forza Hybrid, 2005 Trek 820, 1989 Cannondale SR500 Black Lightning, 1975 Mundo Cycles Caloi Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
That's what you find in the two tunnels of the abandoned section of the PA Turnpike.
Agreed. I think the ambient temperature in those Turnpike tunnels is about 50 to 55 degrees F. I think I need to ride that trail again this year.
Altair 4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 02:38 PM
  #14  
tom cotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Cherry Hill,NJ
Posts: 1,173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I too want to ride the turnpike tunnels. Just something different.

As for how to get from DC to Pittsburgh, train or rental car?

Cost wise i'd check both. I'd be willing to bet that that you could find a cheap rental car that would at least come close enough to make the worry of not boxing and storing the bike worth while.

Last edited by tom cotter; 01-13-14 at 02:43 PM.
tom cotter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 02:52 PM
  #15  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,358
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1124 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I was pleasantly surprised how solid the ground was under the puddles on the C&O after a few days of rain. I expected to find soft mud under the puddles, but the ground was pretty firm.
I never understand why so many people on the C&O ride through the mud, when the puddles are so much easier. You'll see sections of churned-up track-filled mud, with a perfectly fine 20' long puddle right next to it. The puddles are only a couple inches deep, and are hard packed underneath. Helps keep the tires clean. Definitely need fenders. Last time I rode it, I had to stop a few times to clean out the mud, but it sure beats being covered head to toe.
alan s is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 03:46 PM
  #16  
tom cotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Cherry Hill,NJ
Posts: 1,173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I never understand why so many people on the C&O ride through the mud, when the puddles are so much easier. You'll see sections of churned-up track-filled mud, with a perfectly fine 20' long puddle right next to it. The puddles are only a couple inches deep, and are hard packed underneath. Helps keep the tires clean. Definitely need fenders. Last time I rode it, I had to stop a few times to clean out the mud, but it sure beats being covered head to toe.
I've not ridden the C&O so i can't comment about puddle aversion there. However, lots of saddle time on trails riding the mountain bike and Puddle aversion is definitely in play. Why? Riding anywhere where you can't see the surface is high risk. Is the surface rutted? is there a natural obstruction, like a tree branch or large rock under the surface? A man made hazard like a piece of angle iron? And as all commuters can tell you, puddles are where the broken glass accumulates. Not to mention, those unfamiliar with the trail have no idea how deep the puddle is or how firm the surface is. So avoiding the puddle even to ride through mud is kinda the devil you know Vs the one you don't.
tom cotter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-14, 06:18 PM
  #17  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,198

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3135 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
I've not ridden the C&O so i can't comment about puddle aversion there. However, lots of saddle time on trails riding the mountain bike and Puddle aversion is definitely in play. Why? Riding anywhere where you can't see the surface is high risk. Is the surface rutted? is there a natural obstruction, like a tree branch or large rock under the surface? A man made hazard like a piece of angle iron? And as all commuters can tell you, puddles are where the broken glass accumulates. Not to mention, those unfamiliar with the trail have no idea how deep the puddle is or how firm the surface is. So avoiding the puddle even to ride through mud is kinda the devil you know Vs the one you don't.

Both very true statements, I have ridden into puddles in the C&O where I swear the wheel got buried up to the axle. On the other hand the mud builds up so much under the fenders, ridding into the puddles is almost a necessity.
spinnaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-14, 08:41 AM
  #18  
Altair 4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Along the Rivers of Pittsburgh
Posts: 964

Bikes: 2011 Novara Forza Hybrid, 2005 Trek 820, 1989 Cannondale SR500 Black Lightning, 1975 Mundo Cycles Caloi Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
I too want to ride the turnpike tunnels. Just something different.

As for how to get from DC to Pittsburgh, train or rental car?

Cost wise i'd check both. I'd be willing to bet that that you could find a cheap rental car that would at least come close enough to make the worry of not boxing and storing the bike worth while.
I'm going to throw this out after reading about people doing it on the Erie Canal in NY. If I were looking at alternatives to transport bikes from one end of the C&O or GAP to the other, I would seriously consider renting a U-Haul. They're set up to readily deal with one way rentals, you can get either a pickup or a small van, and their rates aren't bad.
Altair 4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-14, 08:54 AM
  #19  
tarwheel 
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,906

Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
I am planning to ride the GAP-C&O trail from Pittsburgh to DC with some friends in June. We are driving to DC and taking the Amtrak to Pittsburgh, and then riding back to DC on the trail. Hopefully the weather will be nice and the trail dry, but I'll probably have fenders on my bike unless it's a sure thing. I wouldn't have minding going in May but we are making our plans around several people's schedules.
tarwheel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-14, 03:21 PM
  #20  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,426

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1096 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
I too want to ride the turnpike tunnels. Just something different.
I can't imagine riding the two long tunnels with the narrow towpath in the dark next to the canal with a bike loaded down with camping gear, especially if you get fog near the end of the tunnel. I walked them and was glad I did.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
20IMGP4244.jpg (100.0 KB, 10 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-14, 08:30 AM
  #21  
tom cotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Cherry Hill,NJ
Posts: 1,173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
I'm going to throw this out after reading about people doing it on the Erie Canal in NY. If I were looking at alternatives to transport bikes from one end of the C&O or GAP to the other, I would seriously consider renting a U-Haul. They're set up to readily deal with one way rentals, you can get either a pickup or a small van, and their rates aren't bad.
Great idea!

Another idea is to check with car rental companies to see if they have any cars that need repositioning. Cars in DC that the companies need to put back in Pittsburgh. Good deals on cars that need to be elsewhere because it saves the companies the expense of transporting them.
tom cotter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-14, 08:33 AM
  #22  
tom cotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Cherry Hill,NJ
Posts: 1,173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I can't imagine riding the two long tunnels with the narrow towpath in the dark next to the canal with a bike loaded down with camping gear, especially if you get fog near the end of the tunnel. I walked them and was glad I did.

Tourist, we kinda skipped around here a bit. The turnpike tunnels aren't part of the towpath. Just a cool place for a day ride, or so I've read. Sorry for the confusion.

That said, i'm with ya 100% if i ever ride the C&O i'm walking those tunnels.
tom cotter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-14, 10:36 PM
  #23  
dwmckee
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,564

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Salsa Carbon Warbird, Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Felt Surplus 70 MTB, Dahon Folder, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
One quick thing to add about Amtrak - They will give you a used bike box free if available or sell one to you for I think $10. Checking a boxed bike as luggage costs $5. You will have to turn the handlebars and remove pedals to put it in a box but that is it. You can check the bike in up to 24 hours before the train leaves.
dwmckee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-14, 07:19 AM
  #24  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,830

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1014 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
One quick thing to add about Amtrak - They will give you a used bike box free if available or sell one to you for I think $10. Checking a boxed bike as luggage costs $5. You will have to turn the handlebars and remove pedals to put it in a box but that is it. You can check the bike in up to 24 hours before the train leaves.
The box costs $15. The fee to take the bike is $10. They have some other options such as walk on, for certain trains.

http://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard
Walter S is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-14, 09:01 AM
  #25  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,426

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1096 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
One quick thing to add about Amtrak - They will give you a used bike box free if available or sell one to you for I think $10. Checking a boxed bike as luggage costs $5. You will have to turn the handlebars and remove pedals to put it in a box but that is it. You can check the bike in up to 24 hours before the train leaves.
Depends on bike size, the first time I put my bike in an Amtrak box, I had to lower my stem by shifting spacers to above the stem from below, then one of my bar end shifters was still a problem so I had to pull out the cable and loosen the shifter so that I could twist it around in the handlebar. It might have been simpler to just put the parts in my pocket and leave the shift lever hanging from the cable, but I did not think of that.



The second time I instead removed the handlebars and strapped them onto the bike. Wired computer made it more complicated than I would have desired. Photo is after I pulled the bike out of the box.



My point is that if you have a larger bike frame size, you might want to plan on additional time at the station to get your bike into the box.

I always take my pedals off the bike a day before while still at home, just in case they are on unduly tight. That is a surprise I do not want to have just before I get on the train with the clock ticking.

But, overall I think that the Amtrak bike box is the greatest way to transport a bike, even when I have a larger size frame.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
20IMGP3290.jpg (51.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg
20IMGP4131.jpg (68.9 KB, 6 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service