Bicycle Touring Experiences from United States

United States

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to United States (you can share your experiences here).


Contents on this page


Boston, Massacusetts (Logan)

Here's a link http://www.massbike.org/publicat/airport.htm ("Routes and Hints for Getting Into and Out of Boston's Logan International Airport by Bicycle") to Logan Airport

Doug Mink, June 03, 2015

Amtrak -- Chicago to Kansas City

The only possible draw-back to this, is that you have to make reservations in advance. So that you might be pressed for time if you make a sidetrip.
Mike

Mike, June 03, 2015

Greyhound

Transportation Alternatives, the bike/ped advocacy organization in NYC, maintains a list of the NY metro area's transit companies' bicycle carriage policy. They have this to say about Greyhound:
"800-231-2222 National service. Must provide your own box, travels in the luggage bay. All connections accept the bike boxed. $10 each way fee, regardless of connections."

Leslie Tierstein, June 03, 2015

Greyhound

I took Greyhound with a bike from Denver, CO to LA, CA over the summer. It was an unbelieveably hideous experience (a little hyperbole here). None of their employees either on the phone nor in person had the straight story on how big, how heavy, or the price of the "extra" baggage. Finally, I just had to go with the bus driver's word on all three of these things, and even ended up unloading the luggage off the bus *myself* to get my bike in there, then reloading it. If you can at ALL afford an airline, then by all means do it. You'll thank yourself in the morning.

Jeremy T Jackson, June 03, 2015

Bikes Fly Free

Charles Hansen wrote:
>This used to be true, but I thought there's been a number of postings recently saying that a number of airlines are now charging for international flights?

>I know members of LAB and Adventure Cycling can get free bike transport if they book the flight with the org's official travel agency, but don't know if this also applies to international flights.

The LAB offer is good on Northwest, TWA, USAir, Continental, America West and Western Pacific. I don't know about international trips, but other than the disclaimer "some restrictions may apply", no such limitations are mentioned in the material I have. You may call the afilliated travel agency, Professional Travel Corp., at 800/426-4055, for more information. FWIW, I've used the LAB offer for a number of domestic flights, and it has worked great.

Thomas Hart, June 03, 2015

Japan Airlines

I had a similar experience last year flying to Japan: I flew American from St. Louis to Chicago, then Japan Airlines to Tokyo. AA insisted on charging me $45 for the short hop to Chicago, and said the only way I could avoid an additional $100(!) charge for the JAL flight was to to check it only to Chicago. Once there, I had to claim the bike, and lug it, my French horn and another carry-on onto the train to go to a different terminal to catch the JAL flight. When I got there, the JAL personnel could not have been more gracious, and were appalled that AA had had me jump through hoops to get the bike to them.

JAL was wonderful (my best airline experience ever) but when I go back next summer, I will fly one airline (either United or Northwest) the whole way, since JAL doesn't serve St. Louis. 🙁 And in the future, I will avoid AA whenever possible!

Dan Phillips, June 03, 2015

Ground Transportation

I had exactly the same experience in San Francisco last September, although I can't remember if the company names were the same.

I was the last stop on the trip and the van driver wasn't expecting a bike box. We had to rearrange the luggage to get the bike in the van, and it was a tight fit. If the other people had more luggage, we might not have been able to fit, but I sure didn't need the van to myself.

Bottom line, call around first for the best price and if possible, be the first stop so that you can be sure to get your bike in.

regards, Greg Goodwin "Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Greg Goodwin, June 03, 2015

Rental In San Diego

I'm an airline pilot and have been flying into San Diego regularly for a few months and have had great success renting from Bike Revolution on 6th Avenue. Great service, great selection of bikes and you can't beat the riding options you have in SD. http://thebikerevolution.com

Jeffrey Kilmer, May 24, 2015

Fees for bike box on United Airlines

I recently travelled to France with my bicycle (coach). UA does not have the capability of charging for a bike box at the terminal. I was charged $400 one way and when I wrote to customer service, ponting out that I was overcharged according to UA's own rules, they refused to refund me. I will never travel overseas with my bicycle using UA again.

Michael Rock, July 25, 2014

Amtrak Downeaster

Found it was very easy to take a fully loaded rig onto the Downeaster. The conducter just rolled the bike into the baggage car, secured it into the slots for the front wheel, and set it up so it wouldnt sway. In Brunswick, he just rolled it right off for me, no muss no fuss. Train had fairly priced food and Wifi.

Ed, June 21, 2014

Air France - Bicycle Experience

My bike failed to make it with rest of baggage in both directions from US to France. It was delivered two days after we arrived in France. The bike again failed to show up with our regular baggage on our return trip to US. As of this writing (3 days later) I do not have my bike yet.

Air France lost baggage service in France was pretty good. Service was terrible in the US. I would recommend calling Air France baggage in France if they lose your bike. (0033 1 55 69 84 68)

I flew business class that entitled me to 'Priority Baggage' and also paid the $150 fee for the bicycle. Apparently priority carries little weight since they blew it both ways.

I also had to call them three times prior to the trip to provide details on the bike.

My recommendation would be to avoid Air France if you want to take your bike on a holiday.

John Brown, September 16, 2013

Bicycle Tours in PA and NJ

Great Bicycle Tours in PA Dutch and Western NJ areas

bill tesar, May 03, 2013

s&s couplers, flying experience, never paid

I've made several flights in the last 9 months with my s&s coupled trucker deluxe. So far I have never had to pay extra for my bike. I haven't ever used a case. I have a 26x26x10 bag. I add cardboard to add a bit of structure (except one time). I have been asked what was in the bag, and have said that it's a bicycle. Usually they just take it, but a few times (couple?) I had to take the bag to the "oversize checkin" area.

Through all that, I've never paid more than the standard checked bag fee for my bicycle. Maybe I'm just lucky, but the one thing I do that I believe makes a difference is that I always check-in online and pay my bag fees before arriving at the airport. My theory is that folks at the counter would rather let it slide than have to adjust fees.

Patrick Kelly, February 19, 2013

Amtrack

Though it now goes to Freeport & Brunswick Maine, you cannot get on or off at either stop, no baggage service. The farthest you can take your bike (unfolding) is Portland

Ed, January 07, 2013

Amtrack

The Amtrack "Downeaster" now stops at Freeport & Brunswick Maine
Check the "Downeaster" web page

Ed, December 01, 2012

Pittsburgh, PA airport (getting easier)

Still no easy way to bike to the Pittsburgh airport, since it is surrounded by freeways and a good distance from the city.

There is now an alternate to the cabs listed in a previous Pittsburgh post. The Port Authority bus 28X runs from the airport through the southwestern suburbs and downtown before circling around in the university district of Oakland and heading back towards the airport. Plus now all Port Authority buses have bike racks, capable of carrying 2 bikes, so that shouldn't be a problem. More details can be found here: http://www.portauthority.org/PAAC/apps/pdfs/28X.PDF

Steve Slusarski, November 30, 2011

Air France is fantastic for travelling with bike

I travelled with my bike from Boston to India (with a stopover in Paris) in 2010. Not a cent extra - no problems. As it is bike touring in a foreign country can be expensive but Air France eases the pain by not giving any hassels. Think all airlines may be that friendly to bikes? - wrong. Travelled from Boston to Denver by United - paid $200 each way ($100 for the bike & $100 for excess weight). Not all airlines are bike friendly - Air France is. Guess what Air France, you have a customer for life.

Sanjay Jaiman, October 17, 2011

Bicycle Travel Bags and Bicycle protector Bags. Law Rome

Rome Bike Bags continues to support the Bicycle Travel Bag indsutry needs celebrating their 15th year. The Bicycle Travel Bag or airline and rail travel continues to be the industry standard for ease of use and utility The Patented Bicycle Protector Bag is more popular than ever. Protect you bike form the elements when not in use. wwwbikebags.com 1-888-ROME-BIK 310-791-6366 Law Rome

Law Rome, October 05, 2011

Amtrak - Raleigh to Florida (Feb 2011)

5-yr-old Bike luggage boxes from Performance Bike weigh 30 lbs empty, and weigh over 50 lbs with 1 of our 2 road bikes inside (steel bike). At Raleigh station we had to re-assemble bikes, store luggage boxes in my car, and pack our bikes into Amtrak cardboard bike boxes (cost $5 or $10 per box). Tampa, FL station let us store the cardboard boxes for return trip. Fortunately our train arrived late, due to non-Amtrak accident blocking track, delaying our train's arrival for 2 hours. We had time to move our bikes from luggage boxes to cardboard boxes.

We brought the tools to reassemble bikes, and they were in bike boxes, not in checked luggage.

Bikes traveled without a scratch. Amtrak baggage handlers strongly request that you arrive 1 hour before train to check bikes, as they cannot store other luggage on top of them.

Amtrak strictly enforces the 50 lb per luggage item weight limit. You cannot be 1 lb over that limit.

One tip for cardboard bike boxes: if you use SPD pedals, you can probably get away with only removing 1 pedal to get bike inside cardboard box. wrap rags around handlebars and around pedal area.

Esther Lumsdon, August 05, 2011

will ignore airlines and use cargo..freight.. and any ship transfer

I am heading out on world biking in month/so. I won't try to fly ANYWHERE, but use cargo/fright when possible. They have about $100/more to get on with good touring bike. Since I'm 65 will gladly welcome anything I don't have to put up with airplanes.

Roben, July 04, 2011

Other Airlines Bikes Policies

Hello,

I run a website that also has information about the official bike rules for many airlines. The list here is pretty comprehensive, but there are a few that are missing, so if you haven't found what you're looking for, you can check it out. http://www.airline-baggage-fees.com/sports/bikes/

Thomas Soltysiak, May 30, 2011

MASS Commuter Trains

The ferry landing at Boston from P"Town has been moved so you can now roll your bike off without doing any stairs.
The only other issue is that if you need to take the commuter train from South Station to Worcester, the earliest ferry to Boston gets there too late to take the train. It gets there during PEAK TIME and you will nee to wait till after 19:00 to take the train

Ed, May 19, 2011

Southwest Bicycle police

I have taken my bike on Southwest severat times. I box it in a cardboard box, it is over size and weight. Southwest employees are very helpfull in checking in the bike. $50 each way, worth it.

Robert Smith, May 17, 2011

Traveling/living with my Dahon foldable

I bought my first one almost 2 years ago. A 16" stowaway, it rides surprisingly well despite the small wheels and short wheelbase. It's a very freeing bike to ride, in that I just don't have to worry about where to put/keep it. It just goes with me! With high pressure tires, I can casually put 10 or 20 miles on it with little trouble, yet I can store 3 of them in the back of our Toyota Matrix and still have room for (some) gear!

I can ride my bike to work, then meet my wife in the car, go see a movie after work, then ride home later. It's just convenient.

I first bought a few more when I realized just how well they fit in the back of my small, private plane! It's so nice to not just be stuck when I land, totally dependent on taxis! Now I have 5, and they are also a dream at camping trips for the kids since they adjust to any size of rider from 3 years on up.

They do look a bit odd, and some people might mind this. Personally, I enjoy the conversations I often get with admiring/curious travelers.

Benjamin Smith, May 01, 2011

Year-round biking around Santa Barbara, Calfornia

Santa Barbara county has some of the best biking in the US. It has a Mediterranian climate, perfect for year-round outdoor activities. There are 78 miles of Pacific coastline, mountain ranges over 6800 feet, and a generous serving of Los Padres National Forest. It's 100 miles from Los Angeles, 300 from San Francisco. Their website serves the needs of cyclists seeking rewarding adventures - www.bike-santabarbara.org.

Ralph Fertig, February 07, 2011

Air Lingus - Bagged Tandem - JFK - DUB

In the Fall of 2009 I flew Air Lingus from JFK to DUB and flew back about a month latter. The bike was placed in a bag from a couch in both cases. The handle bars were on the top tube and the pedals were removed. They did require the air pressure be lowered in the tires. I removed the derailleur on the return flight as it had been slightly bent on the outbound flight.

G. Allen Morris III, December 14, 2010

Boxes - cardboard dealer boxes for carbon fiber bikes make perfect airline boxes

I discovered that the cardboard boxes that carbon fiber bikes are shipped to the dealer in can be bought and make excellent airline boxes for domestic trips. Then when you get to your trail head you can ship (FedEx, UPS) the empty box(es) to a hotel at you last stop. I have done this and the hotel was able to hold the box for three weeks until we arrived.

The box is very strong and designed so that the bike and wheels, etc., are tied to the bottom half. The top half is then fitted and taped. TSA should have no problem inspecting without damaging the box.

Malcolm Gaissert, December 05, 2010

trails near airports

I would like to collect a list of trails near airports. For example, I know the Mount Vernon Trail practically runs right through Reagan National Airport. And it seems like there's a trail very near the airport in Des Moines. (I've seen it as I flew out of there.)
If you have any other other suggestions for trails near major airports, please add them here or contact me so I can add them to my list.
Thanks.

trailsnet, November 27, 2010

REI shipping

On a recent trip to ride the Great Allegheny Passage and C & O Canal Towpath trails, I needed to ship my bike from Colorado to Pennsylvania and back.
I found two advantages to using REI for this process.
1. I shipped my bike there using UPS, but REI provided me with a free box to do it.
2. I shipped my bike back from Washington D.C. using UPS. It was actually cheaper for REI to uninstall, pack, ship, and reinstall my bike than it was for me to do all that stuff myself.
So before you ship your bike anywhere, you may want to check on the REI bike shipping option.

trailsnet, November 24, 2010

Amtrak from Denver to Glenwood Springs, Colorado

I travel all over the country to ride bike trails and one of my favorite spots is Glenwood Springs, CO.
There are two great trails going out of Glenwood Springs. One of them is the Glenwood Canyon Trail. It runs east down the route of the Colorado River and I-70. It is all paved or cement with an even grade.
The other trail is the Rio Grande Trail. It runs between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. It is about half paved and half gravel and has some decent climbing, but nothing even close to technical.
Both of these trails can be done by beginning and intermediate bikers.
One of the best aspects of the Glenwood Springs area is easy access by train or car. The Amtrak runs right to near where both of these trails start. There are bicycle rentals available nearby. I rented bikes since I usually go there w/ groups, but check w/ Amtrak about taking your bike on the train.

trailsnet, November 24, 2010

Amsterdam - San Fransisco, New York - Amsterdam

Last september I travelled with Britisch Airways from A'dam to San Fransisco. Bike was undamaged in SF. Had the bike packed in a small bikebox. I put the bikebox like a pyjama around the bike so that it was able to roll. On top af that I put a plastic bikecover around it. I removed the derailleur and chain so that it could not be damaged. delicate parts were covered with isolating material. On the way back the bike was only protected by the plastic cover witch is in fact no protection at all. Even with this minimal protection the bike arrived in A'dam totally undamaged with a stop at Heathrow. For the bike I had to pay 50 dollars for each journey. They handle the bike as an extra suitcase.

TJG Boomgaarden, October 03, 2010

US Airways & Surly Travelers Check

Flew (NS) from Charlotte to Rochester, NY with my S&S Softcase (Surly Travelers Check), paid online-$23, no problems at counter, no damage. The one thing I had issues with was the Tubus Cargo Rack, I carried it on with my panniers in a duffle, cumbersome but free. Touring tires & a 60cm frame cause the softcase to pack VERY tight, had to remove fork, and reverse the left crank arm. more disassembly than I planned on, but it is what it is. The tour thru Montreal, Vermont, & New Hampshire was more than worth it.
I recommend a tag on the outside of the case, "CONTENTS: 1 BICYCLE" and a copy of your flight itinerary on the inside, near where the TSA will see if they open the case.

Wade Otey, September 06, 2010

Between Venezuela and the US.-

Have been carrying my MTB since 2001 back and forth betweem these two countries with little or no problem at all. Eery time I traveled using American Airlines in both the high and the low season.

At the beginning I used the original cardboard boxes from the local bike shops but last year decided to buy a Thule bike case with wheels on it. It is not also better because of the easy handling (rolling) through the airport terminals but also because the case is more compact than the box and protects the bike better.

Federico POGGIOLI, July 19, 2010

Impressions from bicycle touring

This website shows what it’s like to bicycle through these countries, thus helping the cyclist decide which country they want to take their next tour in.

Grace Johnson, June 29, 2010

Checked Trico ironcase from San Francisco to Dublin

Cost me 300USD to check this bike box on United Airlines last November 2009 (more than the cost of the fixie itself)!

Nicky Quinlan, June 02, 2010

We used Shipbikes.com to ship our bikes cross country

We live in California, and planned a bike trip from Pittsburgh to Washington DC on the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal trails. We planned to bring our Rans Screamer TR tandem recumbent with S&S couplers, and a SatRDay folding recumbent (fits in a standard suitcase) for my brother to ride.

First, in order to ship the Rans Screamer, we invested in a case from triall3sports.com, because the Rans Bike web site showed how you could pack a Rans Screamer TR in one of their cases -- see "http://www.ransbikes.com/screamer TR case.htm" The case worked very well, just as shown in the pictures on the Rans web site.

The case alone weighs about 35 lbs., so with the bike and other stuff inside the total weight was probably 90 lbs. To bring it on the airplane with us as luggage (Delta Airlines) would have cost us $25 (standard luggage fee) + $175 (overweight luggage) + $300 (oversize luggage) = $500 each way!!! Standard ground shipping by Fed Ex was about $230 each way for the tandem, but then someone told us about Shipbikes.com. I was somewhat wary of Shipbikes.com, finding very few reviews online, but they ship through Fed Ex and they only charged $127 each way for the tandem ($69 each way for the SatRDay), which seemed like a real bargain. We used Shipbikes.com to ship the tandem and the SatRDay (in its suitcase) from California to Pittsburgh, then we shipped the empty bike cases to DC, and then we shipped the bikes back home to California. Shipbikes.com worked flawlessly each time, and Fed Ex took good care of our bikes with virtually no damage to the cases or the bikes.

The way it works is you purchase prepaid shipping labels from the Shipbikes.com web site, and then you just call in to Fed Ex and tell them you have a prepaid pickup, and they come get it. Very convenient, much easier than dragging those heavy cases to the airport! We shipped to a bike shop in Pennsylvania, and then shipped the empty cases to our hotel in DC, both of which worked great. And no, I have no connection to Shipbikes.com -- I am just a dedicated bicycle tourist who was pleased to find this inexpensive and convenient solution to how to ship your bike around the country.

Matt Colonell, May 30, 2010

Travel recently on BA from SFO to Spain? packing a folding bike

Hiya and thanks for your time. I am desperately seeking info on how to pack my SWIFT folding bike into a cardboard box to take on Brit Airways in a month. I am moving back to Spain, taking my limit of checked baggage and will be paying excess for bringing the bike with me. This is a o/w travel and flying on two connecting flights. Most of the info I've been finding online is waay old, BA or anyone doesn't answer their phones and I'm TRYING to pack all my stuff/gear to get my butt outa here. If anyone has traveled recently (within last 2mos) I would really appreciate any tips/etc regarding flying w/bike to Spain fm SFO, Heathrow, to BCN then finishing in Sevilla. I have already wrapped it in a roll of corrugated board and taped it up, and with strap it with rope to hold it together and offer a handle so it won't be a bother to the baggage crew. I have the impression like this it won't be accepted. HELP!! I've called several packing places for boxes but nobody seems to know of cardbrd boxes for bikes and in MY case: a folding bike. I don't have $$ to buy a shipping box/bag.

Tony, February 10, 2010

Enno moved to a new e-mail adress again .........

Enno is still very much in touch with the world of traveling- commuting- and racing bicycles. Bike Fridays all around the place but 2 Birdy's ( Riese & Müller ) and 2 Serotta's as well. Oooops need extra locks on our frontdoor !

Enno Roosink, December 11, 2009

Tips for Tourists Bicycling Monterey, CA, USA--Rentals & More

Thank you for your helpful site. I'm happy to be able to contribute something myself too. As a cyclist and Monterey, CA resident since 1981, I've compiled "Tips for Tourists Bicycling Monterey," which includes info on rentals, "bike-and-ride" options, and much more. Available free at www.marilynch.com/blog

Mari Lynch, November 22, 2009

Discrimination?

So, Delta, why am I charged $150 (domestic) to travel by air with my bike yet someone who travels with golf clubs that are heavier and larger (up to 100 lbs and less that 100 inches L+W+H) is not charged a penny? Are golfers welcomed yet cyclists discouraged? I could have bought my MTB its own ticket when I traveled by air to my last race.

RP24Hours, October 20, 2009

Information re: bikes to SW USA

Would anyone have experience/advice with train travel with bicycles to Arizona and back to Indiana or elsewhere in the mid-west?

Ian Mad Dog #892, September 30, 2009

Look out for United's new charges

I am so angry that I can explode. I feel totally taken at this point and United's ticketing agent was a major part
of the problem. I was flying and shipping my bicycle back from Maui and was doubled charged for my bicycle and then
charged for it being over weight. A week prior to my trip I called and asked about shipping my bike and was told it
would cost 85.00 dollars then when I arrived at the airport the charges incurred for the bike were $30.00 for a
sport bag, $175.00 for the bike (and after I said something I was told that I was grandfathered and it was changed
to $85.00 because the price had increased after I purchased my ticket), and then charged more for the bike and case
weighing 76 lbs. I do believe in paying a fair price to travel but getting overcharged really makes me angry. I'm
in the U.S. Naval Aviation field so I understand weight, balance, and fuel cost but what United is doing is
ridiculous. Lastly, for more than twenty-five years when traveling I have always tried to fly united but after this
experience I will be booking with other airlines even if the ticket cost more. I am also a member of the armed
forces and I can't belive I was taken the way I was on Maui.

Ken Bruce, August 29, 2009

Amtrak in 2009

We recently rode Amtrak from Martinez to Seattle with tandem and BOB. No problem packing the tandem in 2 boxes and stuffing the BOB in a box that was 38 inches long (oversize). $5 to ship the tandem and the BOB went as checked luggage. Amtrak seems to get it these days.

Craig Gaevert, August 05, 2009

Bike Boxes

roadbiketrader.com will soon be selling Travel Bike Boxes. The only part of the bike that will need to be disassembled will be the front tire.

Todd T. & Reed B., June 22, 2009

USPS Shipping

The largest dimensions USPS will ship are 130 inches combined length and girth (2x width + 2x depth) up to 70lbs. The price will vary according to zip code and insurance. We paid about $140 each with stout insurance to send them from NE to AK. USPS insurance is, of course, necessary but reinforcing the box and protecting your goods is the best kind.

I tape wide strips of cardboard inside the box above each of the hand holes, at all of the corners and at each of the pressure points of the wheels.

All that cardboard and gear inside those measurements make for pretty tight tolerances. On a 700c bike the height of just the wheel is already about 27". To be safe add an inch on either side for the cardboard and you are at 29" which leaves only 74" to work with. Most bike boxes are around 9" wide though they are all a bit different so it can pay to select the right one from the shop. That leaves you with 54" (29+29+ 9+9=76 130-76=54). So the length of the box must be 54" or 4' 6". That is not a lot. I have been able to pack a 19" frame with the rear wheel on but I usually have to pack my 21" frame with the rear wheel off and it is still right at the limit.

At the Post Office they are supposed to measure the combined length and girth of the box. If they measure in the middle where it bulges, it is likely to be over measure. If they measure at the ends where the box is stapled more and is usually tighter you will likely be under.

That is where the Jedi Mind Tricks become essential. Know your measurements. Help them see that the measurements are under 130". "These are not the droids you are looking for," says Obi Wan. "These aren't the droids we are looking for. Move along," says Stormtrooper 1 to Stormtrooper 2. "This box is 128 inches combined length and girth," says Cyclist. "This box is 128 inches combined length and girth. No need to measure again," says Postal Worker 1 to Postal Worker 2.

Finding a postal worker who is a cyclist or sympathetic to the cause also helps but keeping positive and friendly is essential. They are in a position that CAN help you but are they not obligated to do anything aside from process a package that fits required dimension and weight requirements. Pay it forward.

David Story, June 16, 2009

Travling out of st. louis mo

I'm trying to determine the best way to transport my bike and equipment from st louis to vancouver by air. Is there a better airline to go through. As far as transporting the bike should I have a hard case or box it up in cardboard. I will be traveling home from San Diego. If I use a hard case, how do I get it to my final destination. Thanks

Kurt Schinzing, April 25, 2009

VeloNews luggage and shipping article

The USA magazine VeloNews in it's 2009 Race & Ride Guide (Vol.38/No.6 )has an article about current airline bicycle luggage rules and costs and some FEDEX and UPS information for comparison.

Gerald Adams, March 13, 2009

Bicycle Travel Bag, light and airport easy

Ordered two Bicycle Travel Bags for euro travel for Air france and had great results. The bags went straight thru from LAx-Paris no issues. I bought the bags form a company in CA called ROME BIKE BAGS. When I went to the store the clerks showed me how to use the bag and made suggestions on traveling. Excellent trip and the bag are gonna last a long time, they are so well made. The company does make alot of other bag for bikes but I recommend the ones we purchased for airline or car. Here is their website as I wanted to help otheres with this dilemma. www.bikebags.com 1-888-ROME-BIK Mike

Mike Marley, March 04, 2009

Amtrak- Michigan

I searched all over Amtrak site for everything pertaining to travel with bike. Went to the train station 02-09-2009, with my bike all packed up to spec.

Went I went to the ticket window, the agent said,"you can't travel with checked baggage in Michigan." If the composition of that sentence isn't completely retarded to everyone, let me know.

If that is policy, I'm fine with that. it seems that on such a large, and comprehensive website(Amtrak site) though, that there would be room for the: "people traveling in Michigan cannot own more than 2 bags", clause.

rusty shackleford, February 10, 2009

Bike boxes at London airport; Lost bike - Alitalia.

In 2004 I flew from the states to London-Gatwick via U.S. Airways, spent a couple days, then flew London-Heathrow to Sofia Bulgaria via Alitalia (Italian Airline).

The U.S. Airways counterperson initially wanted to charge me for the bike, but I told him that bikes fly free international. He poked at the computer then asked to see my "Membership Card"(?) I assume he meant my LAB card, which I did not have on me. I told him it wasn't necessary on international flights. He checked with a supervisor, apologized and then allowed me to check my bike for free as one of my two checked items.

I abandoned my cardboard bike BOX (USD $10 - Amtrak) on arrival at Gatwick and purchased a new one at Heathrow. The airlines at Heathrow don't sell BOXes - they contract that to "Excess BAGgage Company" who operate few facilities and charge outrageous prices for BOXes. Allow plenty of time, because you'll be dragging your BOXed bike across terminals. Bring plenty of $$$, because they want a lot for their cardboard.

The BOX they supply is NOT the size I'm accustomed to - it's shorter in height and width but much wider. I had to remove the seat and wheels, but did NOT have to remove the pedals or turn the handlebars.

In retrospect I probably should have removed the pedals anyway because on the way back the pedals appear to have torn huge holes in the sides of the BOX.

Also, on the return trip, the bike did not show up in London. Alitalia filled out the "lost luggage" paperwork and assigned me a CASE number. I never could get an answer on the phone number they provided, but the website DID allow me to check on the status of my lost bike. After a couple of days it was delivered to my home in the USA, saving me the trouble of getting it home from the airport. I'm sure glad it was lost on the return trip instead of on the way out.

By the way, I believe "Excess BAGgage Co" charges 5 or 5-1/2 quid per item per day for storage.

(Oh yeah, the London Underground WILL give you a hassle if you bring your bike to Heathrow on the Tube. They're strict about which subways can carry bikes and which can't - some, such as the Picadilly line, which serves Heathrow, allow bikes only on certain segments. See the other articles here for instruction on biking to or from Heathrow.)

Adrian Hands, December 08, 2008

AA flies bikes for free on DOMESTIC flights

UPDATE: Below is from 2005. Nowadays they charge for ALL checked bags, bike or not.

---

American Airlines: Is this a new policy? I've flown bikes for FREE internationally, but always paid on domestic flights. See the "Exception:" (to the $80 charge), below. (I would print their webpage and bring it with you to the airport.)

http://www.aa.com/content/travelInformation/baggage/baggageAllowance.jhtml

Bicycles 1 non-motorized touring or racing bike. Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed. Or pedals and handlebars must be enclosed in plastic foam or similar material.

$80

Exception: If bicycle and container are less than 62 linear inches and under 50 lbs., the bike is FREE in place of one 62 inch bag in the FREE allowance.

70 lbs 115 inches - Acceptance conditional on aircraft size and load conditions

- Exception: If a bike is less than 62 linear inches and 50 lbs., the above conditions do not apply - If this item is in excess of the number of pieces allowed in the FREE baggage allowance, excess baggage charges apply in addition to the $80 special items fee.

Adrian Hands, December 08, 2008

Flew two for free on U.S. Air / United

In July 2003, a friend and I flew two bikes for FREE on a United flight operated by U.S. Air from Raleigh NC RDU to Buffalo NY BUF. They DID ask questions. Our bikes were fully disassembled and we called them "bike parts".

The trick may have been to disassemble the bikes to an extent that they could be fit in very small BOXes. We removed the wheels and fenders from my Miyata and placed them in a wheel BOX. We removed the fork, handlebars (leaving the cables attached), drive side crank and rear derailleur (leaving the cable attached). We put all that plus rack and trunk BAG into a bike frame BOX. His Moulton broke down much easier and fit in one hard shell luggage. This meant we had to bring a complete set of tools and grease and spend some time assembling/disassembling at each end, but we were not assessed any extra charges.

Adrian Hands, December 08, 2008

Bikes on board for FREE on Amtrak Piedmont (North Carolina)

See http://www.bytrain.org/bikesonboard.html

And http://www.bikeaccess.net/bikeaccess/Articles_db.cfm?ArticleID=2324

Adrian Hands, December 08, 2008

Amtrak -- Piedmont, Cardinal and Ethan Allen Scratched

UPDATE: Now FREE! They have waived the fee, no box required, no reservation needed, no questions asked!

---

Bikes are BACK on Amtrak Piedmont

The service was scratched, but its back in 2006.

See: http://forum.ncbikeclub.info/index.php?topic=444.0

The replacement baggage car has arrived at the Raleigh train maintenance shop in early September 2006, was refurbished, inspected (passed) and placed into service in October 2006--with SIX bike racks!

There is a $5.00 handling fee for unboxed bikes on the Piedmont, but you will no longer need to purchase the $10.00 box, nor will you need to remove pedals nor loosen and turn the handlebar for travel on the Piedmont (you still need to do that on the Carolinian and the NYC, Washington DC, Pennsylvania trains).

This saves time, money, materials, aggravation & heartache of stuck or stripped bolts, and relieves the anxiety associated with worrying about availability of a bike box for each leg of your journey. Plus, it just makes "bikes on board" flat-out easy and convenient.

About the "Yadkin River" Car

NCDOT 400101 "Combine" (half-passenger + half-baggage), the "Yadkin River" was built in 1953 as a US Army Hospital Car, then sold as surplus in the early '80s to a private individual who operated it as the "Kanawah." It was donated to the C&O Railway Historical Society upon that gentleman's death. NCDOT purchased the car from the historical society and had it refurbished to new condition by Delaware Car Company. It was delivered to Raleigh on Sept. 7th. The "Yadkin River" has thirty-four coach seats, a crew office, and a baggage section with six bike racks.

Service

The Piedmont runs both directions daily, leaving Raleigh around 7:00am and arriving back in Raleigh just before 9:00pm. The train is clean, has big comfy seats and 110VAC to power your laptop. Being a "short-haul" (the train terminates in Raleigh and Charlotte), there's only "snack & beverage service" instead of a dining car, and there's less chance of delays than on the interstate routes. The Piedmont is one of the fastest growing routes in the Amtrak system.

Cyclists can now board/disembark from both the baggage handling stops (Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro AND Charlotte) AND the non-baggage handling (Cary, Burlington, High Point, Salisbury & Kannapolis) stations too!

Schedules: http://www.bytrain.org/passenger/

How: The Procedure

One caveat: All seats on the Piedmont are reserved--Make sure you also RESERVE a bike rack by telephoning 1-800-USA-RAIL. To the best of our knowledge the Amtrak web reservation system lacks provision for reserving a space for unboxed bikes, and there's only six (6) racks.

Bring photo ID. Check-in with the ticket/baggage agent at least 20 minutes prior to departure, pay the $5.00 handling fee and hold on to your bike. Remove your panniers and other bags and TAG your bike (name, address and phone number on a tag attached to the handlebars) while waiting for the train to pull into the station, then proceed to the platform and hand the bike up to the Piedmont crew member standing at the combine car's baggage door. The crew member will secure the bike in the bike rack while you board the train.

Upon arrival at the destination, get off the train and walk back along the platform to the baggage door and reclaim your bike from the crew member who will hand it down to you.

Cary, NC

Cary is different--it is the only un-staffed train station on the Piedmont route. Be on the platform when the train arrives. Tell a member of the train crew that you want to load the bike. Meet the crew member at the baggage door and hand their bike up before boarding the train. Pay the $5.00 handling fee when the crew member pulls your ticket at your seat on the train. (Personally, I think I'd bike to Raleigh and board there--it's not far, it's the start of the line and you'll have more time to go through the process).

The Near Future

We will lead 1-day and weekend bike rides from the Greensboro station around Hanging Rock and from the Charlotte depot back to Raleigh in the coming months. You can email rail(AT)ncbikeclub.info to let us know you'd like to be informed of such trips, or monitor http://forum.ncbikeclub.info/ for trip announcements.

Feel free to also use our cue sheets to organize your own rides:

* Charlotte Amtrak depot to Raleigh: http://cycling.ahands.org/charlotte_to_raleigh.html

* Greensboro Amtrak depot to Raleigh: http://cycling.ahands.org/greensboro-raleigh.html

* Greensboro Amtrak depot around Hanging Rock and back: http://cycling.ahands.org/hanging_rock.html

Adrian Hands, December 08, 2008

Avoid Delta Airlines

As of July 31, 2008, Delta Airlines now charges $300 each way to Europe to bring a bike on board their planes. That would be $600 roundtrip!

grrlyrida , September 11, 2008

Recent Travel with Bike Friday Air

I recently traveled to Annapolis from Tucson and back. Was charged by AA, still need more miles for free bags. The bike traveled well. and I really enjoyed being able to ride locally. Getting pretty good at assembling and packing. I need to practice more with getting on/off rental car bus.

Rob Wilson, August 28, 2008

Denied boarding with bicycle on train 383 on 7/4/2008

I purchased a round trip ticket between Chicago and Mendota for myself and my bike for train 383 outbound on 7/4/2008. I had paid for a seperate ticket for my bicycle. I was admitted to the platform with my bike, but when I went to board, I was told that bicycles were not allowed on this train. At that point, I was denied boarding.

Called Amtrak customer service and was told, that yes, I should have been allowed on that train. At this point, I am trying to work out alternate transportation and compensation.

Tom Etheridge, July 04, 2008

Bicycle Shipping..and TSA (Airport Security)

I have had very bad experience shipping my bicycles as baggage on an airplane internationally (to Bangkok). Both times, the bike went on Northwest. The problems, however, weren't due to Northwest baggage negligence. The problem is with TSA, the airport security people. I have a bike hard case and have the TSA approved locks on the bike case. Each time I've shipped the bike, the locks have been removed, some not put back on, the clasps on the bike hardcase are now all broken (thanks TSA!) and I have to strap the top of the box together to keep the top in place. They will remove the straps, not tighten them tight again, and as a result, there is damage to the bike inside. I shipped a brand new Surly touring bike to Bangkok from Colorado last January, and upon arrival, the handlebar tape was completely off, the front and rear deraillers were bent, and you could tell that they had taken the bike completely out of the box and had no idea how to get it in there again, as it was more or less pushed in, with paint rubs everywhere. I tried filing a claim for damage, but the airlines said it was TSA damage...ever try getting anything out of TSA..those bastards are just worthless. So I've had very bad experience shipping my bikes on the plane. I've not tried shipping a bike internationally say with FedEx or UPS and don't know how expensive it is. But it is becoming very expensive to ship a bicycle through as baggage. Northwest now charges $130 one way from destination in US, then another $130 after you connect to your international destination...and that is ONE WAY EACH TIME!!! Funny thing is that when I get to Asia, and connect with say China Air, Thai Air, Philippines Air, or almost ANY OTHER ASIAN AIRLINE...there is no charge for shipping the bike...and..best of all...they don't open the bike box. You tell them what's in it, they run it through the xray and it's on the plane. None of this stupid ridiculous opening of the box in the U.S...after they run it through their billion dollar xray scanning state of the art equipment. I'm just disgusted with shipping a bike in the U.S. through an airport. They don't give a damn about your bike or your baggage.

Len, June 07, 2008

Ferry between Maine & Nova Scotia

As of summer '07, ferries run to Nova Scotia from both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine. At the end of summer 2005, I was permitted to leave my car in the Bar Harbor ferry parking lot for ten days, no charge! Or you can park at the Portland terminal for a nominal daily charge.
You'll be waved aboard the ferry with the motorbikes, and the crew will point you to a corner where you can bungee your rig to the wall. Roll off at Yarmouth, go through immigration, and enjoy N.S.! Keep an eye on the return schedule -- it can change toward the end of the summer season as demand drops off. The official tourist info cabins around the island have toilets, cold spring water, and helpful folks.
Ferry info: www.catferry.com
Travel info: www.novascotia.com (the free map is fine for touring, the travel guide has campground info by region)
Excellent N.S. cycling info: www.dermott.ca/nstour/

Skip, June 02, 2008

Washington, DC National Airport

I get the pleasure of telling you about the best airport to ride into or out of.

When you arrive in DC, go out the door from baggage claim, go right on the road - stay right. You go down a skinny road that I think is mostly for taxis. You pass by another building (it's the last one) and there's a parking lot on the right.

You go into the parking lot and on the corner of the parking lot is the beginning of the bike path!! You can take a beautiful bike path all the way into town.

How about that?

tom plant, May 22, 2008

Downtube Folding Bike

Folding bikes designed by Dr. Yan. Award winning folding bicycle designs with aluminum frames 9sp drive train & suspension for around $300.

Yan Lyansky, May 05, 2008

RoadBikeJourney.com

A resource for the best cycling routes around the world. Cyclists can share their favorite routes, create write-ups, include pictures, and include route features and road conditions. Users can also view, comment on, and rate other user's roads and routes. Integrates with GPS devices, Google earth, or maps!

Connie, April 21, 2008

All about bike travel

Take a look at our adventure! Inorbitt is all about bike travel. Buses, trains, trucks, and bikes we used them all in this classic adventure. Police road blocks couldn’t stop an inorbitt adventure. Organized on the web as a free to join, open to everyone, cycle adventure.
Hong Kong to Goa for the millennium, via Tibet and the illegal route from Yunnan to Lhasa. See the pictures, read the adventures and find out how to do it yourself.

scarm, April 14, 2008

American Airlines

I flew from Austin to Cancun in January 2008 and was charged $50 for a bicycle packed in a re-used cardboard box that I picked up for free at a local bike shop. From my research, I was expecting to pay $80; but like the check-in agent said, "The computer shows $50". My good!

On the return trip from Cancun to Austin in March 2008 I was charged $80 for the same box with the same bike. The agent agreed with me that the difference in the charges was inexplicable; but we both agreed that it was a waste of time to argue with what the computer said. Oh well...

The box was pretty beat up by the time it got back to Austin, but the contents did fine.

Coufal, April 01, 2008

Cycling through Death Valley

On my website you can find my travelogue from three weeks long trip from Palo Alto, Yosemite, Lone Pine, Death Valley, Mojave desert, and along #1 back to Palo Alto,CA. Enjoy

Vlasta, March 09, 2008

Biller's Bikes Rentals Havre de Grace, MD

Biller's Bikes offers bike rentals to visitors to Havre de Grace, Maryland (at meeting point of Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River). We offer regional trail services and folding bikes for Chesapeake Bay boaters. Seasonal.

Walter Biller, November 21, 2007

Jet Blue – Fort Lauderdale, Florida to LaGuardia Airport NYC and then Stuart, New York back to Fort

We flew Jet Blue from Fort Lauderdale to LaGuardia last week with my wife's bike in a TRICO Iron Case. Jet Blue charged me $50 at check in, which is what Jet Blue says it will do on the website. Same deal on the way back from Stuart, New York airport.

No problems with baggage handling - the bike case came right out on the conveyor belt on both legs of the trip.

On the return trip I could tell right away that TSA had opened the case and had done a lousy job re-sealing it. The clamshell did not match up and the straps were loose. There was a TSA notice in the case when I opened it up later at home, confirming my observation. Luckily, the bike and wheels were fine, so the TRICO case does a good job even when not sealed up as well as it should.

Jet Blue was totally fine with the bike and I did not have a huge problem with the $50 each way service charge. It's cheaper that what the other airlines are currently charging for bikes.

G. Pincus, November 05, 2007

$200 for bike to Berlin

I recently moved to Berlin, Germany for three months and wanted to have my bike with me. Before leaving I looked at the requirements for luggage and sports equipment... bicycle. This is what I found:

"Non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats are accepted as checked baggage, with certain limits. Any bicycle in a box with overall dimensions not exceeding 62" or 157.5cm (length + height + width) and checked in lieu of one bag is accepted. Bicycles exceeding 62" are subject to standard oversize baggage charges."

I'm sure we all know this by now. As I had two other bags to check I was prepared for the $100 charge for the extra piece, which I still think is outrageuos. Needless to say they also charged for the "over the 62-inch limit." That's $200. I asked how I was expected to fit a normal sized mountain bike in a box under 62" and got no answer but that this was their policy. So I wrote them an e-mail and asked again. I think they copied and pasted directly from their Web site and avoided the issue completely. So I e-mailed again and got this:

"There is a cost associated with the special handling of all sports
equipment, and the fees are consistent with other charges. In some cases
such as yours, the bicycle will exceed the maximum sized allowed.
However not all bicycles exceed the maximum allotment."

Not an answer, just a re-statement. To make a long story short (too late I know) I guess the point is plan on at least $100 and $200 if your bike is "extra" baggage. I'm willing to bet it's 200euros back (about $290). It's a great rule they made for themselves.

Trevor, October 29, 2007

Mexicana nightmare

Mexicana destroyed my bike!!

It was boxed in conformity with the regulations they gave over the phone (which was damn little aside from telling me that it had to be under 80 linear inches and under 50 pounds, in order to comply with what they said were the most recent instructions they had from TSA officials at Portland International (PDX). There was no further advice on how they expected me to pack it on their website. So:

I hired a professional bike mechanic at a local shop and paid him $30 to pack it as securely as possible while meeting the rules they gave me (hard, given the tight space and weight constraints).

When I got the bike in Puerto Vallarta, the box had a big hole gouged in it, and the axle that I had snugged up and tightened down in the rear dropouts was entirely gone! And the unprotected rear triangle was crushed like a pancake!

I think someone in baggage handling, after gouging the big hole in my box, may have seen the axle in the rear dropouts (it would have been visible since that is exactly where the hole was gouged) and thought to himself "Gee, what a nice handle!" and reached down inside the box and proceeded to try and drag the entire weight of the box by the axle! That is the only thing I can think of that would have dislodged that axle. Unless they simply drove a 2000 pound forklift over the box and it just popped out!

When I checked the box in Portland, they forced me to sign a liability waiver. I'm arguing that that was coercion. They offered me no choice in the matter, and surely such a compelled liability waiver does not protect them from claims of gross negligence.

The worst part is, they gave me an elaborate form to fill out when I received the damage box, to which I attached extensive evidence documenting my claims, and they told me that I would hear back from them in a week. It is now over a month!

Unfortunately, under the terms of something called the 1927 Warsaw Convention on international civil aviation, the most they are liable for on an international flight is a measly $9/pound for every pound of checked baggage. For a 50 pound box, that's only $450. The cost I ran for just a replacement rental bike for 2 weeks was $300 alone!

I'm going to sue them in small claims court now. One question I have, though, is: Aren't they vulnerable to any kind of complaint for business fraud, for posing an internal complaints process and then never responding to the complaint I lodged with them?? I've been patiently waiting for these bastards for a month now! They cost me several extra days in Puerto Vallarta, as well as unplanned hotel expenses, running myself ragged, dragging the bike to them at the airport for them to inspect, getting statements from local mechanics as to the irreparable damage done to the bike, etc. I'm determined to make them pay the maximum provided by law for what they've put me through, which didn't end with just destroying the bike!

Antonio Gramsci, October 26, 2007

Boston to Logan by bike

A cheap route from Logan to Boston is the "T" Blue line.

This puts you right at the South Station and if you need to connect to it, the North Station is about a mile away and is a easy ride

ed, October 04, 2007

Washington, DC (Dulles)

This is some serious updating. Route takes you out of the terminal going to the W&OD bike trail (Washington & Old Dominion):


http://arthurhass.fotopic.net/p45599925.html


Other than a short section approaching Old Ox Road (Rt. 606), the entire route is 4-lanes. Within the confines of the airport, the speed limit is 25mph, so a tandem can nearly match the speed of the traffic. Traffic will be light to moderate within the airport on this route.

Rt. 606 is fairly busy ( I rode this about noon on a Wednesday), but for a good part of the way, including the part overpassing Rt. 28, there is a bike path on one side and a sidewalk on the other side. I did not find the traffic too intimidating, but some folks might. This section is 2.6 miles.

The route starts on the west side of the parking garage on the west side of the terminal. There is a walkway from the terminal to the parking garage.

Arthur Hass, October 03, 2007

Evansville Regional is piece of cake for bikes

You can drive a bike right up to the terminal main door or if you prefer the door by the luggage retrieval area. If you are arriving and biking out; you would walk out that door and could start riding in 30 feet from the door. The airport beltline averages about 1 car per minute during most of the day and then you are on the state road which is not bad.

Bill Franklin, October 03, 2007

Seatac (SEA) not getting easier to access

http://www.cascade.org/Community/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=13&threadid=6694&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

would lead one to believe that it might not get easier to get to or from Seatac Airport (Seattle, Washington, USA)

Joel Niemi, October 03, 2007

Dallas Public Transit

In June of 2008, DART plans to have bike racks on all its buses. They also don't have a time restriction anymore, you can carry your bike on a bus or train at any time.

Jim Paul, September 18, 2007

Las Vegas, Nevada

I have rented a bike from Pro Cyclery www.procyclery.com/ while I was visiting Las Vegas.

Carolyn Stafford
Dallastown, PA

Carolyn Stafford, August 04, 2007

Washington, DC (Reagan National)

Forwarded to me from the C&O Towpath email group at coTowpath@yahoogroups.com

If you come straight out of the airport, get on your bike at the ground transportation level (by the taxi and shuttle bus stands) and ride (slowly, watching for pedestrians) along the airport sidewalk to your right (north). You will ride past a small service terminal and a small parking lot. Keep on riding with the airport on your immediate right and you will come right to the bike trail (you literally can't miss it if you ride right next to the airport).

Continue on in the same direction on the bike trail until you see Memorial Bridge -- the bridge that runs right into the Lincoln Memorial. (The boxy memorial; don't confuse it with the bridge that leads to the rounded Jefferson Memorial.) You will need to cross a busy road without a traffic light to get up to Memorial Bridge, so be extremely careful. Ride across the bridge and follow the sidewalk/path to the left/north along the DC side of the Potomac River, past the Kennedy Center, and you will arrive in no more than 5 minutes at Thompson's Boat Center.

I never have found the Mile 0 Marker, but I know it's there. From the Thompson's parking lot, continue along the bike trail/sidewalk for about a block, past the K Street turn-off, and you will see the C & O Canal and Georgetown on your left.

Jocelyn Nieva , June 17, 2007

Lexington Ky. Airport has bus service

The Lexington Kentucky Airport now has bus service and all buses will accommodate up to two bike on a front rack

Stephen Troyer, June 14, 2007

Do NOT bring your bike to Minneapolis

Stephan Orsak was rudely accosted, assaulted with battery, and tased at Minneapolis St Paul USA international airport by Airport Police, simply for choosing to leave the airport by bicycle...

greencycles.blogspot.com/

Stephan Orsak, June 06, 2007

Suitcase Bike Is For Real

I'm a bicycling advocate and folding bike aficionado.

A factory in China is now producing a bike that folds into a suitcase shell and I'm told that the bikes will be available for sale within the next several months. Several photos were sent to me some weeks ago from the factory. Additionally, they recently sent an animated video which I posted on my site yesterday.

Naturally, a bike that resides within a hardshell suitcase when not in use offers a number of advantages. When completely folded into the hardshell, there are no visual cues that the suitcase is actually a bicycle. The suitcase bike rolls when folded, making it easy to transport in a crowded airport, railway station or subway. When flying, simply fold the bike into the case and check it at the airline ticket counter as part of your checked bag allowance.

For more about this bike or to watch the demo, see the following url. Additionally, it looks as if the factory will be sending me a design prototype to review. If they do, expect more photos and videos to be available soon.

http://ridethisbike.com/2007/04/suitcase-bicycle-video-photos-price.html

Respectfully,
Larry Lagarde
RideTHISbike.com
Ph: 504-324-2492
Urging bicycling for recreation, commuting, health and a better future.

Larry Lagarde, April 25, 2007

areas around la guardia

it is absolutely safe around the airport(disregarding the usual problems that exist when interacting with autos)unless you are terrifed of diversity.

Steve , March 29, 2007

AirTran Bicycle Policy - $65

(for bicycles) an excess baggage charge of $65 per piece must be assessed.

Bicycles must be packed in a box with no part of the vehicle exposed. Bicycles not properly packaged will not be accepted.

Andrew Schwartz, March 28, 2007

Inspection

I packed my bike for a trip to Melborne and at the airport (SeaTac) the airlines and TSA would NOT allow me to be present during pre-flight inspection.

Not only did the bike arrive damaged, (they used ONE piece of tape to close the box), but HALF of the equipment had been removed. Handlebars, Seat, pedals, lights, bike computer, tools and derailer had been removed and clearly cables had been cut to get them off the bike.

The airlines refused to take a claim - saying I was responsible for safe packing. TSA said they weren't responsible for the theft because I had no proof the items were on the bike to begin with. I was really upset.

On return (I had to buy all new equipment) I INSISTED on being present for inspection, and packed all the little stuff in my luggage. I photographed the contents in the presence of the inspector and had a preprinted receipt which the airlines inspector signed acknowledging the contents of the package.

Plus I took a photo of the inspector. (He was NOT happy.)

Nothing was missing when I got home and the bike was in pristine condition and taped from one end to the other.

Sara R. Avrams, March 09, 2007

Dahon Speed 7

My wife and I bought two Dahon Speed 7 bikes (with the Dahon oversized suitcases) and traveled from Sacramento, CA to San Diego, CA by SouthWest Air in December, 2006. At the Sacramento check in there was a question about the BIG suitcases but they decided they were OK. They WERE overweight however, about 52# each. The staff opened the box, took a few things out and reweighed it. Once it was below 50# they put the stuff back and passed the bike on. At the San Diego return I put my seat and seat post into my duffle bag so the suitcase was under the 50# limit.
On a trip to Hawaii on Hawaiian air they were "hang loose" all the way - no worry.
Next time I hope to have a Dahon P8 and set up for a normal suitcase like described at:
http://www.gaerlan.com/
Dave . . .

Dave Howe, February 17, 2007

Cycle Tucson Bicycle Rentals

enjoy riding in "the old pueblo" explore our beautiful southwest environment from a bicycle saddle.

we are a bicycle rental company based in tucson, az. we rent road, mountain and hybrid bicycles. delivery and pickup in the tucson area only. all services included in the rental fees. discount for multiple bikes for multiple days.

jessie menard, January 23, 2007

American Airlines Not Free and Easy

On return from New Zealand in April 2006, my boxed bike was checked through to Portland, Oregon. Upon landing at Los Angeles and clearing US Customs, I was told that the box was too big for the scanners just outside the Customs doors, and that I should take the bike to the American (Eagle) counter two terminals over. After wheeling it over there, the desk personnel there, despite my repeated objections, insisted on charging another $80 in excess bag charges, accused me of intentionally misinterpreting their rules, and threatened to ban me and the bike from the flight. I paid grudgingly, with their assurance I could appeal the excess charge later. When I did appeal, I was told that only the gate agents had the discretion regarding excess baggage charges. A complete runaround, in other words. I later wrote the President of the airline, and got no respoonse whatsoever. What a way to run an airline. American and its subsidiaries are off my fly list permanently.

K Maddox, January 21, 2007

Good News for British Airways travelers

From the BA site:

From 13 February 2007, all customers will be allowed to check in their respective free checked baggage allowance PLUS one additional item of sports equipment from the list below.

Bicycles
A single seat touring non motorised bicycle is allowed.

On top of this, in my previous experience BA provides a large, free plastic bag for the bike, but pedals must be removed and bars twisted and turned.

Charles Hansen, January 19, 2007

Lexington, Kentucky, USA

The Lexington Transit Authority began bus service to the airport in 2006. Each bus has a rack in front that can carry two bikes.

Buses run hourly on weekdays. There is no weekend service. The first bus leaves the airport at 6:23 am, and the last leaves at 6:23 pm.

The fare is $1.00, with no extra charge for bikes.

While the bus option is welcome, Bluegrass Airport remains an easy airport to cycle in and out of.

George Garber, January 14, 2007

Northwest let oversized box go to France for free!

I returned to France from Cleveleand via Detroit, Paris and Marseille by Northwest & Air France with a bike frame, fork and bar packed up in the original frame shipping box. The box was a bit smaller than a bike box, but still bigger than the 160 linear inch limit.

They checked it through all the way to Marseille with no extra fee. It was, of course, not at all heavy - so maybe that helped. They did charge us $25 for a very heavy piece of luggage that we also had to check, though, so maybe the nice lady was giving us a break. Had I been going the other direction, I don't think Air France would have been as nice about it!

I lined the box with 1/2 styrofoam panels, enclosed each section of the frame and fork inside foam pipe insulation and used the box's original cardboard inserts, and there was no damage at all to the frame - although the box was a little bit beat up, but not bad. I did have to sign a damage waiver when we checked in, so we've been out of luck if there had been any damage.

Dave, January 08, 2007

Bike rental at Whitetop VA

There's a new bike rental and shuttle service in Whitetop called Creeper Trail Bike Rental - Shuttle Service. They just opened in late summer 2006 and have all new Trek bikes and accessories. Truly nice people and very accomodating. They serve the Virginia Creeper Trail, which is another converted railroad. The Creeper Trail runs for 34 miles from Whitetop Station to Abingdon VA. The first 14 miles from Whitetop is all downhill, and the next three miles to the midpoint of the Creeper Trail in Damascus VA requires only light pedaling. The next 17 miles on to Abingdon VA crosses mostly rolling farm land. Quite a nice ride. The guys will carry you to and pick you & your bike up from any of the various Trail access points. Really nice folks and one of the better bike trails in the US.

Dave Hampton, January 01, 2007

Rental in Minneapolis

Calhoun Rental rents good bikes, including tandems and recumbents, at a location that is easily reached from the airport by public transit and has terrific access to the network of trails in the Twin Cities. To get there by light-rail and bus, take the Hiawatha light rail north to the Lake Street station, and go west on the 21 Bus to the Uptown Station. Light rail tickets allow for transfer to the bus. Calhoun Rental is on Lake Street at James Avenue, 2 blocks west of the Uptown Transit Station. Cross Hennepin from the Transit Station and continue west down Lagoon Avenue (south of the Midtown Greenway cross-city bikeway) or go south to Lake Street and proceed west to James Avenue. Spring, summer and fall only.

Mary Arneson , December 10, 2006

Minneapolis-St.Paul Airport

The Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota Airport (MSP) has two terminals. The main terminal is not accessible by bike, except by riding the light rail, which has good bike-carrying ability. Light-rail cars have two bike racks each. The light rail goes north into Minneapolis and south to the Mall of America. Details on the route are available at www.metrotransit.org.

The Humphrey terminal can be reached by bike but has not offered bike parking (this may change since a high-profile event in which a bike was destroyed by airport workers). This terminal is also on the light-rail line, with access to downtown and the Mall of America, but the station is closed for construction as of winter 2006-2007.

Bike access to the south (wide street, but no bike lane) goes to the Mall of America and other points south. The same road angles east to a state park along the Minnesota River, with connections to other points through the river valley.

Mary Arneson , December 09, 2006

new lightweight bag

Bigfoot latest bag a winner, MTB bag used by Trevor Kloden. a great story about about a great product.
winning a bronze medal at the Downhill MTB championships in over 50 age group, Traveling with a 5kg bike bag on wheels EASY!

Marc Sier, October 30, 2006

ATA Airlines -- Honolulu, HI

I took my road bike from Phoenix, AZ to Honolulu, HI on ATA airlines this past September (2006) and had no problems. I chose to have my bike card-board boxed at my local bike shop, and brought along the tools I needed to reassemble (and re-box) the bike in Honolulu for my return trip (which amounted to a couple of hex wrenches and a pedal wrench).

Upon arriving at the Phoenix airport, they applied a $50 charge to my card that I had used to purchase the ticket, and took the bike off my hands. Pickup at Honolulu was so easy it was disconcerting. There was no verification that I was who I said I was, I just told the baggage clerk that the box was mine and he handed it over (it was brought in from the tarmac through a backdoor to the baggage claim area).

The return trip was equally easy, though I did have to run the bike through the fruit inspection x-ray machine. Pickup at Phoenix was also a cinch. I asked an ATA / Southwest baggage clerk about my bike, and she went out and grabbed it from the back somewhere (again, no claim ticket or ID check) and I was on my way.

The cardboard box served me well both ways, though it probably would not have held up to a third trip. For the $35 my bike shop charged me to box it up (and re-using the packing material and box for the return trip) it was cheap too. The hardest part of the whole trip was ferrying my bike to and from the airports (and cleaning the volcanic island mud from the gearing).

adam, October 26, 2006

Bike Rental - W. Orange Tr. Florida

We rent bikes at mile marker 0 of the West Orange Trail. Currently renting Raleigh Grand Prix Road bikes and Venture 3.0 Comfort bikes. We will deliver directly to your hotel for a small charge, or come rent and ride directly on the trail

Julie, September 11, 2006

Bike in a bag (Albuquerque)

I was heading to Albuquerque from Minneapolis get my things from my ex-girlfriend's apartment. So I threw my bike into a oversize duffle bag with all safety precautions. I checked the bag in place of any other luggage. Free.

I got to ABQ airport at 2am and got my bike and all was good, nothing was broken. I put my bike together in baggage claim and rode to DT ABQ, and even out of baggege claim!

Out of all the airports that I have been, Alaska and Albuquerque are the only ones that you are able to ride your bike from the airport in to town.

Chucho , August 25, 2006

Amtrak -- St. Louis <--> Sedalia

We spent three days on the Katy Trail in July 2006. All were over 100F so we finally abandonded in Jefferson City and took Amtrak back to Sedalia.

Amtrak provided a bus (although they also run trains on that route). No preparation needed. Both fully loaded tourers slid into the belly of the bus. No problems.

Mary Shaw, August 08, 2006

Amtrak

I used to be a supporter, but have given up on them. Here in the northeast, we've lost baggage / bike cars on two important trains, the Vermonter and the Adirondack. The first one was especially painful to me as I and a girlfriend had ridden from Brattleboro, VT, to Burlington and planned to take the train back. I called Amtrak to confirm the bike service and made two reservations. In the morning we biked out through traffic to the station at Essex Junction, but were told the dedicated baggage car had been removed two weeks earlier and we wouldn't be able to get the bikes on the train. I pleaded with the conductor and there was some discussion, but the answer was no - after being told by Amtrak that there was baggage service.

Since the states (Vermont and New York) subsidize both these trains, it was the state removing it instead of Amtrak itself to cut their operating costs. What makes no sense to me is that the Vermonter needs to back up at one point on it's route and currently uses two engines, but they could instead use one of the units the Downeaster has - a former engine with the diesel removed and baggage / bike room in the space formerly taken by it. This unit is also a control cab for the push pull service. I've stopped caring about Amtrak - I think it's a lost cause.

Charles Hansen, June 22, 2006

Portland Oregon USA airport

As with most aspects of Portland, the airport is very bike-friendly. A light-rail line (running until approx midnight) departs right from the airport and brings you to downtown portland in approx 40 minutes, cost about US$2, just wheel yer bike right on and hang it on a hook. If starting a bike trip east across the states from Portland, the light rail line can bring you mercifully to the edge of the suburban sprawl, and a free shuttle bus brings you truly out the sprawl to Sandy, at the base of Mount Hood. From there, you are in the forrest.

christopher davies, June 18, 2006

Massachusetts Ferries

Bikes are common on the Islands ferries (as car slots are worth their weight in diamonds). You just roll them on and off on the vehicle ramp (for the large Steamship Authority ships). Note that on the ferry once outside the harbor it typically gets quite cool no matter the land temperature.

I took the P'town to Boston passenger ferry once. There were a number of bikes. The problem I hit was that they use a narrow gangplank that would not accommondate the Burley kids trailer I was towing. I unhooked the trailer and a couple workers hoisted it above the railings and brought it aboard. Thing was, my cat was in a case in the bottom of the trailer as they lofted it above the water. I was all set to dive in were the trailer to drop but it all worked out okay.

Inside the main deck the bikes were laid alongside each other in the middle of the floor. I parked my bike and the trailer locked to a support pole. Poor cat, quite the loud party atmosphere on this ferry, including a live band. And one final note, the Boston cobblestone streets were also another unexpected assault on the cat.

Jim, June 01, 2006

North Carolina Ferries

I've used pretty much all of the NC coastal and inlet ferries. The only thing eventful about the experiences is that they want you to stay well out of the way until every vehicle is loaded or unloaded. I use some cord I carry to secure my bike to a railing somewhere out of the way. I've only gone in the off-season (a good move I'm sure) so you may find yourself having to stay with your bike on some smaller ferries if they are crowded because there might not be a place to put it out of everyone's way.

Bottom line: works out fine

Jim, June 01, 2006

Bicycle padded airline Bag

Still the best product out on the marketplace is the Bicycle Travel Bag from ROME Bike Bags, CA 310-791-6366, they ship the same day for procrastinators like myself who needed a bag in a hurry. The bag was used for a trip to france and was easily stored in a locker at the train station when I was riding. ***** Great price $129, give them a cal, I think the website is www.bikebags.com ask for Sandy.

Brian, May 26, 2006

Amtrak

I used Amtrak last October for a one way ticket. You can search their web site for stations that accept checked baggage. Those are the only stations that will take your bike. They charge a $5 fee for the bike.

Your bike needs to be in a box but they have large boxes for $10. The boxes are large enough that you can take the bars off (drop bars) or if you have straight bars, you can just turn them. The bike rolls into the box and that's that.

I would suggest that you call a day or so in advance to buy your ticket. I would also call the station you want to use and make sure they have a box available. If they don't, they can have one when you get there.

My train trip was very pleasant and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Rob, May 10, 2006

Amtrak

I traveled from Worcester Mass, to Sedalia MO last summer with bike. part with the bike in a box, part with the bike in the overhead luggage rack! (they fit just fine).

I had a little trouble with their website, but when I called and got a
person (not difficult to do), they were very helpful, friendly, took their time and explained everything.

Be sure and emphasize that you are traveling with a bike. They are bike friendly but not all their employees, or routes, see bikes frequently.

I had a very pleasant experience traveling on Amtrak. It's not fast, and sometimes our train got a little behind schedule, but after traveling across the continent on the bicycle, it seemed pretty fast.

John Dilsaver

John Dilsaver, May 10, 2006

Newark airport by train

Acess to NewarkInternational airport is easy by train. There is an airport stop on the main trainline from Philadelphia to New York. From there there is an Airtrain into the terminal. You are specifically allowed to bring your bike on that Airtrian. There are lifts, so you will not need to carry your bike on stairs. The only problem I had was that the paper box promised by Continental was not there, and they would not take my bike without the box. In the end they found me carton and tape to improvise a box. But access by train was no problem.

Willem Jongman, May 09, 2006

GREYHOUND LEAVE THE NIGHTMARE TO THEM!!

My fiancee is currently on the bus ride from hell! He left Massachusetts Wednesday afternoon one-way to Arizona, $193.00. He is only just arrived in MO. He has nothing good to say about Greyhound. His bus is overcrowded, he is 6'4". Greyhounds website state that they have confortable relining seat with foot rests. That all fine and dandy if the person in front of you or behind you doesn't need to move for 3 or 4 hours. The space is so small that you can't hold a book to read it. The service from the stations from CT through his morning pit stop in OH-the driver was rude, condesending, telling people if they have a foot oder problem not to remove their shoes. He said that the driver made a unscheduled 1/2 hour pit stop and was driving so fast that even thought they stopped for that 1/2 hour they arrived 35 minutes early!! He did not realize that he would be responsible for moving his 1 suitcase from one bus to the other and was told by the driver "I don't make enough to move you SH**!!" Unbelievable, he is in so much pain from not being able to move the slightest bit. ALL the terminals so far have been absolutely NASTY!!! It does not appear that the rest of this trip will be anything but the same. I will repost when he checks in tomorrow from OK.

Cheryl Johnson, March 30, 2006

Bike across the ocean - Lufthansa

I spent a month in Texas, USA, and bought a bike there to keep me from getting dull and slothful (which is a real danger in the US). I bought a Specialized Langster at a LBS, rode it for a month on the concrete roads of Texas, then brought it back to Hungary.

The re-boxing of the bike at the LBS cost me 40$ (a bit expensive), and the first box they put the bike in was too big to fit in my useless rental limo, so they had to find a thinner box.

At the airport I simply proceeded to check in (economy class), they weighed the bike (14.5 kgs), and considering the size of the box it was no surprise that I had to go to the oversized baggage gate. The real surprise was for me that they took it for free of charge (I had one more suitcase). Thanks, Lufthansa!

The bike arrived OK, I only noticed it back home that they forgot to deflate the tires at the LBS (I was in quite a hurry, so I did not check it). The box was opened and then closed back with duct tapes (US customs), and a hole was cut in it (by the Hungarian customs, I guess). The only problem is that the box is now unusable for further travels, so I will need to buy a proper bike carrier bag...

Gabor Kulcsar, March 08, 2006

Bike on Aer Lingus O'Hare to Shannon and return

I have been bike touring in Ireland every spring for decades. I bring my bike to O'Hare boxed in a new-bike box supplied by my local bike shop. Up to 2004 I would arrive early at Shannon for my return to O'Hare, tip a lad from Airport services 2 euro to help me find a box stored in their basement, and re-box my bike for the return trip. In 2004 the check-in people offered me a plastic bag, which I accepted and my bike went on the plane with a minimum of fuss. In 2005, the check-in clerk told me that Aer Lingus does not provide bags and never did. After a confab, they agreed to take my bike un-bagged and unboxed.
The AerLingus agent in Chicago just informed me (March 8, 06) that Aer Lingus no longer provides bags. So I will try to find something to bring along and store in the Jamaica Inn Hostel for my return trip.
CAUTION!!! to avoid damage to your frame or rear drop-out, ALWAYS unscrew your rear derailler and tie it to the frame before boxing or bagging it. It's worth the extra trouble. (If the bike is unboxed, you may have the chain badly snarled by handlers backing the bike up.)
Jim Kennedy

Jim Kennedy, March 08, 2006

URL Update

Just want to add an update, as you've got an old URL for Recycle-A-Bicycle on the site. We are at

http://www.recycleabicycle.org

Amanda, February 24, 2006

Cello with Bob

Has anyone tried to get a Cello on a non-baggageperson-attended station?

Lou Barberini, February 17, 2006

Washington, DC (Reagan National)

Thank you for your recent inquiry through our Web page for ground
transportation at DCA in reference to bicycles. You are correct about the Mt Vernon Bike Trail going right past the Airport. I can offer a couple of routes for you to access the trail from the terminals.
The Mt Vernon Trail has access by way of the Ground Level of parking Garage C on the West side of the garage at row C-17. You can also access the Mt Vernon Trail by following the sidewalk from Terminal B or C to Terminal A and follow the sidewalk to Thomas Avenue, approximately .5 mile, to where Thomas Ave. runs parallel to the Mt Vernon Trail. Please review the attached links below for a map of the Airport, Bike Arlington County, and the Arlington County bike maps of the area.

I hope this helps some, if you wish to speak with me directly please
feel free to give me a call,

www.mwaa.com/national/parking.htm

www.BikeArlington.com/

www.BikeArlington.com/bikemaps

Thank you,

Gary Sherwood

DCA Airport Administration

703 417-8024

Gary Sherwood, January 12, 2006

Aer Lingus, Dec 2005, Boston to Dublin

Man, that couldn't have been easier.

I checked Aer Lingus' web site to see what it said: 1 bike + 1 bag = 2 pieces of checked luggage. No box necessary unless flying out of Amsterdam. Sweet!

I called the Aer Lingus 800 number just be on the safe side and was told that I'd have to box the bike. Well, I had better things to do than get a box. Besides, a box is clearly over the max 62 linear inches and while a bike is also oversized, it's less obviously so. Instead I printed out the part of the web site that says bikes only need to be boxed from Amsterdam and folded it in with my ticket confirmation.

I dropped my saddle, spun the stem off to the side, rolled the handlebars under the top tube, and took off the pedals. When I got to Logan, the counter agent had to call her super over and I was told how to prepare the bike to travel. (Everything I'd done plus remove the front wheel and affix to the frame.) I hooked the wheel over the bars and fastened it with a toe strap in about 30 seconds (20 of which was rooting around in my bag for a wrench--track wheels, dontcha know), much to the agent's surprise.

By the time I got through customs in Dublin, there was my bike already unloaded and waiting for me. Apparently the baggage handlers didn't like the wheel attached to the non-drive side of the frame, so they moved it over, even refastening the strap. Good men!

With the aid of a wrench and a multitool, it was ready to roll in just a couple of minutes.

I'm moving here indefinitely, so I can't report on the return trip.

Trevor Schroeder, December 09, 2005

Louisville, KY USA (Bowman Field)

Louisville's General Aviation airport, located on the city's East side, is accessible to cylists. Cyclists face no obstacles in using the ordinary motor route to the airport, which is on city streets (no limited-access highways). Airport is accessible from Cannons Lane, Taylorsville Road, Pee Wee Reese Rd, and Dutchmans Lane. All doors are at ground level.

Three major fixed base operations on the field: Air Center 1, Honaker Aviation, Louisville Aviation. Restaurants in the vicinity, Le Relais is a french restuarant on the field, Bearno's Little Sicily Pizza .1 mi from the field, and Mazzoni's Oyster Cafe .1 mi from the field.

Laurence Preble, November 09, 2005

Western Spirit Cycling Trips

Great Trips in the US - Tour Utah, Idaho, California, or even a bike trip to Costa Rica or Belize! Western Spirit has the trip for you!

David, October 17, 2005

Portland, Oregon - New Airport Bike and Pedestrian Path Access

We recently completed a multi-use path (for bikes and pedestrians) that goes directly into the airport terminal on the lower level. This path is separated from the main roadway so its very safe. You can then connect to other trails and paths to travel around Portland or out into the region.

Go to www.flypdx.com for more info.

Jason Gately, October 12, 2005

Orlando-Sanford Airport

Depending on your ultimate destination, flying into Orlando-Sanford Airport may work better for you. Getting in and out by bike is very easy. Sanford is about 20 miles north of downtown Orlando, and about 40 miles north of Disney, but if you're heading to the beaches it's much better than OIA.

Riding in and out of Orlando-Sanford is very, very easy. The
southern exit connects to Lake Mary Blvd., which has bike lanes and low traffic. In a few months that road will connect to SR 415, which runs up to Daytona and has paved shoulders. Our www.bikeorlando.org site has maps with bicycle level of service, bike lanes, paved shoulders, wide curb lanes and paths. The data's getting somewhat dated; the map of that area shows poor conditions, but they're actually quite good now.

OIA is hideous. Lots of high-speed merges and shifting lanes. It's
nerve-wracking even in a car.

Used to be you could bike into the terminal via surface cargo roads that were pretty easy and led to the "basement," but the airport didn't want to promote that (it didn't "present the right image;" you'd ride past some dumpsters). After 9/11 that became a secured area, now you can't get in there without a badge.

Mighk

Mighk Wilson, September 29, 2005

International travel with tandem on American Airlines.

A real hassle explaining to the ticket agent for American at Santa Ana, Ca. that a tandem flies free if under 70 lbs to Switzerland if one of two pieces of checked-in luggage. After an hour agent finally found this on the computer and wrote it down for me to show another AA agent if there ever was a problem again--Country Code-N*CH Bag Star record regarding baggage.

Anyway, keep in mind that a Bike PRo Case is about 40 lbs and a tandem without pedals is about 30 lbs so that is about the limit. By the way, the scale at Santa Ana indicated 83 lbs for the bike and case (outrageous) and the scale in Zurich said 29 kilos (64 lbs).

Concerning the Bike Pro USA padded case--though it is expensive, I believe TSA and baggage handlers treat it very well. I zipped tied the zippers and it was never cut open and handlers seemed to always keep it upright on its wheels even at John Wayne when it would have been easier to put the case on its side and slide it down the oversize ramp.

Robert Freed, July 27, 2005

Hire A Bicycle - Worldwide

The most comprehensive selection of bicycle, bike and cycle hire shops in the world. If you want to hire or rent a bicycle for a holiday, find a particular bicycle route or research tourism information for a particular country, Hire A Bicycle is here to help.

Webmaster, July 08, 2005

Bicycle Travel Bag for airline, car

Bicycle Travel Bag, soft, padded-bag, $129.95 complete. Only the wheels are taken off and stored inside the inner pouches of the bag. Manufacturng these bags since 1996 without any issues.
Visit our website for ordering or toll free:1-888-ROME-BIK
These bags are not overweight or oversize for most airlines. 310-791-6366 www.bikebags.com

Law Rome, June 24, 2005

TSA inspectors cannot even close boxes properly

On a recent trip from SFO to Bordeaux our bikes, in large airline boxes, were taken from us at the counter and delivered to TSA oversize baggage inspectors by the airline baggage folks. When the bikes came off the plane in Bordeaux one of the boxes was completely open and the second was just barely sealed. TSA had cut the tape holding the top shut and did an extremely poor job of closing the one box and a poor job on the other. I am certain it was TSA as the tape used to re-seal had their name and logo emblazoned all over it. Further, in the boxes, some of the zip ties used to hold parts to the bikes had been cut.

Rick Warner, June 08, 2005

Air France - good but issues

Just flew Air France from SFO to Paris-CDG and onto Bordeaux, then Barcelona to Paris-CDG and return to SFO. The good news is that the bikes travelled without extra cost and arrived with us in good shape. But we had some issues on both ends.

SFO: Air France at the airport said they did not have any boxes and sent me to the 'Airport Travel Agency' to get them. The 'Airport Travel Agency' at SFO in the International terminal is a service company that boxes items to go on planes and provides other passenger services. They do not have bike boxes. The owner directed me to try Delta an United, trying the baggage service centers of each. Delta had boxes but I had to go up and stand in the ticket line to purchase. The boxes were large - large enough to handle a bike with just bars turned and pedals removed. The Air France agent balked at the size of the boxes and then turned to the agent next to her to ask, in French, how to handle it. He was obnoxious and told her they were too large and we would have to pay a surcharge [why do they think we do not understand them if they speak a language other than English?]. She relayed the information, I balked and sent the issue to the supervisor who said no problem, no charge, all they needed was the weight of each box.

Barcelona: We have an early flight, too early for the train to the airport (only 40 minutes from scheduled arrival of first train to flight departure), but we arrived in Barcelona 3 days ahead of schedule. I called Air France's Spain office and the Barcelona office and got permission to check in the day before the flight. But when we showed up at the airport they refused. Their only options were to try the first train and hope we arrived in time to box the bikes and check-in, or to store the bikes overnight in the storage lockers in Terminal B then taxi out early to box and check-in. Lockers were far too small for a bike. The airline folks at the airport were fairly non-sympathetic and not willing to provide what their office managers had already approved. We had to box at the hotel and get a large taxi to take us and the boxed bikes to the airport.

Rick Warner, June 08, 2005

O'Hare bike access

Regarding bike access to O'Hare. Here is what's permitted and available from my experience. This may repeat what others have written.

Bikes can be brought on the CTA L trains into O'Hare except for certain rush hours. Bikes can be brought on the airport transportation trains. There is bike parking (a rack) in remote parking where the train goes to remote parking. There is also a bathroom in case you need a change of clothes or to freshen up at that last airport train stop.

If you want to ride into Terminal 1,2,3, you can try riding in on the service road, which is used by taxis, limos, buses and other service vehicles for staging. This is a one-way road and not considered the interstate which goes into O'Hare. I tried riding it in the opposite direction, but was told this was not allowed. It is easy to ride from T1 to T2 to T3. If you get to the terminals, you can park in the parking garage, preferrably near the terminals, just on a luggage cart rack.
To get from T3 to T5 is what makes bike access difficult, because you have to ride on the interstate access road for a short distance, maybe 0.5 miles or less. I have never done this. I have taken the airport train instead. It is possible to leave the airport by bike from T5 on Bessie Coleman Drive. There is also the access point from the southern approach via Mannheim Rd., which the other guy mentions. The access road comes just north and west of T5. Otherwise, the most logical way to bike out is Bessie Coleman Drive (to Zemke) to Mannheim to Higgins Rd.

Bob VonMoss, May 28, 2005

Flying NWA with bike - a horror story

I've flown about 15 times with my bike and this was the worst ever.

I had done exhaustive research on the exact type of plane that we'd be taking, whether the feeder flight (Northwest Airlink) had a large-enough size hatch to fit my and my wife's bikes (yes) and Northwest's policies re bike transit. We were told by reservations (two calls)baggage in Memphis and Northwest desk in Lafayette that the policy was one bike per plane (first come first served), the second bike, if there was insufficient overall cargo space, would come on the next flight.

Well BOTH bikes came 1 1/2 days late - and that only after countless calls on our part to top customer service reps. No, the bikes were not misrouted or misplaced. Northwest simply refused to carry EITHER until such time as a flight was sufficient lightly-trafficked that there was room for both bikes. Northwest would give no assurance of what day or even week the bikes might leave Memphis.

Finally, we arranged to have them rerouted to HOUSTON via CONTINENTAL. Northwest has to date failed to answer any of our requests for compensation for a rental car or refund of the $200 we paid for one-way transit. They seemed to have a "bikes come last policy":

Northwest rebooked us for the return on Continental via something called "involuntary transport". That, plus the fact that this constituted, apparently, a one-way ticket within 24 hours of departure (we reserved about 1 1/2 months ahead of time," put us in a high risk security category. Our bike boxes were opened, the bikes rolled out (losing the benefit of our careful packing)...

Based on this we'd never fly NWA again with our bicycles.

philip blumenkrantz, May 22, 2005

Singapore (SIN) to San Francisco (SFO) on United

Have taken my bike twice to SFO (San Francisco) from SIN (Changi Intl) and back on United now. I bought a Scicon bike bag (the blue softcase one with the steel frame to fix the bike to).

No extra costs charged by United (as long as only one other bag and total checked baggage is under 64 lbs). No problem either way (ok, on the second trip the Scicon bag had one new smallish hole near the bottom which I have yet to find an explanation for).

Checking the bike at SIN was no issue. At SFO you get it at the oversized baggage claim, which may take a bit longer (if you are lucky to breeze through immigration. Else it is likely to be there already when you claimed your other baggage).

Returning, at check-in you may have to bring it to the oversized check-in yourself (after checking your other stuff), or be lucky to have the attendant call for someone to fetch it. In Singapore, there is an 'odd-size baggage belt' but both times the bike was out waiting at the main belt when I cleared immigration.

Since I took my biked bagged each time (and assembled it only when arriving at the Hotel) I have no info about bike-access at either airport.

Mathias Körber, May 13, 2005

Dallas Love Field airport and Bikes

Love Field is home base for Southwest Airlines, and due to a strange law passed by Congress, you can only fly from Love field to other airports in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

By bike, it's certainly possible to get to/from the airport via city streets and public transport (www.dart.org) but be warned this is an URBAN airport, entirely surrounded by busy streets in the middle of a large city. If you're touring, plan for a long day's ride to get out of the city.

On the other hand, Love Field is only a few miles from the Dallas city center, with some great tourist attractions. As soon as you leave the airport, there are side streets that can take you downtown.

Frank Lun, May 06, 2005

DFW and bikes

Dallas-Fort Worth International is a HUGE place - larger than the island of Manhattan. 4 major terminals with another one to open soon (2005). Each terminal is served by 2 shuttle services - one for "inside security" and one for "outside security".

I won't say it's IMPOSSIBLE to ride your bike to/from DFW, but it's certainly a challenge. Reason - the entrances to the airline terminals are only connected to major freeways.

There are regular streets that reach/serve DFW, and you could conceivably carry your bike over the grassy medians / retaining walls / bushes to get to the terminals that way. I haven't ever tried and frankly I don't recommend it.

If you arrive at DFW with bike, I'd suggest using a van service such as Super Shuttle (find them at the upper-level taxi stands) to take you to a better off-airport starting point.

To get your bike TO DFW, again you could call Super Shuttle or a taxi, or possibly hitch a ride from one of the many neaby hotels that have free airport shuttle busses.

Frank Lun, May 06, 2005

Easy access to downtown Boston from Logan Airport

If you're flying into Logan with a bike, the only all riding option into Boston is a circuitous and decidedly unpleasant route through East Boston and industrial Chelsea and Everett. A better option is to take the harbor shuttle ferry ($10) from Logan to downtown. There is a direct phone line from the pier at the airport. I do not know how late they run in the evening.

To get to the pier: either take the free shuttle bus (make sure it's the right one), or if coming in to the international terminal there's an easy way to ride there. (From other terminals it requires some riding on the busy ring road) Leaving terminal E, stay to the right with signs for the gas station and north cargo. At the light by the gas station, turn left and follow signs for south cargo. The pier is on the right just before the tall hotel. They can drop you at Long Wharf (near Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market) or Fan Pier in South Boston.

Charles Hansen, May 04, 2005

Reagan National Airport to Mount Vernon Trail

I just wanted to share some specifics about getting to the Mount Vernon Trail from National Airport and its Metro station.

From the southern Metro entrance (Terminal B), turn right and head for the Terminal B parking structure. After entering the parking structure, walk north to parking area B2, row 8. Then walk west (directly away from the airport terminal) and at the western edge of row 8 is a stairwell. Take this stairwell down one level and exit the parking structure using the ramp.

Once out, there will be a brown sign for the Mount Vernon trail. Follow the sign by continuing on the sidewalk, walking in the direction of traffic and then go through a pedestrian tunnel. Finally, on the other side of the tunnel follow this path for a couple of hundred yards and this meets up with the Mount Vernon Trail.

Bob, May 02, 2005

Lexington, Kentucky, USA (Bluegrass Field)

Lexington's airport, located on the city's west side, is very easy to cycle into and out of. Cyclists face no obstacles in using the ordinary motor route to the airport, which is on city streets (no limited-access highways). From downtown, go west on Versailles Road (US60). Turn left on Man O War Boulevard (signposted for the airport), and then turn right into the airport.

All doors are at ground level.

There is good rural riding adjacent to the airport, in every direction except east (toward downtown).

The airport lacks bus service.

George Garber, May 01, 2005

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planning and outdoor recreation. We are a direct marketing company that uses our products, services, & events to promote adventure travel
programs. Our partners are dedicated to enhancing our communities by
bringing together individuals and groups in adventure recreation.

Pete Kennedy, April 05, 2005

Bike Rentals - Davenport, IA & Moline, IL

The Quad Cities CVB has started renting bicycles at their Visitors Centers in these cities. It's great because they are located right on the bike path and the Mississippi River. It's really pretty and the bikes are top of the line!

Jessica Waytenick, March 08, 2005

BOB Trailer travel system

New Product: The CELLO bike case/travel system for your BOB trailer!

The CELLO bike case/travel system for B.O.B. trailers is now available.

Come check out how this revolutionary new product that turns your B.O.B. trailer into a completely self reliant travel system.

Check out our website at www.wandertec.com. You’ll find everything you need to know about the CELLO along with our new video demonstration.

Ship your bike, haul your gear - the Wandertec CELLO is the bike case/travel system for B.O.B. trailers. A unique design, the CELLO is a tough bicycle case built around a B.O.B. trailer. The CELLO brings your bicycle and B.O.B. trailer together into one shipping case.
Arriving at your travel destination, the CELLO folds-up and packs away onto your B.O.B. trailer. You reassemble your bicycle, attach your B.O.B. trailer, and load up your Dry Sak. What’s next? You ride away… NO TAXIS, NO CAR RENTALS, NO LARGE BICYCLE CASE TO STORE. Convenience and efficiency equal mobility and independence for the traveling cyclist.

Josh Lipton, March 01, 2005

Alcohol Stoves

I became a bit obsessed with these last year and spent quite a bit of
time building and experimenting with a variety of designs. In a
further act of craziness I decided to document my work on the WWW.
The end result can be seen here:
http://www.kruegerservices.com/fritz/osp
Hopefully there is something of interest here to a potential stove

builder.

Fritz Krueger, February 03, 2005

Little Rock

Small story post 911... Traveled once continiental no hassels _ bike was in large cardboard bx. 2 yrs later traveled delta .all hell broke loose with fees.. first didnt accept bike w/out at least 80 buck fee. plus another luggage piece was 9 pounds overweight and was threatenend with 300 buck fee for travel to switzerland. Jeers to Delta.

adam, January 13, 2005

Boston Subway & bikes info

http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/usingthet_bikes.asp

The new link to T (subway) rules concerning bikes on the subway.

Tom, December 27, 2004

California Surfliner

Yes, the addition of the new train without the bike racks is not a good thing, but on the other hand I've had problems getting bikes on the trains with the bike racks. A couple of summers ago I ran into a problem with bringing bikes on board. In short, the bike rack area was full of baby strollers, carryon luggage, etc., and they had to scramble to put our bikes in the baggage car. More detail here: http://tinyurl.com/64x7t

Brian

Brian DeSousa, December 03, 2004

California Surfliner

In November 2004, a fifth Pacific Surfliner train was added to the four that run through Santa Barbara County. Three of the original four run between San Diego and Goleta; the fourth continues on to San Luis Obispo. The new Surfliner runs between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.

The Surfliners employ "California Cars" that have bike racks in coach cars for roll-on, do-it-yourself service. Because of that, you could get on and off at any Amtrak stop. That is true for the first four trains, but it's unfortunately not true for the new one.

The new train consists of refurbished cars with no bike racks.
In the past, it was easy to tell people that they could roll their bikes onto the Surfliner cars, hang them up, and get off with them at any stop. Now, on the new line, they can ostensibly only have their bikes put in the baggage car at stations that have baggage service—that means only at Santa Barbara, not at Carpinteria, Goleta, Lompoc or Guadalupe.

So far it appears difficult to find out if a particular train is made up of California Cars or not. I have in the past called Amtrak *after* the train has departed San Diego, and they have advised me as to whether the train had California Cars or not, but they don't seem to be able to determine this before departure from San Diego, so it doesn't help for long-range planning.

There seems to be a disconnect between the official Amtrak position and the actual facts at the station. Although Amtrak says you cannot load or unload your bike at non-manned train stations, I have found that some Amtrak conductors will allow it. It seems the conductors have some discretion on this, which is great, but again, this makes planning difficult.

So, in some respects, the addition of the fifth train is *worse* for cyclists because we can no longer be sure if we can get our bikes aboard, particularly at unmanned stations.

Mark McClure, November 30, 2004

Jacksonville, FL Cycling from the Airport

I recently cycled to/from the Jacksonville Airpot (JAX) with no problems. After assembling my Bike Friday New World Tourist, I attached the suitcase trailer, loaded up my gear and cycled out of the airport on the access road. The road splits a few hundred meters from the airport. Stay right on the parallel two-lane road that has a shoulder. Proceed on the access road past the traffic signals and veer back onto the main access road and continue east past I-95 (under the bridge). Continue to Route 17, the north/south road that parallels I-95. Go south (right) about 100 meters and turn left onto Duval Station Road, heading east. Go a short distance to Coman Road. This is a narrow two-lane road with a 25 mph speed limit and very little traffic. Proceed south on Coman, which turns into Gillespie. At the traffic signal, turn left onto New Berlin Road, a four-lane road with no shoulder but not a lot of traffic.

Proceed east on New Berlin about 200 meters. Turn right onto Pulaski Road. There is a convenience store on the opposite corner. Take Pulaski south for a couple of miles to Easport Road. Head east on Eastport. Eastport veers south in about 200 meters. This is a two-lane road, speed limit 35mph. It is an industrial area with few buildings and little traffic. Eastport ends at a T intersection at Heckscher Drive. Heckscher is mostly a two-lane road with a shoulder. There is a short stretch just east of Eastport where there is very little shoulder. I've only taken the eastern route toward the beaches.

To go toward the beach, head east on Heckscher Drive. There is a short stretch of new pavement where there is a new bike lane just west of Route 9A. After 9A the road is four-lane for a short stretch with a good shoulder. For the next 7 or 8 miles to the ferry, the road is two-lane with a good shoulder except across the short bridges over the inlets. The speed limit varies from 35 to 55. Even on the faster stretch, I felt comfortable riding on the paved shoulder pulling the trailer.

I take the Mayport ferry across the St. Johns River to head toward Atlantic Beach. Bicycles are charged 50 cents for the ferry ride. It lands at Mayport where there are several crummy but good seafood restaurants. The road from Mayport to Atlantic Beach has a good shoulder for most of the way, although for a short stretch, there are small rumble strips on the shoulder. This is route A1A, called Ocean Street in Mayport and turns into Mayport Road.

Mayport Road ends at the traffic signal at Old Mayport Road, where A1A heads south. This is near where my journey usually ends. One can take A1A south to Atlantic Blvd then east to head to the beach or find a back road east along Old Mayport Rd. There aren't many. I don't feel very comfortable riding on Old Mayport Road. It is a very busy four-lane road with naval station traffic going about 45 or 50 mph even though the speed limit is 35 mph.

All in all the trip is very pleasant. You'll see some of Old Florida along Coman/Gillespie road. Heckscher Drive can be busy but there is a good shoulder. Florida DOT seems to make a point of adding good shoulders to their roads these days.

Bruce Wright, November 10, 2004

Beachside Bike Rental HOLLAND MICHIGAN

WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF PAVED BIKE TRAILES AROUND THE HOLLAND, MI AREA. WE OFFER HOURLY AND DAY RENTALS. WE HAVE SINGAL AND 21 SPEED BIKES, TANDOMS, BURLYS, BABY SEATS AND KIDS BIKES. WE ARE LOCATED JUST UNDER A MILE FROM LAKE MICHIGAN AND THE HOLLAND STATE PARK. COME AND SEE OUR GREAT BIKE PATHS!!
ANY ?'S E-MAIL OR CALL 616-399-9230

Rod Vanden Berg, October 28, 2004

Bike Rental -- Denver, CO

Found on: touring@phred.org

Bicycle Village took good care of me on my recent trip to Denver. They rented me a Trek 5200 for four days and I discovered great bike paths and trails in the Denver area. Thanks to you folks in Denver for helping me in finding a bike rental.

Bicycle Village, 2802 S. Havana, Aurora, CO 80014 (303) 750-1064
www.bicyclevillage.com

Bruce Northcutt
Raleigh, NC

Bruce Northcutt, October 20, 2004

San Diego-Encinitas Rentals

I was able to rent a very nice 105 equipped Felt Al-Carbon at Nytro in Encinitas in 2003. Close enough to the Bus station to get back to SD or anywhere in between. Located on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Mike Connair, October 07, 2004

Greyhound

Greyhound is a terrible company! Peter Pan was a great little bus company before it got sucked up by that pooch!
The company has the worst customer service.

Torgan, September 07, 2004

Independence Air and bikes

My family and I flew to Cleveland from Washington and then drove on to Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a bike for my son at the Univ of MI. Independence Air is a relatively new outfit, is based at Washington's Dulles Airport, flies to cities east of the Mississippi, and offers, so far, good fares.
I called the airline's 800 number (800-fly-flyi) to ask about bikes as luggage and got an agent who seemed to have never been asked about bikes before. He tried to figure out how they'd be treated according to other baggage guidelines, but naturally couldnt be specific or certain. I'd checked the airlines' webpage but could find no bike-specific langauge in the Contract of Carriage.
I called the 800 number again the night before we left (August 28th), got another agent who was more helfpul and told me a bike in a box would go as one of my two pieces of checked luggage, and the airline did not have bike boxes so I needed to bring my own.
At the airport the first ticket agent had to consult her supervisor and he told me I owed them $25 for oversized luggage. I told them the phone agent had told me it qualified as on of the checked pieces, and the agents said they'd let it go this time, but next time I would be charged the 25 bucks. (We left the bike in MI, so 'next time' has not come around yet.) It got to Cleveland with no noticeable damage, although I'd packed it carefully and used a lot of other items--towels, winter coat, misc styrofoam pieces, and a mattress pad, as padding.
Moral: call the airline more than once but be prepared to pay for a bike on Independence Air.

Woody Woodrich, August 31, 2004

Long Beach (LGB), California

easy (just reconfirming)

Brian DeSousa, August 30, 2004

Portland, Oregon

Found on: touring@phred.org

One possibility is to take the MAX light rail from the airport to downtown. This is very convenient from the airport as I discovered last fall. I was intending to ride downtown but then got behind schedule (to pick up a bus) so I rolled my loaded bike onto the MAX right at the airport, removed my front 2 panniers, and hung my bike from the bike hooks.

For riding around Portland, check out the Portland web site for cycling at http://www.portlandtransportation.org/bicycles/bicyclemaps.htm.

Denis


Denis Kertz, August 06, 2004

BikePro USA Case

Just returned from France and le Tour. Carried my carbon Trek 5500 in an oversized BikePro USA case. The case worked as advertised - thick padding and the steel frame secured and protected the bike without fail, even with some rough handling. The wheels made manuvering through an extemely crowded CDG airport easy - easier, in fact, than some hard-sided cases with wheels only at one end.

Peter

Peter LaPorte, July 29, 2004

Renting a bike in San Francisco

Just wanted to update the bike rental info on your website. Most of the places people have talked about here are now closed...but we are still here on Taylor Street in Fisherman's Wharf renting bikes! Come on in and get a bike, we have all sizes, types, etc, and we'll hook you up with gear like helmets, locks, repair kits, for no extra charge. Thanks for letting me post this here!

Jeanne, June 16, 2004

British Airways: Bikes fly free!

Hello,

I just returned from a trip (May 31, 2004) on British Airways, from Orlando to London and London to Rome and back to Orlando. My bike was in a cardboard box and was checked as regular baggage with no excess baggage charge. All the British Airways people were very nice about it also. I have flown accross the Atlantic previously with Northwest Airlines, KLM and Delta, and British Airways stands out as being a far more comfortable flight than the others. I know who I will fly next time to Europe, even it costs a bit more!

Joe, June 10, 2004

Since 9-11 at LAX, Hartford, Jacksonville

 

I've flown out of LAX about 1/2 dozen times since the first of the year, on several airlines.

You carry your luggage from the airline counter to the TSA folks and then they put it on the conveyor belt.

You can see your luggage enter the x-ray machine and if it's inspected you're asked to wait at the other end of the TSA facility until you're given an OK.

Unlike Hartford you can't see it being inspected.

At Jacksonville, I asked if I could be present while the suitcases (we had the tandem) were inspected. They said I could not, but that I would be paged if necessary.

I was never paged, but 1/2 of the tandem was not repacked correctly and the left axle of the 3 speed hub punched a hole through the suitcase. I filed a claim with TSA, but never heard a word.

Once I was very late at Hartford and couldn't take the time to wait while the bike was inspected.

In Los angles I discovered that one of the female pipe fittings of the spacer was broken.

Before this last trip I bought some of those pants that unzip to become shorts. Discovered that the zippers for the legs set off all the bells and whistles when I go through the metal detector.

Also, not knowing when or where I'd end up on this last trip, I bought a one way ticket from Hartford to Portland. Discovered that one-way tickets get you a complete inspection.

I had my small panniers and my rack pack as carry on and I was sent over to a special line and they went through everything. They discovered that I had two spare tires with me. (No spare tire jokes!) I'd only wanted to carry one spare.

The big terrorist item was the clamp I've had since about 1960 that I use as a tripod. this really set off the bells and whistles. They had to look it up in a special book. What they didn't discover is that part of it is a screw which you can screw into something like a wooden post or tree and then clamp the tripod onto that. On the flight home, I made sure it was in my checked luggage.

Bob Immler, June 09, 2004

Virgin Atlantic SFO-LHR

Just wanted to report some potentially suprising info that I found out during my recent tour in Italy. I arranged to fly with Virgin for the SFO-LHR leg of our trip. We got the bikes to the airport via BART, and had them folded flat, no pedals, no air in the tires, per Virgin's bicycle policy stated on their website (under "luggage").

While checking in, the lady at the counter INISISTED that I use a bicycle box, despite the fact that I told her I had researched the policy beforehand and no box was needed. Unfortunately it was the one thing I had forgotten to print out.

She refused to escalate the issue and I spent the next hour frantically searching for cardboard bike boxes (which, by the way, can be found in the United domestic baggage claim) and buying overpriced rolls of packing tape. We got the bicycles in the boxes and *barely* made our flight.

Needless to say I was rather frustrated with the situation and will open a complaint with Virgin. The rest of the trip went fine (2 Ryanair flights, return leg on Virgin).

The unfortunate part is that the woman's colleage did the same thing when backing her up -- she didn't consult the policy but proceded to tell me how I was crazy for not wanting to ship my bikes in a box, and that was how "everyone did it".

Moral of the story: if you're planning to fly Virgin out of SFO, be prepared to need a box.

Dolan Halbrook, June 07, 2004

Real Sports Network

Lots of links

David, June 05, 2004

Greyhound Canada and USA

I recently wished travel with my bike from central Washington, USA to Vancouver, BC Canada. I picked up a bike packing case from a box store. Then broke down the bike and packed it. Greyhound USA and Canada were great--no problem Canada Customs no-sweat. I found the bike easy to ship


Edward, April 11, 2004

Bicycle Access at Denver Airport

I was in Denver, CO in January 2004 and there were signed bicyle lanes on the shoulders of Pena Boulevard (the access road to Denver International Airport).

Roger Morrison, February 06, 2004

Bike Rental -- San Antonio Texas

Found on: touring@phred.org

Dave:

I was in San Antonio on business a few winters ago and had several days to kill. I rented a bike from Britton Bikes and had several nice days of riding. They were very helpful in advising me about local routes (like the Mission Trail, south from downtown area).

Their web site is:

http://www.brittonbikes.com

Roger Morrison Ararat, VA

Roger Morrison, January 08, 2004

Good trip with SAS

In August 2003 I had a round trip from Helsinki to Chicago on SAS. I planned to bring a bike back on the return to Helsinki. I called SAS' Chicago office and they advised that if I had only one "normal" piece of luggage that a boxed bicycle would be treated as a second piece of luggage for no extra charge.

I had a local shop box the bike for me, and I took it to the airport. There were TSA guys inspecting checked baggage right next to the checkin desks, and my friend approached them and asked if the bike was going to be any problem. Airline checkin was no problem, and when we brought the bike to them the TSA guys simply asked "is this the bike?" and didn't need to do anything terribly invasive to the bike. The bike arrived in perfect condition in Helsinki.

No complaints about SAS whatsoever in this case!

Scott, January 04, 2004

Survey of Rider-Bike/Driver-Car Ferry Fees

We have surveyed ferry costs in various parts of the world for transportation costs of rider/bike versus driver/car. The report is located at www.CycleCanada.com/Report/

Our survey looked at private operators that are complimentary services and not intended to be part of the basic transportation network such as the British Columbia ferry system. The obvious exception in our list is North Island /South Island in New Zealand but that was included because it was a comparable distance. In that situation there is a political imperative for the national government to connect its citizens. The ferry services across the English Channel and the Irish Sea are established transportation routes with a very high commercial value so there is some political motivation in those cases but we think that the comparisons there are valid because there is not an obvious political reason in those situations to be as favorable to cyclists as they are.

CycleCanada, December 28, 2003

SFO BART Options

Here is an update on SFO:

The Caltrain (bus) shuttle mentioned in the latest posting no longer exists. It has been replaced (at obscene expense) by a 2-station SFO-Millbrae BART line which takes bikes.

Moreover, BART has relaxed bike restrictions on trains going into the
city. Bikes are now allowed on trains in the "reverse" commute direction (i.e. into the city before 6:00am and after 9am; and into the airport before 3pm and after 6:30pm). Check www.bart.gov for latest info as these times are subject to change.

If you need to travel by public transit during these blackout times,
you can try using the above mentioned SFO-Millbrae line and connect there to a northbound Caltrain (which does not have commute hour restrictions but can fill up with bikes at times).

There is also a new PeopleMover(tm) out to the rental car area which
may be useful for cyclists wanting to bike out of the airport without having to ride on some of the more scary airport roads. Note: I have not tried, but it appears from looking at a map that the PeopleMover makes it a bit easier to reach West Field Rd.

Eric McCaughrin, December 20, 2003

AirCaddy on Southwest

I Flew from Albany, NY to Tucson, AZ via Las Vegas, NV with my bike is an aircaddy. TSA too a look in side, but did OK sealing back up. I would have really worried if they had had to open my hard case and then seal it back up. One of the center handles got torn, and I plan to put tape above all of the handles before I go back home with the bike. I had been using a Performance Bike Box. I must say the the air caddy is much easier to use, both in the ease of packing the bike and moving it. The AirCaddy being so mutch ligher and easyer to grab hold of.
The bike did get to Tucson a day latter than I did and I have not had that problem with my hard case, so it may be that they handle aircaddy in a different manner. The hard case always looked like it had really taken a beatting.
I paid $40.00 for the bike fee on 11-13-2003.

G. Allen Morris III, November 18, 2003

S&S Machine Couplings

I have had a Thorn Discovery tandem since 1998 fitted with one set of S&S couplings so that it can be split into two pieces. Each piece fits into a purpose made travel bag with shoulder straps for ease of carrying. The bags are very strong, lightweight and flexible enough to roll up to 5 in diameter and 10 in long. Front half weighs 23 lbs and rear 27lbs. My wife carries the panniers and I the tool kit bag.I am 69 years old and my wife 73 years.

I have flown mostly with BA since they take bikes free, providing all up weight is not excessive. Destnations include Germany, Austria, Palma Mallorca, New York, Denver, Tampa. Yellow cabs in NY, high rise hotels and elevators. Taxis almost anywhere. Greyhound buses need a bit of care. Trains in UK of all varieties, Germany, Austria and Amtrak from NY to Tampa.It easily fits in my modest size car with a back seat folded down.

Airport passengers are fascinated to see me pick up the bags from the carousel and then proceed to assemble the tandem.

So far the tandem has only received very minor damage which is easily fixed.

These couplings enable my wife and I to travel almost anywhere with complete freedom and be self contained. However, it can be like taking the mother in law with us as "she" needs a lot of fuss and attention.

Hope this will give readers some encouragement. I am only too pleased to assist anyone if they need it.

Ron Harrop

Ron Harrop, Southampton, England, November 09, 2003

New Amtrak weight rule 10/27/03

As of 27 October 2003 Amtrak has a new weight rule. No piece of baggage can exceed 50 lbs. Anything over 50 lbs will not be accepted, period. There is no 'overweight charge' that will get the package onto the train; you will need to lighten the package.

This means that you need to watch what you pack in the box with the bike; I had packed 2 panniers and contents which took the bike to 65 lbs which is not acceptable so had to remove the panniers. Station agent in Santa Barbara, CA said the new rule was due to OSHA requirements to protect baggage handlers.

Rick Warner, November 05, 2003

Folding, S&S coupling, mailing and carry on stuff

I see no problem with a rack as carry-on. I'm not sure a BF would make the carry-on cut though. In general, carry-on luggage requirements are stricter. I was reading US Air's baggage restrictions for carry-on and noticed that these are limited in size and now weight (40 lbs combined).

Last month when I flew KLM from Copenhagen, my carry-on received a tag at the counter that said 'approved for carry-on' I'm not sure what was meant by that but I'm keeping the tag 😉

I have S&S couplings on my bike and will never travel again with a bike that does not fit into a 'airline standard' case. Even with that, I still get hassled by the counter agents.

Luggage weight limits are now reduced to in many cases 50 lbs or 70 lb for international flights. My packed bike weighs 54lb. The 54 lb included a ESGE Twin Kickstand, tools, my seatback bag and contents, bell etc. Though I might make that 50 lb cut off if I stored the loose pieces in my other luggage. It may be possible to carry my rack in the S&S travel case. I think there is room. I've always packed my rack in my second travel bag along with my helmet, shoes and packed panniers.

If arrangements are made on the receiving end, I see no reason why a piece of luggage containing everything not to be carried on the bike could not be mailed to your final destination. Since my international tours have always originated and ended in the same place (Airfare is usually cheaper). I have found it most convenient to arrange free storage at the first/last place I plan to stay.

--

Cletus Lee

Bacchetta Giro

Lightning Voyager

http://www.clee.org

Bellaire, TX USA

Cletus Lee, September 22, 2003

Ken Kifer's Bike Pages

Ken Kifer was tragically killed in September, 2003 by a drunk driver while cycling near his home. His website is invaluable, however, and is being kept up. It has accounts and photos of ten trips across the US and Ontario, plus useful information about designing a touring trip, bicycle camping, and making pannier bags. http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/ Ken Kifer, September 14, 2003

Anecdote: UPS and old model Performance hard case

On 9/4/03 I sent the following message to Tech Support at Performance Bicycle:

"Dear People:

I own one of your 'old' hard cases - the kind you sold before you adopted the newer design you currently sell.

A few weeks ago, at the end of the RAGBRAI cross-Iowa ride, I UPSed my bike to my home in California, and paid a very reasonable $76 for 2-day- air service. (I had paid $50 a couple of weeks earlier for ground shipment from California to Omaha, NE.)

About a week ago I received an invoice from UPS for $160, representing an additional charge for an "Over Maximum Size" shipment. They had measured my box to be 53"x28"x12". I was able to persuade them that the charge was improper under the law of contracts (I am a lawyer), and they agreed to drop it, but I could not persuade the gentleman to whom I spoke that the case was not over maximum size. Further, he insisted that a hard case is not a 'box,' which has to be cardboard! (I then described the two occasions when UPS damaged my bike when it was shipped in cardboard boxes, prompting my purchase of a hard case.)

1. (a) Can you advise me whether you know of other owners of your old model HC who have been zapped by UPS for over-maximum-size shipments, and (b) how owners of your new model are faring.

2. I note that Trico claims that their hard case 'meets UPS requirements,' which I take to mean 'does not exceed UPS maximum size requirements.' Does Performance make the same claim for its hard cases?

Yours sincerely,

James M. Moose
Sacramento, CA "

James M. Moose, September 04, 2003

bicycle touring: free camping recipes...

Your "tasty one-pan wilderness chow" will leave friends wondering when you snuck off to Paris for cooking class.

mike mcgarry, September 02, 2003

Bike rentals in the Sonoma California Wine Country

Hi,
I thought some of the visitors to your site might like to know that we rent quality road and hybrid bikes in Sonoma County. We will deliver the bikes directly to you at your place of lodging and assist you in planning your routes.
Thanks! John

John Mastrianni, August 30, 2003

EXCELLENT service on Air France checking bike as baggage

On July 28, 2003, I flew from Florence, Italy (FLR) through Paris (CDG) to Washington Dulles (IAD) with my Fondriest road bike packed up nicely in a cardboard box. Tires deflated, pedals detached. I had not one single problem at the Florence airport or upon return to the states. Air France didn't charge me a cent, as the box was checked with one additional piece of baggage. I should note that my bike is light - with packaging it weighed in at 14 kilos, so this may have helped matters.

All in all - hooray for Air France for ease and lack of charges!! Why can't all airlines be like this?

Christina Villafana, August 02, 2003

Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona

I recommend Absolute Bikes - they have been very helpful towards me and my bike in Flagstaff over the last couple of weeks. Their rental bikes seem to be kept in good condition. Basic costs are $30 a day, but reduce for multiple day hire.

By the way, temperatures are cooler in Flagstaff than in Sedona and way cooler than in Phoenix. Remember to take the family swimming at Slide Rock in Sedona.




Biff Frederikson, July 27, 2003

Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona

Sedona is a mountain bike heaven! Try Absolute Bikes or Bike and Bean for rentals, trail info etc.

For road riding, Flagstaff is an easy 1/2 hour away (by car) and the road from the airport to Lake Mary is hard to beat for a scenic, low traffic out'n'back route.

Absolute Bikes in Flagstaff can hook you up. It's also next to the best coffee shop in Flagstaff (sorry, can't remember it's name!)

And it'll be HOT in Sedona so bring the big camelbak!

DMAversa, July 27, 2003

Miami to Paris and back via Air France

My wife and I just returned from a 2 week trip to France, flying on Air France from Miami, Florida to CDG. We did a 9 day bike trip with Backroads through Brittany and Normandy. We were traveling with 2 road bikes, packed in Sci-Con 52 Aerotech soft sides rolling bags.

Air France had advised that, despite their published luggage size/weight restrictions, they would treat each bike case as one of the 2 checkable pieces of luggage per passenger Air France permits. Checking in at Miami International was pretty much a breeze. The check-in lady tried to charge me for oversize luggage, but backed off when I reminded her of Air France?s policy for properly packed bikes. The bikes were tagged to go in the fragile luggage compartment. The TSA Security guys were pretty nice in going through the bike bags and even let me double check to make sure that the bikes were properly mounted on the frames after the inspection.

At CDG luggage claim, the bikes were brought out by a porter; they did not come out on the regular luggage carousel. I opened each case to inspect the bikes. Thankfully, there was no damage to the bikes.

We trekked through CDG to the TGV train station to catch our train to Rennes. We got on the train, put the bikes in the luggage storage area at the end of our train car, locked the cases to the rail and that was it. No one said a word to us about the bikes at all.

Our return trip on the train and Air France was exactly the same. Except for the fact that we caused a little bit of a spectacle wheeling these big red cases around, it was extremely easy to travel with our bikes and a total pleasure to be able to ride our own bikes on our bike trip.

The Sci-Con cases worked very well. It was easy enough to take off the wheels, mount the bike on the adjustable frame, lash the wheels to the frame and zip up. Not having to pull the seatpost or the stem was really nice. On the way home, we stuffed all of our sweaty bike clothing, shoes and Camel Backs into the cases with no problem.

G. Pincus, July 01, 2003

Orange County, California

The Michelson Drive access in/out of the airport has now been reopened. Very easy access for such a major airport.

The Orange County Bikemap is available here:
http://www.octa.net/streets/bikeways/map.asp

Brian DeSousa, June 30, 2003

Boxes

UPS from Maine to California and Back
We shipped our bikes from Maine to northern California and back using UPS ground, and found the experience was successful. However we do have some suggestions for anyone else wanting to use UPS.
First of all, the bikes arrived in good shape which was great.
The only problems that we encountered were in the cost, and in the timing of the deliveries.
We had researched the cost of the shipment on the UPS web site and were clearly told that the cost would be about 56 dollars per bike each way, and that the transit time would be 5-7 business days. This was for UPS centers, AND for authorized UPS outlets.

We dropped the bikes off at our local UPS Store which had months before been a Mailboxes Etc. It had better hours than the UPS center, and we believed, based on the web site that the cost and service were identical.
Their charge turned out to be $7.00 per bike more than the web site promised but when we inquired they said that the web site was wrong, and supposed to be changed, but they would refund our $14.00 as the web site was misleading. The bikes were shipped that day UPS, and arrived 5 business days later in good shape. We could track them with the tracking numbers. They boarded a truck in Massachusetts and arrived in California several days later. We were very pleased with the service.

On our return we tried the same tactic. We found a UPS Store, (recently a Mailboxes Etc. Store) and had a very different experience. The cost was about $70 per bike, there was no negotiation, there were no tracking numbers available, and the bikes were shipped Associated Global, which somehow organizes a group of local shippers, as I understand it. I finally got a tracking number from the UPS Store after about 10 phone calls, including a complaint to UPS. The bikes were shipped on a number of different trucks, and changed from truck to truck often. We did not figure that could do the bikes any good. The bikes finally arrived 8 or nine BUSINESS days after we dropped them off. They came to my rural Maine home in a Monstrous Semi. The driver was concerned that the roads were too narrow for his truck, and I would say that they really were.
The late arrival would have been disastrous for us if we were waiting for them to start our trip, but as it turned out, we were home, so it was merely inconvenient. The UPS guarantees of arriving in a certain number of days did not apply to the UPS Store, I was told by UPS over the phone.!!!!!!!

So, my advice would be to try to find a true UPS center to ship from if possible. I am not sure of the service there, as we did not try them.
And also I would advise people consider using a bike shop to pack and ship the bikes when away from home. That is what we would do next time. The time and effort involved in finding bike boxes, the UPS store, packing the bikes, and bringing them to the store only to get over charged and under served, seemed like it was not worth the effort. It was an unfamiliar city, at the end of a lovely vacation, without a car, and we were wishing to enjoy the time in the city instead of fussing with our bikes.

Peggy Hamill, June 26, 2003

SAS

I recently checked by Trek racing bike as a piece of luggage with SAS airlines from Chicago to Copenhagen. SAS took it as one piece of baggage with no extra charge (just as described when I called to verify their policy).

I removed the pedals, turned the handlebars, and put some protective bubble wrap over the sensitive areas (gear shifters, handlebars, etc.) The bike arrived in perfect condition.

Rob, June 25, 2003

Pocatello ID, Orange County CA, Flint MI

Here is some updated or new info on airport access.

Pocatello Idaho -
Easy, small airport. Very bike friendly.

Orange County California -
The Michelson Drive entrance is open again. Bike access is
suprisingly good for such a major airport.

Flint Michigan -
The only access is from a 4-lane road with no shoulders (Bristol
Rd). Bikes are allowed, but it is not bike friendly.


Al Davis, June 24, 2003

Does anyone have experience with traveling Alaska Airlines?

Has anyone flown Alaska Airlines with a bike? I fully expect to pay the extra fee at this point (I also have a hard-shell wheel case), but any tips or experience you can offer would be great.

craig, June 21, 2003

San Francisco, California (SFO)

This is really good news. I flew into SFIA earlier this year and assumed I could take the train to the city. When I discovered I couldn't I decided to walk to a friend's house that's only about 2 miles from the airport. That was when I discovered to my astonishment that the airport is almost entirely surrounded by highway, so there is no safe way to walk out. (How much sense does that make in a place that sits on a major geologic fault line, or that seems a possible choice target of a a terrorist scare?)

Anyway, after querying the folks at the info desk, I learned that there is a free (!) Caltrain shuttle that will take you from the airport, across the highway, to the train station in nearby Millbrae. So, if you're flying with your bike into or out of SFIA and you won't be taking the new BART train to or from downtown SF, do yourself a huge favor and take the free Caltrain shuttle to Millbrae to avoid trying to cycle those two miles of highway.

Once you're in Millbrae, you're close to local roads that are much better for cycling. The only downside is that Caltrain doesn't operate every day of the week, so you need to check their schedule to see if the airport shuttle is running on the day(s) and time(s) you fly.

Doug
Cambridge, MA

Doug Pfrang, June 19, 2003

Cycling-Toplinks

We would be happy if you'd be able to link us back to - http://www.cycling-toplinks.com/

Cycling-Toplinks, June 12, 2003

Greyhound v. Amtrak

I just returned from a tour with parts where I took both Greyhound and Amtrak and noticed their bike-boxing is different.

Amtrak provides a high, narrow box that doesn't require removing the wheels. Greyhound provides a box that's shorter, but wider, and does require removing the wheel and putting them in the box alongside the bike. The Greyhound trip involved a bus-change (Pensacola to Mobile, then Mobile to Biloxi) and on the first leg (Greyhound) the bike stood upright, but on the second leg (Travelways) the box had to be laid down flat in the luggage compartment.

No harm was done, the bike travelled well and suffered no damage. The wheel removal was an inconvenience on the bus, but the flat travelling on the 2nd leg of the trip did have me concerned.

I'm relating this because it was my first experience with Greyhound.

Bob Kastigar, June 08, 2003

BikeFriday since 9/11

In May 2002 I was Ride Director for a Bicycle Adventure Club ride in Holland. We had 71 participants (2 non-bikers) on three barges of Bike & Barge, Holland. Of those, there were 14 BFs, one a Tendem. I had suggested that each person with a BF case indicate to Security at various airports around the country that IT was a piece of excercise equipment. On arriving in Amsterdam, no reports were received of trouble . I cannot speak for return trips. But there must have been dozens of airlines and airports represented on this trip.
Frankly, I have literally been all-over the world with my BF on 24 trips, and the only complaint I have is that someone once stole the extra-safety belt around the Carlton case, and another time something punctured the case - no real damage. Otherwise, TROUBLE FREE

Wes Conner, June 03, 2003

Amtrak: New York to Boston : SOL

I just rang the people at amtrak, wanting to take my bicycle with me on a train (any train!) from New York Penn Station to Boston South Station.

The women helping me searched, and then asked, and apparently there is no way at all to carry my bicycle on the train, either unboxed or boxed. This is because checked baggage has been cancelled on the NYP-BOS route. They used to have it, but I have a feeling it's a 9/11 thing.

So, oh well. Perhaps some of the bus lines will do it, I'll have to see.

Simon, May 31, 2003

Shipping Services, Worldwide

Hi folks,

From Chile and to Chile, Also to Bolivia, or through my Agents in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Perú, etc. I can help you Shipping your staf worldwide. If your comming to Chile on tours, Biking, etc. Just e-mail me, I was a Traveller and have helped friend from USA, Australia, New Zealand shipping their bikes, etc.

Francisco Herrera Barnachea, May 27, 2003

Chicago, Illinois (O'Hare)

My trip to Chicago went great. The ride from Lombard in the suburbs to O'Hare went well. The southern approach is fine. Here are the details...

Take Lawrence to the end and then turn left on Manheim.

Follow the signs for Civil Aviation.

  • First right into airport.
  • First right again.
  • First left, which is a while down the road.

    Follow this to the end, ignoring the no outlet signs. It then merges with the Terminal 5 exit roadway. Here, continue with the flow of traffic.

    If you're going to Terminal 5, you'd merge across the road and take the first left.

    If you're going to Terminals 1 through 3, merge to the left side of the road and go straight, through the underpass.

    Shortly, you'll see a sign saying return to terminals. Make that left.

    As this road curves around to the right, a service road begins to parallel it on your right, between you and the fence. You want to get on that road. A convenient spot is a drainage curb cut, allowing you to easily ride across the grass and hop onto the other road.

    This service road will take you, nearly traffic free, to the terminals.

    Enjoy,
    --Dan
  • Daniel Convissor, May 25, 2003

    New York City

    A major list of bike rental places in NY http://www.bikesummer.org/2003/local/rentals.php

    Daniel Convissor, May 25, 2003

    Florida to Raleigh, NC

    Florida to Raleigh, NC http://www.gfarnsworth.com/Famazine/BikeTrips.cfm

    George Farnsworth, May 24, 2003

    Around Lake Ontario

    Around Lake Ontario http://www.gfarnsworth.com/Famazine/BikeTrips.cfm

    George Farnsworth, May 24, 2003

    Folding Bikes along the New River in Virginia

    Folding Bikes along the New River in Virginia http://www.gfarnsworth.com/Famazine/BikeTrips.cfm

    George Farnsworth, May 24, 2003

    Touring stories and links

    Found on: touring@phred.org
    Last month, I posted a message with a link to an account of my April tour from Omaha, to St. Charles, MO (500 miles). http://www.cyclingtouristresources.net/touringexperiences.htm I'd like to post similar accounts from fellow phreds. If you would like for me to post your written accounts of your tours, email them to me at dwdeford@yahoo.com

    David DeFord Omaha www.CyclingTouristResources.net

    David DeFord, May 24, 2003

    Bike rental in south Florida

    Found a bike shop in Delray Beach Florida, Richwagen Cycles, that rents nice quality Jamis road bikes with 105. A refreshing change from your average shop that's only willing to rent low end mountain bikes or hybrids!

    Jeff, May 17, 2003

    Bicycle touring slides and maps

    For anyone interested bicycling across the USA or touring Alaska, I have put on the web two of my bicycle tours. Lots and lots of thumbnailed and mapped photographs of each tour.
    The TransAmerica trip used Amtrak to get to Seattle from Providence RI. From there, the trip went East combining the Central and the Northern TransAmerica routes. This was a 6000 mile trip taking 3 1/2 months.
    The Alaska trip again used Amtrak to get to Seattle and then I used the Alaska Ferry service to get to Skagway, Alaska. After biking around Alaska and the Yukon, I biked home to Rhode Island, crossing Canada, the US MidWest and New England. This trip was 6,400 miles and took 4 1/2 months.

    Michael Krabach, May 08, 2003

    Ireland

    Jason and I brought our 3 speeds to Ireland April, 2003.

    We flew out of Logan (Boston) direct to Shannon. Aer Lingus let us count the bikes (in boxes) as luggage, so they flew for free. They have a weight restriction per passenger (75 pounds, I think), but the size of the luggage doesn't matter.

    We boxed our bicycles in dumpstered bike boxes from a local shop. Jason made wooden pegs to keep the front forks from getting bent, and cut pieces of pipe to protect the axles. We found gaffer's tape very useful when packing the bikes. Also we brought packing tape with us so we could re-make the boxes when we left.

    The bikes arrived in Ireland in fine shape and we put them back together in a quite corner of the airport. We left our boxes with the Left Luggage people, who put them in a mystery corner and told us to be insistent about getting them back when we left. Shannon no longer has a good place to leave bike boxes.

    In Ireland we took two ferries (across the Shannon from Kilrush to Tarbert and from Caherseveen to Valencia Island). Both were car ferries, and our bicycles didn't cost extra (total was 3 or 4 Euro each).

    After cycling the west for over a week, we took the bus from Kilarney to Dublin. We were traveling off season, and the buses were not crowded, so we were able to take our bikes on the bus, which was a large, Greyhound-style affair. I think their basic policy is you can take the bikes if there is room. It cost 9 Euro extra, return trip for each bike. You can take bicycles on the inter-city train (which is about twice as expensive as the bus for human passengers) as a matter of course, and it also costs extra. You can't take the bikes on commuter trains or subways, or on local buses.

    When we left Shannon, our original boxes were gone, so we had to take someone else's boxes (sorry!), which were much bigger and in worse shape than our original ones. We arrived at the airport early, and were helped by security to cut the luggage line so we wouldn't have to manoever our giant boxes throught the little ribbon maze you have to wait in usually. Airport people were very friendly and helpful.

    Jason's box was pretty wrecked upon arrival at Logan, where the sky-caps were mean to us for being in the way, but his bicycle was ok.

    Logan is certainly not nearly as pleasant as Shannon airport. I'm glad I wasn't visiting from another country, as it is not very welcoming. I don't think there is a quiet area at Logan where one could re-assemble a bike. We took ours away in a van, still in pieces. Plus, you really can't ride out of the airport without risking certain injury. And if you take the subway from there, you have to walk down stairs with all your stuff. Flier beware!

    Liz Coffey, April 20, 2003

    Vancouver, BC

    For anyone travelling to BC this year, I've added a page to my website that may be of interest: http://www.adamk.ca/Routes.htm

    The page outlines how to negotiate/avoid some of the busier routes - for cyclists - from Vancouver airport, the main Vancouver ferry terminals, Vancouver Island - Sidney & Victoria - to the Washington State Ferries, US


    From Vancouver Airport it is just over 40 Kms to the Peace Arch (Douglas) border crossing.

  • Bicycles are prohibited to ride on Highway 99 (the freeway) from the Oak Street Bridge, in Vancouver, all the way south to the border crossing. Also, even taking the most direct alternate route, there is one tunnel (George Massey Tunnel) to negotiate on the ride from the airport, which cyclists are not allowed to ride through. There are two options to get through the tunnel though.

  • Option 1... Take the #404 Transit bus, which has a two bike rack, from the airport and alight at the first bus stop past the tunnel exit. Then after the tunnel, continue on by bicycle as outlined below in "Option 2"...

  • Or, stay on the #404 bus (ask the driver for a "transfer"), then at Ladner Exchange, transfer to the #351 Crescent Beach bus (which also has a two bike rack), then alight at the town of White Rock, which is located almost at the border. You can then ride your bike the short distance east on 8th Ave to the multiuse/bike path that runs south to the border and parallel to Highway 99.

  • Option 2... Ride from the airport - not too busy, but be prepared for a fair amount of traffic, depending on the time of day.

  • Route from the airport... From the terminal, take Grant McConachie Way east, turn right off Grant McConachie Way when possible, then left and continue east on Miller Road which will take you to Sea Island Way and Sea Island Bridge (if you get to the Arthur Laing Bridge, you've gone too far along Grant McConachie Way and are heading north).

  • After the Sea Island Bridge, continue on Sea Island Way for about .75 Km, then turn right (south) onto Garden City Road. Continue on for 5.5 Kms then turn left (east) onto Williams Road for just over 2 Kms, then right (south) onto #5 Road for 1.5 Kms, then left (east) onto Rice Mill Road almost to Highway 99, where there is a bicycle shuttle service to take you through the tunnel See: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/bchighways/massey/massey.htm The shuttle will drop you off outside the Town and Country Inn on 62nd B St.

  • From there you need to head north (not for long!) for a little less than 1 Km, then turn right (east) onto 60th Ave, then right (south) onto 64th St, which will turn into Burns Road and parallel Highway 99 for a little while until you reach 72nd St. (Benson Road). Turn right (south) onto 72nd St. and then left onto Highway 10 (Ladner Trunk Road). Just before 10 crosses over the freeway (Highway 99), turn right onto Hornby Drive, which parallels 99 for about 3.5 Kms, then left (north) onto 112th St., then right which will take you back onto Highway 10 ( which is also 58th Ave).

  • (Option - drop down with a right turn onto 56th Ave at 120th St. - Although 56th will rejoin and merge with 10 anyway at 140th St.)

  • From Highway 10, turn right (south) onto 152nd St. (Johnston Road) for about 8 Kms, then turn left (east) onto 16th Ave. until you reach Highway 99A. Turn right onto 99A which will take you to 8th Ave. From 8th Ave. there is a multiuse/bike path going south that parallels Highway 99 for the final short distance to the border crossing.

    Although the above route may seem somewhat convoluted, it is a relatively easy and mostly flat ride, that does avoid a lot of main (read... "busy") roads.

    Vancouver Island Option

  • Two other good alternatives also exist for Pacific Coast cycle tourers from Vancouver airport; both involve a ferry ride to Vancouver Island but are much more favourable/nicer routes for reaching the US Border. One of my
    previous ventures to the Oregon Coast was through Washington State, via mostly the Adventure Cycling Association's route. But I started in Sidney, BC and took the ferry to Anacortes, WA, then joined the ACA route at Deception Pass, which is located between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands in Washington State. The ACA route is fairly mediocre in some areas of southern Washington State, and I feel that the Olympic Peninsula is a better routing choice for Pacific Coast bicycle touring.

  • To ride either the Olympic Peninsula route or pick up the ACA route from Deception Pass southwards, will require taking a ferry from Tsawwassen on the mainland to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. To get to the ferry terminal from the Vancouver airport, will still require having to negotiate the George Massey Tunnel, as described above.

  • If the #404 transit bus was taken from the airport; one can either alight at the first stop past the tunnel exit then ride south on Highway 17, which is a direct route to the ferry terminal. Or, to use bus transit all the way to the ferry terminal, stay on the #404 bus until Ladner Exchange (ask the driver for a "transfer"), then transfer to the #640 bus (also has 2 bike racks) to the ferry terminal.

  • To ride from the airport, and take the shuttle through the tunnel, continue by riding south on Highway 17 to the ferry terminal from the Town and Country Inn shuttle drop-off.

  • Once on Vancouver Island, choose your ferry route to either Port Angeles, WA (for the Olympic Peninsula) or Anacortes, WA (Fidalgo Island - ACA route). The Port Angeles ferry leaves from downtown Victoria (well worth the visit) which you can reach by either riding about 30 Kms south on Highway 17, or by taking the Lochside Trail, which is a multiuse, mostly paved trail all the way to Victoria. The Anacortes ferry leaves from Sidney, BC (also worth a visit - my home town!) which is only 5 Kms from the ferry terminal, also via either Highway 17 or the Lochside Trail. Accesses to Highway 17 and the Lochside Trail are well posted at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal.

    Adam K.

    Sidney, BC
    Canada


    Website: www.adamk.ca
  • Adam K., April 17, 2003

    New York City

    Bicycle Renaisance on Columbus right across the street from the museum
    of natural history, I think 81st Street.

    There is also a Metro Cycles on 96th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam.
    -----------------
    Alex

    Alex Rodriguez, April 15, 2003

    Chicago, Illinois (O'Hare)

    Taking the Blue Line in/out would be the best bet. Traffic around O'Hare is fast and vicious. You can take your bike on the train any time except weekdays 8am-10am and 4pm-6pm. If you get on at 3:59pm they won't kick you off, but they won't allow you to transfer to a different train. You can take your bike on CTA buses all the time. About 90% of them have bike racks.

    If you are in town the last Friday of the month come by Daley Plaza (Washington/Dearborn) at 5:30pm and ride in Chicago Critical Mass! See http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org.
    -Bob Matter
    -----------
    We can't just have cars, cars, cars, 24 hours a day. --Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Chicago

    Bob Matter , April 10, 2003

    Bikes on CTA -- Chicago Transit Authority

    this is an update to your information on using the CTA trains in Chicago:

    The policy now is that bikes-on-trains are allowed anytime - EXCEPT 7-9am and 4-6pm Monday-Friday. And any other significant travel days, announced in advance. So except for the morning and evening period, you can take bikes on trains almost anytime. Same rules: two-bikes per car maximum.

    I've done it a few times. It's OK, except when it's crowded. It's best if you can board at the end of the line, when the train isn't crowded and you can establish a space and be out of the way. The first and last cars of the train are better too.

    By the middle of summer 2003, ALL of the Chicago CTA buses will have bike racks on the front. Most of them do already. The bike racks hold two bikes, fairly easy to operate even if you've never done this before. You just lift the bike onto the rack, and there's a swing-up clamp that holds it in place. Even people who did this for the first time, without any instructions, said it was very simple and they didn't delay the bus but a few moments.

    Bob Kastigar

    Bob Kastigar, April 04, 2003

    Puerto Rico

    I often travel to and ride in Puerto Rico. As a matter of fact,my wife and I just arrived from there this morn. In the years that I have been traveling there and riding, I have come to know Paul and his son Omar at Hot Dog Cycles in Isla Verde. My wife and I visited his shop on Monday and had a great visit.

    Not only does his shop offer rentals, but they sell and service to a number of high end bikes (Colnago, Orbea, Casati, Merlin, Moots, Dean) The rentals are respectable mountain bikes fine for cruising Ashford Ave, Old San Juan or, my favorite, Paseo Pinones.

    PP is a broad paved path that wanders along the surf east of the the airport. Periodically, the path detours into the surrounding jungle on raised boardwalks tunnelling through the palms and the banyons forest before returning to the seaside. The entire ride from Isle Verde can be done on the rented C'dale in a couple or three hours. I would guess that it's about 22-25 miles.

    Restaurants are plentiful on the west end and vendors are available at short intervals on the route. In my estimation PP represents the essence of Puerto Rico in that locals have unfettered access to the beach and the surf. Children, dogs, bladers and strollers share the route, but on a mountain bike, it's not a hinderence at all, and adds to the flavor of the ride.

    For hammerheads, Paul and Omar can show you how to stay on the highway and blast out toward Loiza and back. You can also join the procession of Ashford Ave evening cruisers through Condado at dusk. It's their version of the Pacific Coast Highway and everyone is out to enjoy the cool evening breeze and to see and be seen. Between Condado and Old San Juan be sure to try El Hamburgeria, a locals and ex-pats favorite haunt for a real hamburger and beer.

    There are other rides on the island and of course Old San Juan, but the narrow, worn, cobblestone streets, and interminable bumper to bumper traffic make it a very frustrating attempt at cycling. It's best done afoot with good shoes and a sufficient amount of time to enjoy it.

    Paul can be contacted at Hot Dog Cycling, Ave. Isla Verde 5916 Local 3, Isla Verde, P.R. 00979 Isla Verde, Tel. 787 982 5344 or at www.hotdogcycling.com.

    Enjoy the riding, the rum and the coffee.

    BT Ritter, March 25, 2003

    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Road Bike rentals - McGhies Ski, Bike and Board at 702-252-8077 Mtn Bike in town - Escape Adventures at 702-596-2953 Mtn Bikes and Road Bikes at the trail head - Blue Diamond Bike Out Post at 702-875-4820 Web sites www.bikeoutpost.com www.mcghies.com www.escapeadventures.com

    Map that shows the local bicycle routes: Regional Transportation Commission 600 S. Grand Central Parkway; Suite 350 Las Vegas, Nevada 89106-4512 or call 702-676-1500

    My husband and I last summer got bikes at Blue Diamond and had a blast. Get there when the shop first opens so you can ride before the heat rises, and bring a camelbak for each rider -- even in the winter it is really dry.

    I am not overly fond of Vegas, but my in-laws live there, so I have no choice but to visit frequently. Riding bikes there was probably the most fun I've had in the Las Vegas area.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    Home of the meditative cyclist: http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm

    Claire Petersky, March 05, 2003

    Tucson, Arizona

    Martha here (in Tucson).

    Here's what to do: Pick up your bike at the baggage claim.

    And don't dawdle in the airport on your way there. Our baggage boys and girls do their job quickly, and you want to be in the claim area when your bike comes through the door. Yes, it will come through a door. The conveyor belts are too small for a bike box.

    It's likely that someone will drag the box right to you -- we bicyclists must give off some sort of signal, because the baggage crew ALWAYS know who wants what's in that bike box.

    Then, tear the box open and push it off to one side. You won't be needing it anymore. Who knows, in this crazy town, your bike box may be just the thing that someone else needs to soak up oil spots beneath the Ford.

    Reassemble your bikes. Confidently. Show off a little. (I used to be a bike mechanic, and there was a great deal of showmanship involved in that line of work.)

    Then roll out the door, and up Tucson Boulevard. Welcome to town!

    Martha Retallick

    Martha Retallick, February 17, 2003

    Amtrak -- Piedmont, Cardinal and Ethan Allen Scratched

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    Message text written by Jim Logan I rode the Vermonter last week and didn't see any mention of roll-on bikes on the timetable. Alas, the service has been discontinued on Vermonter and other trains. It may be related to eliminations of ticket agents at stations on the line. See
    www.narprail.org/bikes.htm
    for a cool map that summarizes bike access.


    According to the map and information at that URL, roll on bike service has been discontinued not only on the Vermonter (Aug 2002) but also the Piedmont, Cardinal and Ethan Allen in April of 2002. That's sort of like a sign in our post office, In order to provide better service to our customers, our new hours on Saturday are 8:30 am to 12 noon. Of course, before that the window was open 8:00am to 5:30 pm. If the service gets any better, we will all need FAX machines.

    Jim Foreman

    http://www.JimForeman.com

    Jim Foreman, December 14, 2002

    Amtrak -- Vermonter (Scratched)

    I rode the Vermonter last week and didn't see any mention of roll-on bikes on the timetable. Alas, the service has been discontinued on Vermonter and other trains. It may be related to eliminations of ticket agents at stations on the line. See www.narprail.org/bikes.htm for a cool map that summarizes bike access.

    Jim Logan

    Jim Logan, December 14, 2002

    Amtrak -- Vermonter (Scratched)

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    What do you have to do to get a bike on Amtrak?. I tried to get info on getting my bike back home in MA. from NYC and found the only way was to box it go to Boston (90 miles away from my home) and take the train at 01:30. I would still have to get from Boston to Springfield and they can't help as there is no baggage car. On top of that they want $10 for a box and $% handling fee. ANyone know how I can get home? I could take Metro North to New HAven, but still need someone to make the round trip by car to get me. No wonder they are not making any money. FYI the Vermonter no longer carries bikes.

    ED

    ed , November 04, 2002

    Amtrak -- Mid West

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    I live in Davenport. Jim Foreman suggested:
    My suggestion would be when you get to Baton Rouge, ride east about 35 miles to Hammond, LA where you can catch AMTRAK all the way back to Chicago. Change trains there to one running west to Mt. Pleasant, IA. From there it's about a 40 mile ride back to Muscatine. You can box your bike in Hammond and check it all the way through to Mt. Pleasant.

    Much to my chagrin, this won't work. The station in Mt. Pleasant doesn't accept checked-in luggage. I know this because it's exactly what I tried to do in August. You can also forget the stations in Galesburg, Ft. Madison/Keokuk, Burlington and Ottumwa. In fact, the only Amtrak stations in the midwest that accept checked-in luggage are Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Bloomington/Normal. I spent two hours on the phone in August trying to resolve this dilemma. I don't think the policy has changed since then. I ended up driving to Bloomington/Normal.

    I don't remember anything about Omaha, however.

    Flying in and out of Moline with a bike is also difficult. United is no longer possible because the jets are, as of last June 7, too small. Northwest is a possibility, but only certain flights that offer larger jets. I think there are two a day.

    Scot Heisdorffer
    Mein Fahrrad hat Fernweh. Dabei sein ist alles.

    Scot Heisdorffer, November 02, 2002

    Pedaling.com -- 1000 free self guided bike routes

    Over 1000 free self guided bike routes throughout the US and Canada. Maps, cue sheets, and ride descriptions

    Nancy Maier, October 21, 2002

    American Airlines

    I flew American Airlines from NYC-JFK to Paris in September 2002 and was pleasantly surprised to find no additional charge for transporting my bike (it was one of two pieces of checked luggage).

    I originally tried to avoid taking American because I though I would be charged $80 each way, but wound up on them after Air France suspended most of their flight due to a work slowdown.

    Arriving at JFK by bike (See JFK post for info on this), I had no problem getting a full-sized bike box that fit my touring bike easily after turning the handlebars and removing the pedals. The only negative was being charged $20 for the box. An AA crewmember also helped tape up the box (who I tipped as well).

    I'm not sure if not charging is policy or was an oversight (AA website is not clear), but I was happy and left it alone.

    My return from Paris was on Air France, which I knew did not charge for bike transport, except for the 6 Euros for the box. Note that did take about 45 minutes for them to find and bring me a box, and that no one offered tape or helped me put together the box.

    Brian Hoberman, October 18, 2002

    Bike Rental -- Seattle -- Blazing Saddles

    Unfortunately, as of Summer 2002 Blazing Saddles is out of buisness; at least in Seattle. There IS a company( I forget the name) who will rent a bicycle to downtown Seattle visitors and actually deliver/pickup the bike to your hotel. I used them in July; they're pricey (about $40/day) but good. I rented a Bianchi hybrid which was great for urban riding. They are in the phonebook.

    James D Cooper, September 29, 2002

    Kahului, Maui, Hawaii (OGG)

    Easy cycling access to/from Kahului, Maui, Hawaii airport (OGG).

    Brian DeSousa, September 15, 2002

    New York City -- JFK Airport

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides, nyc.bicycles

    It's actually possible to ride thru JFK via the service roads. I regularly ride thru JFK via assorted service roads, from Farmers Blvd. in the east to Lefferts Blvd. in the west and onward into Aqueduct Racetrack and Howard Beach. It's maybe a mile of the Van Wyck to the International Terminal from Federal Circle.

    It may well get better if they allow bikes on the AirTrain via the terminal at the long term parking lot. First problem's going to be discovering they have no policy towards bikes, Second's getting the booth attendant at the lot to let you in to the lot, so as to get on to the train.

    SB

    Steve Bailey, September 06, 2002

    Boston, New York City Airports

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides, nyc.bicycles

    It's not really a ride report, but I thought I'd post it here anyway (cross-posting to nyc.bicycles as well).

    After taking my bike with me on vacation last July fairly painlessly by air, I decided to visit some friends just north of Boston for a long weekend, and to bring my bike along. I again booked through the Navigant/League of American Bicyclists/Bikes Fly Free program, which costs $45 over the airfare (as opposed to paying $80 excess baggage each way). America West, Frontier, Northwest, US Air are the participating airlines. I got a good fare on the USAir Shuttle out of LaGuardia.

    I wimped out on riding to LaGuardia, since it was raining fairly heavily that morning, and I had no idea how long it would take to get there. (I was later glad I'd decided to do this.)

    Getting out of Logan was easy; I took a shuttle bus (#22) to the subway station and carried the bike from there down to the street. Really, it would have been bike-able, but I was under the impression that all the airport roads were limited access, so I didn't want to make an issue of it. It was a moderate PITA to lift my loaded bike onto the bus, but it wasn't crowded, fortunately.

    Navigating in Boston was a little tricky, I found, because many of the streets lacked street signs. The Rubel's Boston bike map was great, though, as was their Eastern Massachusettes map.

    I did ride out of LaGuardia when I returned, and this was *much* easier than I'd thought it would be. I took the green ramp immediately to the west of the USAir terminal, which took me over the Grand Central Parkway directly to 102nd St. & 23rd Ave.

    Once I was on the street, though, I found that my experience was the reverse of what it had been in Boston--streets in NYC are generally well-signed, but the NYC bike map (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/bike/cwbm.html) doesn't list all of the street names on its recommended routes, nor does it reliably indicate one-way streets. Anyway, I got turned around several times in Queens, and I'm a Brooklyn girl, and haven't done much cycling in Queens... it took me over two hour to get home (about 15 miles). In the rain. Grrr. Still, I'd do it again...I'd just plan my route better.

    So far I've had good luck with flying with the bike as far as handling goes. It has taken a *long* time for the ticket agents to check me in each time, though, so if you're flying with a bike, give yourself plenty of time. The bike box did get pretty beaten up on the way back from Boston--it had obviously been out in the rain for some time, and was almost disintegrated, but the bike was fine.

    I'm planning another trip to Virginia in October, flying into National, and riding the W&OD to Purcellville, and going from there to Front Royal, VA. I'm in the planning stages now, which of course is half the fun. :o)


    zeldabee, September 04, 2002

    Sports Express

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Try Sports Express for easy, hassle free travel. Picks up from wherever and delivers to wherever. No lugging to and from the airport AT ALL!!!!

    Dave Williams, August 06, 2002

    FedEx Ground

    I shipped my performance hard case and have mixed results. They broke 3 of the 4 padlocks off of the case (and consequently broke the clamps) for what I think was an inspection. Nothing was missing or damaged and FedEx said that they would cover the damaged case. I, however, elected to repair it since I did not want to put up with the hassle. FedEx was cheaper than UPS $35 to ship from San Jose, CA to Atlanta, GA. It took 5 days, although they promised 4 days. They do not guarantee delivery to home addresses so make sure you plan an extra day or 2 when you ship.

    TJ Sleboda, July 12, 2002

    Performance case

    I recently bought this case for an east coast trip. I ground shipped it and then took it back with me on the plane. Both cases, a couple of the latches were open. Part of the problem was that when I shipped via FedEx ground, they busted 3 padlocks off of the case and in the process broke off the metal loop that holds the locks in place. Without the locking part of the clamps, you can squeeze the box together and disengage the clamps. If I bought this case, I would not lock the case in fear of damaging the 4 clamps and I would buy straps to reinforce the integrity of the box in case the clamps failed. I also wish that the performance case had 6 clamps (at least 1 on each side) to secure the ends of the box. Overall, I think its a good case, but can be improved...

    TJ Sleboda, July 12, 2002

    Delta Airline experiences

    I recently traveled with my Performance Hard Case. I checked in with the skycap and he asked me what was in the case. I told him "recreational equipment". He asked me if I was sure, I responded "yes". He then tagged the luggage and checked it in. I did not have to pay the $80 fee for this segment of the flight.

    TJ Sleboda, July 12, 2002

    Fedex Ground/Crateworks

    Shipped my bike to Fairbanks, AK Fedex Ground. Took 9 days up and cost the same as flying with it. I shipped it to my brother in-law (you could ship to a bike shop or your hotel). Coming back will take longer but cost about $35 less. There is an excess of available outbound shipping so they wait for a full trailer. My bike sat for 4 days in Anchorage until it moved south. My only complaint is that Fedex ground doesn't seem to update it's tracking as good as Fedex. The tracking on delivery up did not show it delivered until 3 days after it got there. This may just be Alaska as all Fedex ground is subcontracted.

    I shipped it in a crateworks plastic box and was quite pleased. There were some deep gouges in the box that I'm not sure plain cardboard would have held up to and might have cause me to lose some small loose parts. Call me a satisifed customer.

    Marc Zingarelli, June 25, 2002

    New York (La Guardia)

    I leave via 94th ave exit(east of main terminal) for Brooklyn and Manhattan spots.

    I've locked east of main terminal-no problems.

    Steve, June 24, 2002

    Bike Rental -- Maine

    I found Island Bike Rental In Northeast Harbor, ME. It was located in very close to Acadia National Park's Carriage Roads, which are 57 miles of carless wonder.


    We also took an easy biking adventure on the Cranberry Islands. We took the mail boat located at the marina just down the hill from the bike shop to get to those Island. Little Cranberry despite the name had more to see: a museum, a pottery store, and a restaraunt.

    henery brown, June 03, 2002

    Adventure Cycling

    George,

    Would you be willing to add your listing in our On-line Cyclists' Yellow Pages. Traveling with Bikes is a great resource.
    ---
    Paul Adkins, Online Development

    Adventure Cycling Association America's Bicycle Inspiration and Resource (800) 755-2453 www.adventurecycling.org
    http://www.adv-cycling.org/special/flyfree.cfm

    Paul Adkins, May 08, 2002

    Bike Rental -- Dallas, Texas

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    Richardson Bike Mart at Coit and Campbell rents lots of bikes and the owner, Jim Hoyt, is a great and very knowledgeable guy.

    Mike

    Mike Eggleston, May 05, 2002

    Bangor, Maine

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    The closest airport to Bar Harbor is in Bangor. The airport is big enough to handle jumbo-jets (747 type), and they even have jet-ways, but they don't use them. Most of the flights are propellor type. There are a few commuter-jet flights. Bicycling to it is no problem.

    Al Davis, April 20, 2002

    AirTran charges for S&S bikes

    We have S&S coupled bikes in the standard size case (26x26x10), which is within all the airlines' size limitations and therefore not subject to the extra charges for the usual bike case.

    Not until now, anyway. Three weeks ago, AirTran charged us $45 each one-way from Philadelphia to Orlando. It was pay it or go home, so we paid it. Repeated emailed complaints (including a photo of a bike in its case) got us nowhere. Bicycles are bicycles, and bicyclists must pay.

    The Philadelphia clerk actually said, "If I opened those cases and just saw clothes, I wouldn't charge you."

    You can't get much more bicycle-unfriendly than that, can you?

    Carol Hart, February 27, 2002

    California Surfliner

    I've recently been taking advantage of the California Amtrak service which runs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.

    There are two types of trains on this route: Surfliners and non-Surfliners.

    Surfliner trains accept bicyles in the passenger coaches. You hang your bike on special hooks in the coach's alcove. It's great.

    The non-Surfliner trains have no such hooks and your bike must go in the baggage car. In actual practice, the bike doesn't have to be boxed: in my experience they just lean the bike up against the baggage car's wall. The Amtrak personnel instructed me to walk the bike back to the baggage car and hand the bike up to the guy in the baggage car, and at my destination I needed to walk up and meet the baggage guy at the baggage car where he handed my bike down to me.

    Amtrak says that the station must be manned in order for you to access the baggage car, but I've disembarked at unmanned stations and the conductor has unloaded my bike. I haven't tried loading my bike onto a non-Surfliner at an unmanned station.

    A major drawback to this system is that Amtrak doesn't know if a train is a Surfliner or a non-Surfliner (i.e., bikes in the passenger coaches vs. bikes in the baggage car) until the train is actually under way, so planning ahead is difficult.

    So far I haven't had to box up my bike, but I've only been traveling short distances by train (1 - 3 hours), and I haven't had to make use of Amtrak's "Thru-way" bus service.

    Mark McClure, February 02, 2002

    Since 9-11, request luggage inspection for Bike Friday

    In Jan, 2002, I flew with my Bike Friday from DC to Guadalajara, Mexico, on American Airlines. A friend flew with his bike in a box purchased from American. Before our trip, I received e-mail from Bike Friday warning of damage to their bikes & suitcases due to random inspections of Bike Friday suitcases out of sight of the passenger. I called up American and explained the situation.

    The agent suggested I request an inspection of my bike suitcase in my presence, after which, my suitcase would be tagged as having already passed inspection. When I checked in at Washington-Dulles, the agent didn't know what I was talking about. However, another agent overheard me, and she told my check-in agent that she was authorized to do such inspections.

    That implies that on American, at least, some employees are authorized to do security inspections and others are not. So, I let her check me in. She was very thorough (she wouldn't let me pack my Tri-flow chain lubricant), and when she was finished, she placed a special sticker on my suitcase, and wrote her own ID number on the sticker. She advised me to lock the suitcase at that point, though I chose not to.

    Both of our bikes arrived in Guadalajara in fine condition. My friend had to pay $50 for his bike, plus $20 for the box. As we arrived at GDL around 10pm, we took a camioneta taxi into the city. It cost a fixed rate 130 pesos, plus about 50 additional pesos for my friend's bike box. A paqueteria kindly let us store my empty suitcase and my friend's empty bike box for free (the hotel refused after saying OK on the phone).

    When I returned home, random inspections were done only prior to check-in, on tables near the check-in counter. I wasn't selected, but I expressed my concerns to my check-in agent and opened up my suitcase, and he told me there were not random inspection AFTER check-in in Guadalajara, so I needn't worry. After clearing customs in Dallas, the American agent who I re-checked my suitcase with said there were no additional inspections of luggage that cleared customs and were re-checked in. It arrived at Washington-National unscathed.

    BTW, Mexican buses readily accept bicycles. No hassles at all. Sometimes there is a charge, sometimes not. Often a tip is expected for the baggage guy who supervises loading, even if you load the bikes yourselves.

    Neal Teplitz, January 31, 2002

    Air Canada

    Took my bicycle from Laguardia NY to Calgary on Air Canada. June 2001

    LGA to Calgary: had the bike boxed. The attendent asked what was in the box I said a bicycle. She said OK and got it onto the conveyer. Off I went to board, without being charged. On my transfer in Toronto I got the box before my luggage came out. The only pain was that I had to lug the bike box, and luggage through customs to board my flight to Calgary. No big problem.

    On arrival at Calgary I didn't see my bike at the large luggage door for a while. I went to the help desk and asked the attendent where large items like bikes could come out. He took a second and said follow me. My bike was waiting for me at a second door I hadn't noticed.

    Edmonton to LGA: I had my bike compressed (seat down, pedals off, etc.) I asked the check in attendant for a bag for the bike and panniers. She quoted me a charge of CAN$50 which I paid. She was very helpful getting my bike and panniers packed in the bag. I just had to carry it to the large item check in. On the transfer in Toronto a minor snag when I was running a bit late. My bike didn't show up at customs and I panicked a bit but an attendant told me the bike passed through on a cart because I was running late. Arrival in Laguardia my bike was offloaded first!

    Was impressed, and satisfied with the service.

    Andy, January 30, 2002

    Austin, Texas

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    The mindset of non-cycling personnel you may deal with can't imagine WHY you'd want to cycle to/from an airport. There won't be much enthusiasm for your needs.

    I have experienced this, even without actually riding to the airport. Bergstrom Air Force Base here in Austin closed down about 4 years ago. It was given over to the City of Austin to become Bergstrom International Airport (which may still be the nation's newest international airport). I was curious to know if there had been any provisions for bike parking made at this new airport.

    I logged onto AUSTIN360.COM (one of the web sites all about Austin) and posted that question on the message board. Almost immediately I was flamed by some motorist user, who went on a rant about how bikes have no right to the road and we shouldn't be out there... the usual anti-bike stuff. Before I could reply, several other users flamed HIM, quoting the facts and highway regs that do in fact give cyclists equal right to the road.

    As it happened, within 24 hours, the AUSTIN350.COM webmasters had deleted the entire thread... apparently the subject was not considered worthy of their bandwidth. A week or two later, I rode out to the airport on my own, looked around, and found that no, there aren't any bike parking provisions. I lashed my bike to a fence rail far off to the side of the main entrance... but this was all well before 9-11, so who knows if that would be allowed today.

    These sort of incidents just burn me up. If cyclists are legitimate users of the road, then 'airport cops' should have no right to chase us off the roads to the terminal. What if you reached into your pocket and showed the 'airport cop' your ticket for your flight taking off in a couple of hours??? What's he going to do, tell you no you can't come to the airport on a bike, you're not a legitimate airline customer because you're on a bike? If this is the airlines' policy, then I say they deserve the economic fate that awaits them.

    Your expereinces are more reassuring... thanks for giving me some hope that
    maybe not all logical thinking was wiped out by 9-11.

    Regards and peace,
    James

    James, January 14, 2002

    Flying with Bikes Since 9-11 into Dulles Airport

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    Hi All,

    Now that plans for 2002 tours are taking shape, here's a discussion about touring cyclists who expect to fly into an airport and bike away from that airport. This also assumes they want to reverse the process to get back home.

    My wife and I had a recent experience with this and want to share what we learned. There are new considerations to factor in since 9-11. Some general bike travel comments are included here too.

    First. The mindset of non-cycling personnel you may deal with can't imagine WHY you'd want to cycle to/from an airport. There won't be much enthusiasm for your needs.

    Everything in a box, bike boxes included, are suspected items and may be subjected to additional searches and inspections. Getting cardboard boxes from airlines was a hassle before. Promised availability now is even less reliable. International flights also include a Customs check point.

    We use one hard case for our S&S coupled tandem frame parts. Wheels go in a soft-sided bag. If you're not familiar with these 26x26x10 cases, they are designed to pass the luggage size limit for no additional charge for checked baggage. Once packed by us, it's not comforting to think about someone else opening this case for inspection. We padlock it when packed. Will that be allowed in the future security routine? Who knows?

    In brief summary, here's what happened to a group of 22 British cyclists flying into Dulles airport for a three week tour of Virginia at the end of September 2001. We were contacted to help with some logistics (we live in PA, but know the tour leaders well). In turn we contacted someone near the airport for some local knowledge of roads in and out of the terminal area. Glenn Fahey, from Herndon, VA did a tremendous job of mapping out routes. He even checked with airport security for an OK, but that was prior to 9-11.

    A few days before the group was to arrive, we decided to ride the route. Near the terminal, we were chased off the road by an airport cop. NO Bikes allowed. Huh? Now what? The Airport Authority Police commander had no empathy--Security, ya know.

    BTW, I even asked for a police escort for the group. No way.

    Our role was to pick up and store many bike boxes in, ready for this, a U-Haul trailer at the terminal, so the cyclists could just ride away with panniers. At the end of the tour, they reverse the process. No big deal, just a bunch of foreigners with tools and knives working on bikes outside the terminal. Could they use the Cargo area which is a short distance from the terminal? Nope, Security, ya know.

    A frantic call to WABA (Washington Area Bicycle Association) produced no response. The concern for this access issue was passed along to some state committee for a future agenda.

    Our last minute solution was to rent a BUS to get the tired riders away from the airport--a regular coach bus at $345 for a 15 mile ride (one way). Divided by 22, the cost wasn't too bad, but all the bikes didn't fit either. That U-Haul trailer came in handy after all for eight of them (including one fully assembled tandem). BTW, the cost of airport shuttle service vans was greater than the bus (typical 15 passenger vans with seats). Quoted price was $455 and I had no faith that they understood the capacity needed for bike boxes.

    To add a complication, some of the tour group was to end their trip on different days. No problem. We'll just get their bike boxes to a terminal storage area for them to pick up on their own. Wrong answer. The Smart Karte storage area at Dulles was closed--Security, ya know. So, now we wonder how other travelers will count on left luggage arrangements elsewhere.

    To end this saga, at the end of the tour, the group arrived at a hotel parking lot near the terminal to box their bikes. We shuttled them four at a time in our van with an 8' U-Haul trailer to the terminal. No time for long good-byes. Roving patrols zeroed in on us each trip--move it! The weather was beautiful. There were no backup plans for bad weather.

    I began writing this because Kelly from CO posted her plans to fly to Baltimore this summer and bike from the airport to Pennsylvania. Others have suggested, as I would, to take the Light Rail at BWI to points north. There's just that little gap from the baggage gate to the Light Rail terminal that I need to check into. The free shuttle service buses may work for this if the Light Rail terminal is a route stop. I believe bikes are allowed on LR, but I'm not sure about peak hours. One or two bikes might work, but a large group may be denied use. Tour groups may complicate the process for any one flight with so many bikes to deal with. Timing may be important here to coordinate flight times.

    If no bike box is used (or needed, say with folding bikes) when a bike is checked, then I suppose anyone could just ride away to/from the terminal. The problem seems to be that terminal access roads may prohibit bikes.

    So, does anyone have recent experience with this at BWI or other airports? I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but new changes require a Heads-Up for flying with a bike

    I hope this helps without discouraging anyone. If someone who lives near or commutes to work at an airport can share some info on this, it may mean the difference between a smooth trip and a hassle.

    Joe Stafford Dallastown, PA

    Joe & Carolyn Stafford, January 13, 2002

    New York City

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    >> anywhere in Manhattan where you can rent mountain bikes?

    Try Bicycle Habitat in the village.

    244 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012 212-431-3315

    HTH
    gil


    Gil, November 11, 2001

    Austin, Texas

    Routes to and from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
    http://bicycleaustin.com/routes.html

    "Biking to the airport is difficult, but remember that you can also ride to 11th & Congress, and then take the Airport Limited Bus (#100). (City buses have bike racks on the front so you can take your bike.)" There's a link to the bus route schedule.

    Dan Connelly, November 04, 2001

    Washington Dulles Airport towards Front Royal

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    A few months ago, Ron Hill wrote to the list, asking for help in navigating from Dulles Airport to Front Royal, where he and a friend were going to get on Skyline Drive for a 2-week tour featuring the drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I responded with a routing, and Ron invited me to ride along if I could get away.

    Well, Ron and his friend Tom arrived at Dulles at 10:15 yesterday morning. I met them at the airport, and helped them assemble their bikes and gear. Unfortunately, I couldn't take time off from work, but I rode with them for an hour or two, before turning around to head back home. My discoveries in researching a route for them include:

    (1) There is a great, low-traffic way into Dulles Airport -- use the North Service Road entrance, marked on maps as Ariane Dr, accessible from Ox Road (VA 606). You can bike right up to the terminal, and the only other traffic will be on-airport buses, airport employees and a few savvy taxi drivers.

    (2) Exiting from the airport, we took the North Service Rd, then headed west on Ox Rd. You are almost immediately in the country, but this won't last long. At one point, we were on a narrow two-lane country road, with a herd of goats grazing on our right and a new office park going up on our left. Ron said something to the effect that he hoped the goats appreciated the value of the real estate they were on. Somehow, I don't think the goats will be there after a few more years. (sigh)

    (3) There is no direct, paved, low-traffic way to get from Dulles due west or west-south-west. I scouted three routes. Option A was a bit indirect, and had about 2-3 extra miles, with 1-2 miles of hard-packed dirt (north of US 50). Option B was very direct, but had about 6-7 miles of dirt (Braddock Rd, south of US 50; I'm going to include it in a day trip, Girls Love Dirt, I'm planning for the local bike club this coming fall-winter). Option C was using US 50 itself, which is 4-lane just west of the airport, then goes to 2-lane about 8 miles farther west, with light traffic on Sundays. Tom and Ron opted for Option C, since their bikes had fairly narrow tires; plus, it was late (we didn't start riding until about 12:30 PM, and they wanted to make Front Royal -- 60 miles from Dulles -- that night). I opted for Option C, too, heading back into town.

    My additional discoveries include: Bilenky can make a good touring bike. Bilenky usually specializes in tandems, or so I thought. Ron had a tandem from them, and was so impressed that he had them make up a single. A really nice looking bike, custom, with braze-ons for a front rack and spoke holders. Plus an ovalized top tube that is really neat.

    Ron and Tom should now be somewhere on Skyline Drive, heading south. After riding through North Carolina, they are going to split up, Tom riding home to Chattanooga TN and Ron to Atlanta GA. I wish them good weather and a great tour.

    Leslie ltierstein AT earthlink.net


    Leslie Tierstein, August 19, 2001

    San Francisco, California (SFO)

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    A couple of weeks ago I sent an e-mail asking about the best way to get out of the San Francisco Airport (cycle, shuttle, bus, etc.). Thanks for all the responses that I got. We are back in San Diego, after finishing our coast ride from SFO to San Diego

    Well, we decided to cycle out of the airport when we arrived on a Sunday morning. Although it was a bit tense we were able to do it.

    The surface road that you want to get to is McDonnell Road, just follow signs out of the terminal that you leave from. Once on McDonnell Road, we cycled north, until we got to San Bruno Ave. From there we were on our way. The biggest problem was it seemed that lanes were always merging from the left, forcing us to be careful to move over and get on the shoulder. Then the last move was to cross over two lanes of traffic to get to the final exit for McDonnell Road. On a Sunday morning, there was very little traffic, so this was not a problem. However, on a weekday, I could imagine that this would be more problematic.

    Hope this helps others who are flying into SFO

    Dave

    Dave, July 16, 2001

    New Jersey shore

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    Surf Buggy Centers in Ocean City (and, I think, some other locations) rents a basic Fuji Finest. You can get more info at http://www.surfbuggycenters.com.

    I'm going to be in Ocean City at the start of August -- I'm looking for someplace to rent a better road bike. If you find anything, please let me know.

    -Dan

    Daniel Brogan, July 12, 2001

    AMTRAK -- Chicago

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    I've shipped my bike on Amtrak on 6 or 7 occasions, with good outcomes and no damage each time. When travelling into Chicago I've always shipped my bike via Amtrak's Package Express service (without travelling on the train myself), which leaves the bike downstairs in the baggage handling area at Union Station. I've had no trouble leaving the bike unclaimed for a day or two when shipping it this way, but if you're shipping it as checked baggage this might be a different story.

    I don't know whether they bring bikes up to the general baggage claim area in the depot or not when they're shipped as checked baggage. If you have to go downstairs to pick it up, you can ride it out of the station from the loading dock on that level.

    If you get them to keep it for a couple of days, your friend can drive you to the loading dock using a driveway/tunnel that snakes underneath & around the building. It's kind of a maze. You drive in to the building where the cabs enter (off of Clinton Street, on the south end of the building - you'll pass the driveway exit first), take a very sharp turn at the bottom of the ramp and follow the tunnel around one more turn. The entrance to the loading dock is a little ways after that 2nd turn. The baggage handling area is off to the right as you drive up to the dock. There are no parking signs posted there, but I've never had trouble leaving my car there for a couple of minutes while I claimed my bike.

    Have a good trip!

    Paul

    Paul Watkins, June 20, 2001

    UK Bike Shipped to the US Foot and Mouth Free

    I just wanted to slap my 2 cents worth down. I recently moved from the UK to the US and after much debate over whether I should buy a new bike or bring the old one across I opted for bringing my old faithful bike across. I felt it deserved another adventure.

    I was in the process of packing when it struck me that I had no idea what the regulations were about shipping a bike. So, hoping my bike would pass inspection I stripped it down (kind of anyway) handle bar stem out of forks, pedals off, rear derailleur taken off and taped up, wheels off and deflated, saddle and stem off and strapped down.

    To transport it I got a load of boxes, one I remember was the Monster Munch box (a UK potato chip) and basically sheathed my bike and wheels in the boxes, securing with lots and lots of duck tape.

    When I arrived at Heathrow, I was worried they weren't going to take it as it looked so unprofessional. I shouldn't have been. Because of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in the UK, they needed to 'disinfect' my wheels, so all my hard work was undone with a few slashes of a Stanley knife and the bike was rinsed (poorly I may add!) with 'disinfectant'.

    Thankfully American Airlines had more tape, and some heavy duty polythene bags that made a much better job of containing my bike!

    Marcus Gay, May 21, 2001

    Bike Rental -- San Diego, California

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    I just rented a bike from Bike tours San Diego (509 Fifth Ave. Downtown 619-238-2444). They were great! Delivered the bike to my hotel and picked it up on time with absolutely no problems. They also offered free road service if you got a flat. The bikes were either hybrids or mtn bike. I requested a hybrid which was great for the ride I did. I followed numerous bike paths up to La Jolla and went to a great place for lunch (best vegi sandwich I've ever had) and got to people watch (mission beach) and check out the seals.

    Highly recommend playing hookie from the conference for a day if need be to get out on the bike!

    For general cycling information in San Diego see: http://www.efgh.com/bike

    Kat

    Kat, May 09, 2001

    Seattle, Washington (SeaTac)

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    If you are planing to bring your bicycle through the Seattle airport make sure to have it very well packed and protected. We just returned from a two week ride in Italy to see our bikes unloaded from the plane and thrown into and on top of the baggage cart. As the cart was towed into the baggage area we watched as my wife's bicycle fell off the top and land on the tarmac. Out of the 5 bikes we shipped 4 received significant damage in the hands of the SeaTac baggage handlers. If you are planning to visit the Northwest you might consider flying into either Portland or Vancouver BC and avoid SeaTac entirely.

    I have been shipping bikes personally and as tour leader for over 20 years and this is the most damage I have ever seen.

    The airline is being very good about reimbursing us for the damage done but, it would have been nice to have just had the same care taken that we experienced at the other airports on our trip.

    We were flying British Air. They don't use their own baggage handlers in Seattle as they only have one flight a day in and out. I have been flying bikes in and out of Seattle for over 20 years and this is the first time I've had trouble but, the tossing of the bikes was very blatant. As an update one of the frames was found to be dented beyond repair the damage total is now over $1,300 for the first three bikes.

    Michael Collins, May 08, 2001

    Shipping a bike cross country (Amtrak)

    Found on: rec.bicycles.misc

    A superb method of shipping a bike IF YOU ARE NEAR AN AMTRAK STATION THAT HANDLES CHECKED BAGGAGE is by train. Box is provided by Amtrak. Box is much larger than those provided by airlines. Have to remove pedals and handlebars but that's all. Roll bike into the box. Give to station agent. Pay $25 to $50 (I was quoted $30 for Seattle to St. Louis). Retreive the bike a few days later at the destination.


    D. Vann, April 28, 2001

    Bikes on Amtrak's Twilight Shoreliner

    Good News

    Amtrak begins to accept bicycles on the Twilight Shoreliner on Sunday April 29, 2001. There is a $5 reservation fee to take your bike on the train which will placed in the bike baggage car. You show your bike ticket then hand your bike to the conductor in the baggage car. The price to take your bike on the Vermonter has also been reduced to $5 (was $10)

    Thanks to Amtrak and the East Coast Greenway (www.greenway.org), LAB and the National Association of Rail Passengers (www.narprail.org) for making it easier for us to take our bikes on Amtrak. More improvements to come.

    This should be a permanent thing, the baggage car has been retrofitted to hold bikes, this service is good at all stations on the route, not just checked baggage stops. The only problem with baggage cars is that they prevent the trains from going over 110mph and most NE Corridor trains now are scheduled based on 125mph speed. Its is expected over the next ten years that most Acela Regional Rail cars will be refurbished with space for bikes.

    John Boyle

    Here is the Twilight Shoreliner and Vermonter schedule for the NE Corridor

    Southbound
    CityTwilight ShorelinerVermonter
    Boston* (South Station)8:45pm
    Boston*9:04pm (#128)
    Providence*9:42pm
    New London,CT10:50pm
    New Haven*12:05pm3:55pm (From Hartford and VT)
    New York*2:10am6:10pm
    Philadelphia*4:05am7:35pm
    Baltimore5:33am8:50pm
    Washington6:50am9:35pm
    Fredericksburg, VA7:55am
    Richmond9:05am
    Williamsburg10:25am
    Newport News, VA11:05am
    Northbound
    CityTwilight ShorelinerVermonter
    Newport News,VA5:00pm
    Williamsburg5:25
    Richmond6:50
    Fredericksburg, VA7:44pm
    WashingtonAr 9pm lv 9:25pm7:30am
    Baltimore10:13pm8:13am
    Philadelphia*11:22pm9:25am
    New York*1:00am11:30am
    New Haven*3:03am1:20pm (to Hartford and VT)
    New London4:16am
    Providence*5:21am
    Boston*6:05am (#128)
    Boston*6:25am

    *Bikes are allowed on off peak Local Commuter trains with restrictions between Philadelphia and New York Penn Sta and between NY Grand Central Sta and New Haven . Additionally there is limited comm rail bike service between Boston and Providence.
    John Boyle, April 27, 2001

    Bike Rental -- North Carolina Coast

    Found on: rec.bicycles.misc

    I go there all the time...you will have a tough time renting a road bike. As expected, there are several places to rent cruiser and hybrid types. The one bike shop I know is the Bike Barn, behind the Taco Bell on Rte. 6 in Kill Devil Hills.

    Because of the traffic, it is not the greatest biking area in the world. All the same, it is worth a ride. On your side of the island, north of Southern Shores, there is a fairly decent trail that will take you up to the lighthouse.

    On the other end of the island, I gotta tell you, the 15 mile ride between ferry stops on Okracoke Island is lovely.

    It is also well worth hauling a bike over to Manteo where you can park at a supermarket or shopping center on the main drag and then take a
    side excursion on your bike through the quiet streets in the historic downtown section. They have a reproduction ship from the era of
    great exploration, a decent restaurant and a bookstore that I consider one of the best for its selection in local talent.

    Have fun

    George Stuteville, April 23, 2001

    Munich Airport: In and Out

    As others have mentioned, I've found Munich to be a very bicycle-friendly airport. I've traveled through it on five round trips, two of which were biking (once with a tandem, once with a single). Bicycle flights were on US Airways, with no trouble.

    The newer Munich airport is far out in the Munich countryside, with very nice biking right from the airport. The area is well served by trains, with frequent connections ot the Munich Hbf. There are two different biking paths leading out from the airport. One heads toward the small nearby town of Schwaig (several lodging options, incl. an Astron Hotel, Sheraton, and the Hotel Post which I usually stay at). The other path heads toward the town of Freising, about five miles away. Freising is good for train travel to Passau, Germany (access point for the Danube/Donau bike path) with no transfers needed. If you are heading toward Passau, skip going to the Munich Hbf. and ride to Freising instead. To find the path to Freising from the airport, head toward the "besucherpark" (visitor park) at the airport, then follow the service road until it turns into a local road (you'll be heading toward the autobahn). Beware that the main airport access road is off-limits to bicycles; use the paths.

    On a 1999 trip with our tandem, we had no problems flying in and out of Munich. We had some worries about USAir not having boxes for us, but they ended up having some set aside for our party of four. We packed-up the bikes outside the drop-off area, and were observed by an airport employee on a smoke break. He enquired about our tandem, and we briefly chatted as we boxed it. We were quite happy to find (later) that he was the security guard at the checkpoint, and he merely waved our box through!

    Again, the riding surround the airport is really nice, through farmlands and small and mid-size burgs. You could probably even find a non-official spot to camp for the night before your flight out. Feel free to e-mail briwasson@aol.com with any questions. I've ridden the Danube path (Passau-Vienna) 2x, and have traveled extensively in Germany and Austria. Heading back to ride the Tauern Bike path in late May 2001, any advice is appreciated!

    Brian Wasson, April 11, 2001

    San Francisco, California (SFO)

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    There is a free bus to the Caltrain station on El Camino in Millbrae too. I'm sure they will allow you to take the bike into the bus. From there you can go anywhere. Good luck

    Millbrae Caltrain Station

    The SFO-Millbrae Caltrain Shuttle, takes you between the Millbrae Caltrain Station and San Francisco International Airport locations every day until approximately 12 a.m. The free shuttle meets every weekday train at the Millbrae Caltrain Station. Shuttles operate every 20 minutes on weekends and holidays. Saturday service begins at 7 a.m. at SFO. Sunday/Holiday service begins at 8 a.m. For shuttle information, call 1.800.720-6661. http://www.transitinfo.org/cgi-bin/sched?C=CX&R=SFO


    RB, March 28, 2001

    Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    If you are visiting North Carolina, this is a safe route from RDU to Raleigh.

    The 3rd annual Cycle North Carolina, week long tour, is scheduled for October 6 - October 13, 2001. Hope to see you there.

    http://www.ncsports.org/cyclencfactsheet.htm

    MILE TURN INSTRUCTIONS AND LANDMARKS TO RALEIGH CRABTREE MALL



    0.0 START RDU Terminal B USAir, Delta Baggage Claim ------*NOTE* Look right; head towards control tower in distance
    0.3 RIGHT Turn on W.International Drive. Makes S turn to tunnel.
    0.5 | Ride through tunnel under jet taxi way.
    0.8 RIGHT Turn on N. Ramp Drive. Facing control tower.
    0.9 LEFT Turn on E. International Drive.
    1.5 | Pass Park & Ride Lot #4 and Federal Express
    2.0 | Road turns 90 degrees and changes to Commerce Blvd.
    2.6 RIGHT Turn on Aviation Blvd. Signs to Hwy. 70.
    3.0 | Pass under Hwy 70. EXXON. Road changes to Westgate Road. ------*NOTE* A right turn on Hwy 70 goes to Crabtree Mall. Not safe.
    4.0 | Traffic light. Post office on left.
    4.7 | Traffic light at Ebenezer Church Road.
    5.0 BRANCH Take LEFT fork.
    5.4 LEFT Turn on Leesville Rd. Traffic light.
    5.6 RIGHT Turn on Leesville Road. Harris-Teeter grocery.
    7.0 | Traffic light. Cross Ray Road.
    7.2 LEFT Turn on Baileywick.
    8.2 | Wildwood Golf on right. Watch of incoming drives!
    8.5 | Cross Hwy 50 aka Creedmoor Rd. ------*NOTE* A right turn on Hwy 50 goes to Crabtree Mall. Very busy!
    9.4 | Shannon Woods subdivision on left.
    10.5 RIGHT Six Forks Road. If busy, sidewalk runs parallel to road.
    10.6 | Cross Strickland. SC on right. Hardees-TacoBell-KMart.
    10.8 | Pass Forum Drive @ traffic light.
    11.9 | Cross Sawmill Rd. SC Rock-Ola Cafe.
    12.2 | Cross Newton Road. Wendy's Restaurant.
    12.4 RIGHT Turn on Longstreet.
    12.6 | Longstreet & Bent Creek - Sidewalk enters paved Greenway
    17.6 FINISH Follow Greenway for 5 miles to Crabtree Mall & Hotels.

    RDU airport serves Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham, NC It is located in the center of the triangle formed by these cities. Only the cue sheet to get to Raleigh is included here. This is the safest route from the airport. All other routes are shorter, but the prudent cyclist would not want to use them. This is a cycle friendly airport; a cyclist can navigate the airport area fairly safely. There aren't any hotels at the airport.

    The Greenway is an off-road, paved trail and is very scenic.

    Crabtree Mall is located on the Greenway which has access to other parts of the metropolitan area, including downtown Raleigh. It is surrounded by most major hotel chains. Local buses stop at the mall. Downtown Raleigh is about 5 miles further south. NC State University and the State Fairgrounds are within five easy cycling miles from the mall.

    Bruce Northcutt Pelorus@Sprynet.com
    Bruce Northcutt, March 25, 2001

    Alaska, Yukon, Western Canada bags/armour?

    All: Thanks for all your helpful observations.

    Having biked from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, to Fairbanks, Alaska USA in August for school, I was prepared for anything when I flew back to Whitehorse in December on Air North with my cardboard-armoured BikeE. No worries! I was able to personally load my bike into the cargo compartment directly in front of our passenger seats on the HS 748. I checked to get a flight that uses this larger cargo aircraft, as the ten-seater Beech 12 sometimes used on this route would have been impossible to get the BikeE out on.

    I was able to personally unload my bike from the aircraft from the co-pilot's hands in Whitehorse. Such is subarctic small town living!

    Just a caution though, while most of you will travel into the North in the summer months, if you linger into November you really must wear your -40C winter survival parka and overpants when flying out in the winter season as aircraft are parked outside overnight and never really warm up above -10C. Bringing a thermos of tea would be a good idea....

    Flying my much tougher 7 speed hub commuter bike bagged and cardboard armoured from Whitehorse to Vancouver, Calgary and to Edmonton with Canadian Airlines last year resulted in some minor hand brake damage which the airline paid for. In hindsight, turning the handlbars might have prevented this.

    Air Canada has since bought out Canadian Airlines, and morale in the new monopoly is not high. Expect delays for connecting flights as such things as data-links on aircraft weight and balance do not seem to work smoothly between the two former airlines, and consumer complaints in writing appear to go nowhere---so much so that the Canadian federal government has set up an Ombudsman to handle complaints on the merged monopoly airline...

    Bike on!
    Paul Davis

    Paul Davis, March 23, 2001

    British Airways

    British Airways is my favorite airline.

    Last year I flew with British Airways from Heathrow (UK) to Denver CO. It was a bit on the expensive side but was the only carrier to fly direct. I was taking my bike there to sample the delights of the Rockies in the autumn (fall). I had bought a heavy duty neoprene bike bag from my lbs (MountainHigh), which performed faultlessly throughout. Anyway, the treatment I and my bike received from BA was exceptional. They checked in my bike with no hassles, (and no charge!) and they even brought me the bike when I arrived in Denver. The return journey passed effortlessly too, and I can't praise them highly enough. Needless to say the holiday was a blinder and so probably helped me with my rose-tinted view of my time there!

    On my return to the UK I managed to bend my big chainring by dropping the bike (in the bag) when I took it out of my car! So watch out bikebag owners - they're not perfect protection!

    Anyway I'm off to Andalucia in Spain next week for a some cycling in the sun and I'm flying with charter airlines (Britannia and Monarch I think!) so wish me luck!

    UPDATE -->>

    My charters were with Britannia and Futura Airlines, both of which lived up to their reputations (cheap'n'cheerful), but thankfully failed to damage my bike! However, the bag is now looking a bit travel wearied! If anyone has an idea on how to prevent chainrings making holes in the bag please get in touch (email me = gavmoir@yahoo.co.uk).

    "Never lose faith in the colour of the sky" - Mishun H. Sugworth. Gavin , March 14, 2001

    Access of Folded Bikes on Buses

    Found on bikes-n-transit@topica.com email list

    My "Access of Folded Bikes on Buses has been moved to the URL shown below. Though it is based in New York, some items are without political boundaries.

    I just joined this list recently. I would like to invite you to visit my page of Access of Folded Bikes on Buses at http://www.geocities.com/jusjih/transport/bikefolded-bus.html . It has good and bad cases, analysis of 3 companies in NY, US, proposed campaign, and tips when encountering bad operators. You should find it very informative.

    Regards,
    Justin JIH New York NY


    Justin JIH, March 08, 2001

    Buses allowing bikes inside in New York City

    Seen on bikes-n-transit@topica.com

    Are there any buses allowing non-collapsible bikes inside in New York City? Yes, but extremely few. In Kennedy Airport, fare-free shuttle buses between airport subway station and terminal area allow bikes inside on situation-permitting basis because cycling along 2 expressways to and from the terminal area may be prohibitively unsafe. There are no outside racks. Information is posted at http://www.bikemap.com/transit/nyc.htm .

    On the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn and Staten Island where sidewalks were planned but not built, buses there have no official provision on bike service, though rumors states successful carriage of bikes inside buses (no outside racks) in plain sight, as stated at http://www.transalt.org/bridges/verrazano.html . I consider if any drivers feel comfortable allowing bikes inside buses over the bridge, the practice should be officialized rather than being random.

    My page Bike-on-Bus-across-Bridge Program Proposal at http://www.geocities.com/jusjih/us-nyc-bike-bus-bridge.html">http://www.geocities.com/jusjih/us-nyc-bike-bus-bridge.html deals with these matters. It suggests solutions to carry bikes across major bridges impassable by pedestrians and bicycles. I suggest bike carriage inside buses and on front outside racks.

    Justin JIH
    http://www.geocities.com/jusjih Owner of World-Wide Anti-Conscription Unity in Yahoo! Groups:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anti-conscription

    Justin JIH, March 08, 2001

    Newark, New Jersey

    Last week you posted my article about bikes on trains in France on your website.

    I was looking at the website and the airport access entry for Newark (EWR) says that there is no bicycle access because the only access is via highway.

    That is not true. If one rides from the passenger terminal area to either the North Area or South Area (the cargo areas), one can exit the airport onto a local street.

    I have entered the South Area of the airport from North Avenue (yes) in Elizabeth and ridden through the South Area to the passenger terminals. I have not used the North Area entrance but I know there is one because I have seen it from my car.

    The airport is within five miles of train lines that allow bikes (with rush-hour restrictions).

    Herb Goodfriend Elizabeth, N. J.
    (The South Area and Passenger Terminal A of Newark Airport are actually located in Elizabeth).

    Herb Goodfriend, February 23, 2001

    MTBs Heathrow->Phoenix

    I have flown with 2 friends 3 times to Phoenix airport over the last 2 years. We go to Arizona and Utah with our mountain bikes. As we are travelling from England, British Airways accept our bikes in lieu of a suitcase.

    To pack our bikes we turn the bars sideways, remove the pedals, point the cranks in the same direction and align them with the chain stays and then cover all tubes of the frame with domestic pipe lagging (insulation). The wheels are left on so that it is easily movable.

    We've never had any damage and on arrival, strip off all the packaging into a plastic bag, to place back on on our return.

    We have had to sign a waiver form against any damage and sometimes the baggage handlers will insist on letting the tyres down flat. Which affords no protection to the wheels.

    I'm off to Colorado in May - again with BA - lets hope I have no damage this time!

    Tim Haywood, February 18, 2001

    Ferries Canada to Iceland?

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    [Someone asked, again, about ferries to Europe via Iceland]
    "About ten or so years ago I began thinking about taking a series of ferries across the pond, from Boston to Europe. It seems that there are mail boats which take passengers going up the Canadian coast. After the icebergs melt in May, there are ferries to Iceland -- but I have lost track of the specifics. The earlier post about ferries from Iceland to Scotland got me thinking again. Anyone ever do this, or part of this? "

    Actually, I don't believe there are any ferries between eastern Canada and Iceland. Freighters perhaps, but having just done the ferry routes of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and having paid attention to the options available for travel within these regions, I never saw any mention of regularly scheduled runs to either Greenland or Iceland from the maritimes.

    The only ferries in the Canadian Maritimes I saw were: (all offered round trip)
    - NS (Nova Scotia) to Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine
    - NS to New Brunswick
    - NS to Prince Edward Isle (PEI)
    - PEI to Magdalan Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
    - NS to Argentia and Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland (NF)
    - NF to St. Pierre (France, but 12 miles off shore)
    - NF to Labrador - SE coast
    - NF to Goose Bay, Labrador
    - NF to the coastal communities of Labrador

    SB




    Steve Bailey, January 18, 2001

    Amtrak

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    As for bicycle carriage, here's a summary, based on a mix of personal experience and mere observation:

    - Any Amtrak train that carries checked baggage will carry bikes in boxes as well. There's a service charge, of the order of $5-$15.

    - Certain trains have racks, either in a passenger coach or in the baggage car, that can handle unboxed bicycles. Sometimes the passenger is expected to load and unload the bike; sometimes the train crew will do it. On some trains, you have to make a reservation for the bike (and there is a $5-$10 service charge); on some you can just roll up, but you may be out of luck of all the racks are full. Where the racks exist, you are usually allowed take a bike on or off even at a stop that doesn't have checked-baggage service. (I have taken a bike off at Port Kent NY, where the `station' is just a short platform and a wooden shelter. The bike rode in the baggage car; the conductor got it out for me, and handed it down to me on the platform.)

    - The baggage-car racks are pretty well designed, and hold ten bikes or so per rack; you wedge the front or the rear wheel in. The racks in the coaches typically hold only two or three bikes per coach, and don't look as good to me; they hold the bike firmly, but it looks like the bike is expected to sit on the back of its rear wheel, which is not so good if you have a full rear fender. (But I haven't used that sort of rack yet.)

    - I have read that Amtrak had planned to make room for bike racks on all the western long-distance trains (those with Superliner equipment), by converting what used to be a lower-level baggage-storage room in some coaches to a bike-storage room. Some such cars exist (I have seen the bicycle logo on the outside of them), but most of the cars were converted to have a special sealed-off smoking room in that space instead. Since that means the rest of the train is non-smoking, it is to me not entirely a bad tradeoff, but I'd be happy to see the bike space appear too eventually. (Perhaps if Amtrak is ever able to make the order of long-distance cars that has been talked about for two years now, but that is again off-topic.)

    According to Amtrak's timetable, these trains offer unboxed-bike service:


    • The Vermonter (Washington-New York-St Albans VT), except to or from Claremont NH.
    • The Ethan Allen (New York-Albany-Saratoga Springs-Rutland VT). I have used this one; baggage-car-style rack.
    • The Adirondack (New York-Albany-Saratoga Springs-Montreal via the west side of Lake Champlain). The service includes Montreal, though not all the station staff there are sure about it yet. (I have used this one too; baggage-car-style rack, though one of the coaches had a coach-style rack too.)
    • The Cardinal (Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati-Charleston- Washington), but not the Kentucky Cardinal (to Jeffersonville).
    • The Piedmont (Raleigh-Charlotte NC).
    • Various local trains (not the through trains to Texas and the west coast) Chicago-Springfield-St Louis-Kansas City and Chicago-Galesburg-Quincy and Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale.
    • The Heartland Flyer (Fort Worth-Oklahoma City).
    • Most of the Cascade Service trains (Vancouver BC-Seattle- Portland-Eugene).
    • The San Joaquins (Oakland-Bakersfield) and Capitols (Sacramento-Oakland-San Jose), including the connecting bus Emeryville-San Francisco but not the other buses (e.g. to Los Angeles).
    • Some, but not all, of the Pacific Surfliners (San Diego- Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo).

    I'd like to see the service expand (in particular I'd like the two Amtrak trains that service Toronto to have some way to carry bikes conveniently, even in boxes), but what is there is not a bad start, and the little of it I've used has worked well. I was particularly happy with my arrival at Port Kent, which is barely a station, but is convenient to the ferry to Burlington on the one hand (which in turn carries bikes without fuss) and to Ausable Chasm on the other.

    And, of course, essentially all the long-distance trains carry checked baggage, hence will take boxed bikes, though not to every station.

    Norman Wilson Once and future tourist -- To reply directly, expel `.edu'.


    Norman Wilson, January 13, 2001

    Green Tortoise Bus

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    Folks,

    The GT is a joy and a complete experience to travel on and in my mind doesn't fit into the the same category as Greyhound and the like... don't know why though... they're both bus travel... maybe it's the community food kitty, the couches, the great treatment of bicycles... and the general meandering pace of the GT that keeps them seperate in my cluttered brain. I hightly recommend the GT for pleasure travel and the Greyhound for a letters-from-the-front, down and dirty thrust across the country. Last you'll hear form me on buses... this is still a bike touring list, right? 😉

    Cheers,

    Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie www.metalcowboy.com


    joe kurmaskie, January 02, 2001

    Greyhound

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    I have traveled and shipped my bike on Greyhound 3 times now. Twice coast to coast. Naturally bike was semi disassembled and boxed, with all four panniers in box with bike.

    Only problem I had was an over zealous baggage crew in Dallas that couldn't understand why I prefferred my a 5 hour layover there to arriving at destination 5 hours early.

    Ever tried to get anywhere in a very small town at 3 am with a boxed bike and cab company closed till 9 am?

    JIM

    Jim Richardson, December 31, 2000

    Greyhound

    Found on: touring@phred.org

    I wanted to share my bus/ride expierence.September of 2000 I rode from Michigan City IN to Mariana FL. solo pulling a BOB trailer. I met with family in Tallahassee and boxed the bike and the trailer for the trip home on Greyhound. No reservation required the ticket was $105 plus $15 excess/oversize baggage for the bike box, the bike box was $10 from greyhound. The trailer box with all of my camping gear was small enough to be a piece of luggage...

    The 22 hour bus ride was an expierence to talk about around campfires for a long time There was an argument between the driver and a passenger a near riot broke out the bus was surrounded by squad cars and two passengers removed. The food at the bus stations is expensive and lousy. You want to keep an eye on your gear all the time.

    Myself and all my gear arrived home safely and I can't wait to do it again!! I recommend it to anyone who loves to travel and expierience a different view of life and thats the reason I love to tour by cycle in the first place.

    Bob Pieszchala

    Bob Pieszchala, December 31, 2000

    Hawaiian Airlines

    Found in bikes-n-transit@topica.com

    Hawaiian Airlines will accept non-motorized touring or racing bicycles with single seats and bicycles with tandem seats. You can check in your bicycle at the same time you check in at the ticket counter. The following are Hawaiian Airlines' requirements in order to accept the bicycle for transport:

    1. The bicycle must have the handlebar fixed sideways and pedals removed.
    2. The bicycle should be adequately packed in a box or hard case.
    3. You must sign a waiver of liability at time of check-in for Hawaiian Airlines to transport the bicycle. Hawaiian Airlines will not be responsible for damage to or loss of inadequately/unsuitably packed, uncrated or unprotected bicycles.
    4. Transportation of bicycles is subject to availability of space.
    5. Since bicycles are transported on a space-available basis, Hawaiian Airlines will not be responsible for the ground delivery of a bicycle not accommodated on the flight it was originally accepted for as checked baggage.

    Bicycles will not be included in determining the free baggage allowance and will always be subject to a charge, whether or not presented as a single piece. The following current charges apply and are subject to change:

    - $20.00 between points within the State of Hawaii - $50.00 between Hawaii and points in the Continental USA - $50.00 between points within the Continental USA

    John Boyle, November 30, 2000

    AAA Discount on Amtrak

    Seen on bikes-n-transit@topica.com

    Here's a random deranged fact: if you're a member of the American Automobile Association, you can get a 10% discount on Amtrak fares.

    This is the same AAA that fights tooth and nail to make sure every transit penny goes to cars. Why in bleedin' blue blazes is Amtrak giving their members a break?

    I think that members of the nation's bike coalitions should be getting the discount.

    Jym Dyer http://www.things.org/~jym/
    My other car is ... also a bicycle.
    --
    In the last fifty years, the US has used up more resources than all the rest of the world in all previous history. -- David Brower, 1996

    Jym Dyer, November 12, 2000

    Washington, DC (Reagan National)

    Found on: dc.biking

    If you go out the back side of the southernmost Metro station exit, then head north, you'll soon find yourself at a little crossing with Severe Tire Damage blades on the road immediately to your left. Cross right in front of those, go down the ramp and through the tunnel, and when you come up the other side you'll be at the Mt Vernon trail.

    I fly out of there once a month or so, and I always use my bike to get there (if I'm going somewhere fun I bring it with me on the plane), and yet I had a really hard time conjuring up the description of how to do this. It's easy once you've done it. The basic idea is that the trail is to the west of you, and you have to keep going north along the parking structure until you come to the tunnel beneath the road.

    At the metro station they have those jaw-type locking stations which go through the bike's frame as well as the front and back wheels. For best
    long-term locking results, make sure to have a U-lock as well as a conventional padlock and chain. It's not a high-traffic area, but airport employees do park their bikes there, and I've left mine for a week or more without any tampering.

    Miguel

    Miguel Cruz, November 06, 2000

    Riding out of Logan airport

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    These sites will help: http://www.massbike.org/ http://tdc-www.harvard.edu/massbike/

    You can ride your bicycle the LONG way around. Some of the roads are in rough shape, and some with much traffic. Its an interesting ride. It will be best to look at a map. The basic route is to travel North, then over the bridge from East Boston (where the airport is) to Chelsea. From Chelsea take Broadway to Williams Street -- which runs through the wholesale food market. This is a bumpy stretch with, at certain hours, lots of trucks.

    At the end of Williams street, turn left. (Possibly route 99?). Its a short ride to the bridge, which brings you into Sullivan square in Somerville. A left will take you through Charlestown and then to the Freedom Trail. Main Street is by far the best bike route through Charlestown. Head for the bridge that connects Charlestown to the North End. At the North End you will be on Atlantic Avenue. The ferry to P-town is on a dock off of Atlantic Ave.

    threespeed, November 05, 2000

    New York (JFK)

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    The problem is getting out of the terminal area. Follow the signs for Van Wyck Exp. You go under two runways. You could use the sidewalk but the artistic street lamps block it. Immediately after the 2nd runway, there is an exit to the north service road and the bike path. Theoretically you have not gone on the Van Wyck which starts at this point.

    If you follow the bike path around Federal Circle (about 2 miles) you can exit the airport via 134th St (under the Nassau Exp) - 149th Ave (Dept of Sanitation Garage) - 130th St over the Belt Pkwy. You can then turn left to Lefferts Blvd (119th St) and then right. Lefferts will take you directly Kew Gardens (about 4 more miles).

    Steve


    Stephen Bauman, November 03, 2000

    Riding out of Logan airport

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides
    Gary Reed wrote: > Can anyone tell me if you can ride directly from the airport to the ferry that goes to Cape Cod?

    Head down to the Hyatt Harborside and get the water taxi across to the ferry dock. Leaves regularly from the dock to the right rear of the hotel.

    Tony

    Tony Raven, November 03, 2000

    Riding out of Logan airport

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides
    Gary Reed wrote:
    > Can anyone tell me if you can ride directly from the airport to the ferry that goes to Cape Cod?

    No, because they don't let bikes use the Sumner Tunnel, which crosses Boston Harbor. The ferry leaves from Long Wharf, which is near the Aquarium. - BUT - you are in luck, because as of October you can take your bike onto the subway and get off at Aquarium Station. Also, you can ride your bike north from the airport, then through East Boston, Chelsea, Everett, and Charlestown, but you'll be going 10-12 miles to get to a place that's actually about a mile from the airport. I would take the subway. Also, the ferry to Cape Cod (actually Provincetown) runs on a more infrequent schedule this time of year, so check it out in advance.

    Gary Smiley, November 03, 2000

    Alaska Airlines

    Alaska Airlines charges $50 (!) to ship a bicycle and requires that it be in a box, no exceptions. They will provide a box if they have one. They recommend that you call a few days before the flight to have them have a box sent to your departure airport and they will put your name on it.

    I found that the outer chainring was bent when I got the bike back meaning they had dropped the box. Obvious conclusion is that one should take the whole crankarm-chainrings assembly off before putting the bike in the box. Put a crankarm removing tool (Pedro's is the smallest and cheapest.) and an 8 mm allen wrench in your toolkit.

    One ultra-specific note: If you are bicycling the Haul Road in Alaska going north to Prudhoe Bay (and you certainly should - it is one of the world's great rides) there are plenty of bike boxes already up there because most riders fly in, depart headed south, and leave the bike box behind. BUT check carefully in advance anyway because Prudhoe Bay is literally the end of the world and there is no bike shop. You could spend days there waiting to have a bike box sent to you.

    jack kessler, October 27, 2000

    New York (JFK)

    Found on: rec.bicycles.misc

    Parts of this are from a response from UK gentleman who asked for info last June - you perhaps ?. I've snipped and edited.

    Yes, it's possible, maybe even legal and the only difficult part is the immediate area of the airline terminals and parking lots. The way the airport is designed will force you to share a high speed highway for a short distance as you leave the terminal to get onto what is known as the Van Wyck Expressway. Take the Van Wyck north about 1-1/2 miles (DO NOT CROSS OVER THE BELT PARKWAY !) until you see signs for North Service Road, which parallels the highway and is used for local / airport service, etc... It's legal to ride these roads and they are safe for bikes.

    Take North Service road until you see/enter the traffic circle at Federal Plaza, go left into the circle, going under the Van Wyck on the circle and watch for a right at the Amoco Gas Petrol station, also known as Bergen Rd. Lot's of construction in this area as they build the AirTrain on a concrete track overhead the roadways.

    Take Bergen Road to the end and go right onto Pan American Hwy, watch for signs for the Long Term Parking lot, which is where you are heading. FWIW, you are basically heading NW away from the terminal area into the section of NYC known as Queens Borough.

    Loop north and then west towards the long term lot until the end (maybe 2 - 2-1/2 miles past the terminal ?). Pan Am Hwy parallels a canal across from which are oil tanks and ends at Lefferts Blvd. Go right onto Lefferts, head north up and over the overpass of the Belt Parkway system and up a bit to Rockaway - go left.

    I would not try the Aqueduct Racetrack section at night as the gate(s) may well be locked. Instead, head north on Lefferts to Rockaway as indicated above.

    From this point follow the red marked roads indicated on the NYC Parks Dept. bike map. http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/dcp/html/bikenet.html

    Also see Yahoo.com - maps - Queens, NY, for detailed maps of the airport and other area's.

    SB

    Steve Bailey, October 25, 2000

    Cincinnati, Ohio USA

    First, in case you didn’t know, Cincinnati Ohio’s airport (CVG) is actually in northern Kentucky.

    From the airport to Cincinnati (and points north across the Ohio River)...

    Ride out of baggage claim on Terminal Drive to the right. After leaving the terminal area and joining up with the other half of the road, you will be heading north. Continue straight past the Interstate 275 interchange until the road dead ends at its intersection with KY 20. Turn right onto KY 20 and head downhill into the Ohio River valley. At the bottom of the hill KY 20 dead-ends into KY 8. Turn right on KY 8. Approximately 1/3 of a mile down KY 8 on the left is your first opportunity to cross the Ohio River on the Anderson Ferry, which will transport cyclists for a minimal fee and is the best choice for accessing locations in the west side of Cincinnati. Otherwise, continue down KY 8 along the Ohio River until you reach Covington, KY. Once in Covington you have a choice of two bridges that will take you into Cincinnati: US 42/25 – Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, or KY 17 – Suspension Bridge (the first bridge built across the Ohio River, but it has a grated bridge deck). There are also two bridges in the next town to the east, Newport.

    From the airport to Kentucky (and points south)...

    Ride out of baggage claim as described above. Take the first exit off of Terminal Drive, KY 236 – Donaldson Road. Turn right at the end of the ramp and head east on KY 236.

    Kurt Kleinschmidt, October 12, 2000

    NJ Transit and Delaware Memorial Bridge


    NJ TRANSIT bus route 423 crosses the Delaware Memorial Bridge between Pennsville NJ and Wilmington DE weekdays only. All NJ Transit buses in Southern NJ carry bikes. (either with bike racks or in the luggage compartment).


    The schedule is online in PDF format at http://www.njtransit.com/docs/Pdffiles/T0423.pdf

    John Boyle, October 04, 2000

    Bikes on Transit website

    Thanks George for publicizing this needed service.

    That reminds me that I have to relink your site to www.bikemap.com we have a national page now that would be appropriate for your information. www.bikemap.com/transit/us.htm

    John Boyle

    John Boyle, October 04, 2000

    Bike Path to Key West?

    The bike path from Miami airport to Key West is actually well documented. If you call the visitor center in Miami, they will send you a free map.
    --Fernao

    Fernao Magalhaes, October 02, 2000

    Amtrak Woes: San Luis Obispo to Oxnard, California

    Found on: touring@phred.org
    A couple of weeks ago I had the idea to take the train from Southern California to San Luis Obispo on my non-working Friday and spend the rest of the weekend riding home along the coast.
    The Pacific Surfliner Amtrak trains (formerly called the San Diegans) run between San Luis Obispo and San Diego. Each passenger car can fit three bikes, so there's no need to put the bike in a box or do anything silly like that. It's a do-it-yourself operation to put the bike on the rack.
    When I arrived at the train station in Irvine, I was told they had an equipment problem with the train and they had a bus to take everyone to Los Angeles, where another train going to San Luis Obispo was arranged. Not many passengers had baggage, so there was no problem putting the bike in the luggage compartment in the bottom of the bus.
    Arrival at LA Union Station was uneventful, and me and my bike got in line with the other passengers behind the rope in the terminal waiting for the go-ahead to board. A half hour later we got the go-ahead to board, and when the staff person saw the bike, he indicated that train was standard equipment (meaning a normal Amtrak train with no bike racks) and that I would have to go upstairs to the baggage department to have them load it on the train. (Unfortunately, there was no way to sneak by him, go to the train, and just hand the bike to the baggage car attendant, as we have done previously with the tandem bike on this route - except we didn't have to sneak by anyone to do it.)
    So I went upstairs to the location he described. The location was familiar - it wasn't really baggage, it was the Amtrak package shipping department (we previously shipped our tandem bike back to LA, and that was where we had picked it up). They told me they wouldn't be able to get it on the train in time - not too surprising since the train would have probably left by now. They said they could get it on the next train to SLO, which was 24 hours later, but that was too late for me, so I decided to cancel the trip and take the train back to Irvine.
    The train back to Irvine was supposed to have the bike racks, but the ticket agent said I could just take the bike up to the baggage area and they would load it on the train for me. Not wanting to worry about equipment again, I did just that.
    While waiting for the train back to Irvine, I saw one of the other passengers that was supposed to be heading north to SLO. Apparently the replacement train wasn't big enough, so they had to turn away people at the train.
    After arriving in Irvine, I went over to the baggage car to get my bike - the baggage car was locked and no one would open it, since Irvine was a one man station and was not a baggage stop! Nothing I could do but talk to the agent at the Irvine station.
    The Irvine station attendant was very helpful. She called ahead a description of my bike to the attendant in Oceanside, where the train would stop next. After calling around, she found out that my bike never left LA because it didn't have a baggage tag on it - the LA shipping department had only put the $5 bike fee receipt on it!
    The agent in Irvine arranged to have it on the next train to Santa Ana (nearest station with baggage service) and at 11:30 PM I finally got the bike back - even with the pump taped to the rear rack so that it wouldn't get knocked off.
    Moral of the story - when there's a special train line like the Pacific Surfliner, the agents at the smaller stations tend to know the rules about bikes better than the larger stations....
    So here I am, two weeks later, on my next off-Friday from work, writing this while on the train to SLO (with bike) to try the tour again....

    Brian DeSousa Orange, California, USA http://briandesousa.com/

    Brian DeSousa, September 21, 2000

    Amtrak Baggage Service, NE

    Found on: touring@phred.org



    A couple of days ago I was speaking with an Amtrak marketing rep at a purchasing fair hosted by my company. I raised the perennial complaint of the lack of baggage service on the NE Corridor. He told that this had just been restored on the Twilight Shoreliner trains a few weeks ago and gave me a media contact to verify the policy with. If you use their box it's $7 and there's a $5 handling charge, plus you have to have a ticket for yourself.


    The southbound train #67 leaves South Station at 8 PM and arrives in DC at 6:20 AM

    The northbound train #66 leaves DC at 8:20 PM and arrives at South Station at 6:55 AM


    These trains also serve Richmond and Newport News. Make sure you check on local policy because I was told that baggage service is not available at the Boston Back Bay station, so I suspect only the larger station stops have this service.

    Charles

    Charles Hansen, September 14, 2000

    United, Ansett Airlines

    I live in Australia and flew Brisbane/Sydney/LAX/Chicago/Jacksonville this year, with United. No complaints whatsoever. Due to flight delays, had only 50 mins. turnaround in Chicago after late departure on 747 from LAX; thought I would be lucky to make the connection but my bike was alongside my plane for Jacksonville FL before I was, and I watched it onto the plane. Returning from Charlottesville VA, local agent was helpful in selection of flight (some planes flying Charlottesville/Washington are too small to take bikes) and gate clerk virtually repacked my (rather flimsy) box.


    No charge was made by Ansett/UAL, on the basis that I had only one sports bag and the bike therefore counted as my second piece of luggage. An attempt to charge oversize was refuted with the explanation that my boxes never exceeded the size of UAL's own bike boxes. On Ansett-only flights, bike has travelled free, not boxed but with front wheel and pedals disassembled, all protected by plenty of bubblewrap. Always mark the bike box Checked Baggage, to minimise likelihood of its following on another plane.


    Have taken the bike to USA twice now, with only problem being once when Ansett's Sydney/Brisbane flight had to return to Sydney and did not make the next flight with me. It was courier-delivered to my home early next day, with no hassles, need to follow-up etc.


    Thanks for a very interesting website, George.

    Bob Schofield

    Bob Schofield, September 13, 2000

    Bikes on Peter Pan (Northeast Bus Line)

    Following one too many difficult episodes trying to take my bike on Peter Pan buses, I wrote the company again and, following my request, received a written copy of their bike policy, distributed via a company newsletter. I've scanned it and
    posted it on the MassBike/Pioneer Valley website http://www.massbike.org/mbpv (thanks for the suggestion, Tom Revay!).


    If you plan to take your bike on Peter Pan and want to be prepared with incontrovertible evidence that the company policy
    does *NOT* require you to remove the front wheel or put the bike in a box, I encourage you to print out the policy and take it with you to show to the driver.


    Thanks are due to Ms. Frances R. Twining, Customer Service Manager at Peter Pan, for her prompt and efficient help.


    Here's how the policy reads, from the June 22, 2000 Peter Pan Profile company newsletter:



    BICYCLE POLICY


    "Bicycles will be shipped at no charge on a space available basis. If the space is limited and there is an opportunity for
    a piece of luggage or other items in the bin to be damaged, then the customer must be given the option of taking another schedule or purchasing a bicycle box."


    Please make sure that bicycle customers understand the following. The bicycle policy applies to Peter Pan schedules
    and Peter Pan/Greyhound pool schedules only. If the customer must use another carrier in order to reach their destination, i.e. Bonanza, Vermont Transit, etc...they may be subject to a different bicycle policy. If bicycles are not permitted aboard these other carriers, neither Peter Pan nor Greyhound can be held responsible for any resulting inconvenience to the customer.




    Note the curious wording: "opportunity [not 'possibility'] for a piece of luggage or other items in the bin to be damaged" (do
    they WANT luggage to be damaged?) and "given the option of taking [not 'told to take'] another schedule" (what if we
    decline the "option"?). I assume that the intent in both cases was what I've written in brackets.


    James Lowenthal

    Northampton/Amherst

    James Lowenthal, September 12, 2000

    Nashville airport to Natchez Trace

    I rode out of Nashville Airport this summer and it was no big deal. If I had to get across Nashville again to get to the Trace, I'd try going north from the airport to US 70 - only a few miles - and following it west to TN 100.


    That has to be better than going south 'around' Nashville through Brentwood!


    Mark http://www.cs.unca.edu/~boyd/bicycling.html>

    Mark Boyd, September 10, 2000

    Bike Rental -- Harper's Ferry, WV and Brunswick, MD

    C&O Canal Bicycling rents Trek bikes for use on the C&O Canal towpath in the Harpers Ferry, WV area. Bikes come fully equipped with locks, helmets, baskets and a map. In addition to bike rentals we offer limited supplies for those on the towpath who need tubes, etc. as well as commemorative T-shirts for people who are pedaling the entire 184.5 miles of level packed trail,


    The rental location is at 36 West Potomac St., in Brunswick, MD - 10 minutes east of Harpers Ferry, WV and only 2 minutes of flat pedaling off the towpath. We are just to the left of the new National Park Service C&O Canal museum in Brunswick.


    Bob & Amy Sloan, C&O Canal Bicycling

    301-834-5180 (voice and fax)

    Bob & Amy Sloan, August 23, 2000

    Riding a bicycle in NYC is great!

    Found on: rec.travel.usa-canada



    Dietmar is thrilled with my replies to his post. Some of this may be useful to your site. Don.


    ============================


    From: have.a.nice.day@gmx.de (Dietmar Hoerster)

    Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 22:41:55 GMT

    I'm from Germany and I plan to visit New York City again in september for 3 weeks. It's my favorite city in the world. I've already posted 2 messages in yahoo club http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/ilovenewyorkcitycause. Maybe someone can help me here in this newsgroup.

    Here are my two postings:

    -------------------------------------------------

    subject: riding a bicycle in NYC is great !


    Are you visiting NYC for the 2nd or 3rd time and want to get some new impressive experiences ?


    I discovered the fun of bike-riding in NYC - it's really great ! It's impressive to ride through the narrow streets between the skyscrapers. In NYC you can go by subway WITH your bike besides you at no extra charge. I like to go by subway until the last stop of a line and to cycle back to my hotel in Manhattan. For me that is the ideal way to discover the nice sides of Brooklyn, Bronx und Queens. My favorite route is: to go by subway line 1 or 9 (red) uptown until last stop, then cycling the whole Broadway downtown until Bowling Green at the southern end of Manhattan. Broadway is the longest street of NYC and you can see nearly all the contrast of this Metropole on this route.


    You can rent a bike at Central Park (expensive, I never did it). Or you can buy a used bike at the Annex Flee Market (march-december) on 6th Av. 24th-26th street, sat+sun. Resell it there before you leave NYC.


    Please post your own experiences here ! Thanx.

    -------------------------------------------------

    subject: where to buy used bicycles in NYC ?


    Help ! Who knows bicycle shops in NYC which offer used bicycles ? I (german tourist) don't know any shop. In the past, I bought my bikes at Annex Flee Market (march-december) on 6th Av. 24th-26th street, sat+sun But there are only a few bikes there to select. It would be great if someone could help me and others. Please post here if you know such bicycle shops in NYC ! Thanx.


    ============================


    Newsgroups: rec.travel.usa-canada

    Subject: Re: riding a bicycle in NYC is great !

    From: Don Wiss

    Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 19:18:40 -0400


    Okay. I started by checking out the web site of the primary bicycle activist group in NYC. And I found this page for you:


    Getting a Used Bike - With No Bad Karma http://www.transalt.org/features/usedbike.html


    Now this is more oriented to people that have time, and can buy a used bike through the mail. But on it are some local suggestions:


    Recycle-a-Bicycle is the first place I would think of. They teach youth bicycle mechanics, and sell off the bicycles they have rebuilt. Their main page is: http://www.bway.net/~rab/. Down at the bottom is the link to Bikes for Sale.


    The only other local place listed that sells used bikes is Bikeworks, formerly The Hub. Their main page is: http://www.bikeworksnyc.com/. Click through the splash screen and you will learn about bikes for sale and for rent.


    Enjoy riding here. Now that I live in Brooklyn I no longer ride in Manhattan every day. But I still get there often.


    Don (donwiss at panix.com).


    ============================


    Newsgroups: rec.travel.usa-canada

    Subject: Re: riding a bicycle in NYC is great !

    From: Don Wiss

    Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 19:29:23 -0400


    You should join some group bike rides. There are several organizations that run them. The ride with the most participants is the Critical Mass Bike ride on the last Friday of every month. You may be familiar with this ride from cities in Germany and elsewhere. This is the group that organizes this and some other rides: http://www.times-up.org/


    Don (donwiss at panix.com).


    Don Wiss, August 22, 2000

    UPS

    Unless you want a real hassle. They have instituted new codes for packaging, and what they will allow.


    I needed to ship a Burley trailer the other day, so I fit it tidily into a bike box and went to UPS to ship it. It was packed nice and snug so things would not be jostled around inside the box.


    My experience at UPS ended up being as if I was trying to sneak it onto a domestic air flight.


    They asked if it was bike. No. It's a bike trailer.


    Isn't that like a bike, ... a frame ... ... wheels. ... Let me get my supervisor.


    The supervisor asked me to open the box. When I protested, saying that I'd shipped bikes before with no problems, she got testy and said, I don't care what you did 5 years ago. Take it somewhere else. [bit**!] (And that's what I should've done right then and there, but I really didn't know where else to go - the US Post Service is usually more expensive.)


    So rather meekly, I cajoled her into giving me another chance and letting me try to accommodate her new packaging guidelines. She started tearing the box apart and said the wheels were not packed properly (I'd even removed the quick release skewers so they wouldn't poke through), and insisted that I package the wheels in a separate box with packing material all around and between them. Then she insisted I put protective cardboard around the reflectors so they wouldn't break. I now had the whole trailer and wheels outside of the box. I asked her to tally up the projected cost and it came out to $40 for the two packages.


    I repaired the box, with just the trailer in it now, and went to a packing store to get another box big enough for the wheels ... ... for six more dollars. I asked the clerk if there was an alternative shipping method and she told me about FedEx ground. They've recently contracted RPS to do ground shipping for them, to compete directly with UPS. It was getting late in the day, and I just wanted to get that DAMN TRAILER SHIPPED!!! I decided to give it a whirl anyway, and tried the FedEx office.


    I received plain and simple, courteous service there. They weighed the box (now, without the wheels in it) and told me that they didn't think they could ship the wheels separately, outside the box. I must put them in the box. I hurriedly opened the box, ... one more time, forced the wheels back in snugly, and taped it up (it was after 4PM and the driver was there - wanting to leave ... now!) Still, he waited for me, and held the box shut while I taped it (my tidy packing job was now somewhat of a mess).


    Total cost? $24 and change.


    I'm never going to UPS again, ... fargin' eyesholes! I suggest anyone reading this do the same, and also check out the FedEx ground site before shipping a bicycle (or trailer). Consider an alternative to UPS. They now want bicycles double boxed, and will open and inspect your packaging job.


    Try: http://www.fedex.com/us/ground/


    [I sure am glad that I gave FedEx a try instead of returning to UPS. Yeah!]

    **********************************************

    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO CycleTourist at http://www.CycleTourist.com worldnet.att.net

    Tolerance is recognizing that other people have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.

    ***********************************************************

    Chuck Anderson, August 12, 2000

    Bike Rental -- Galax, Virginia

    The New River Trail is a 50+ mile rail-trail along the, duh, New River in southwestern Virginia. Shady and flat, with a nice selection of tunnels and trestles and little traffic.


    There's a bike rental place at the Galax end called "New River Riders" 540-236-5900. They have pretty good looking Trek bikes for rent.

    http://www.ls.net/~nrtbikes/

    George Farnsworth, July 08, 2000

    Denver, Colorado

    It was just announced last week that the city of Denver is going to redo Pena Blvd so that bicyclists can ride from the airport into town. I don't know the timetable, but sometime on the near future.


    Currently, bikes are not allowed. You can either ride the Sky Ride which will transport your bike (they stated crated or uncrated) in the hold underneath the bus, or make your own arrangements.

    Denver C. Fox, June 18, 2000

    Orange County, California

    Orange County, California (a.k.a. John Wayne Airport) - (SNA)


    The airport is located right in the Irvine/Costa Mesa/Newport Beach/Santa Ana business district, so it's very convenient.


    Access to/from the airport is easy to find, although it's on the busy MacArthur Blvd. Leaving the airport, the best way to avoid the traffic is not to turn left or right onto MacArthur at the traffic light, but to go straight, which will put you on Michelson Dr. Likewise, if you're going to the airport, approaching via Michelson is best.

    Brian DeSousa, June 15, 2000

    Providence, Rhode Island

    Providence, RI (PVD) - T. F. Green International


    Getting in or out of the airport itself is pretty easy. The bad part is that the access is from US 1 (Post Rd.), a four lane shoulderless road that can have heavy traffic at times.


    I had the occasion to ride into the airport yesterday, but I have not cycled out of it. I approached from Connecticut on RI 117. From RI 117, I followed the signs to US 1 northbound. Then there was a sign for a road bypassing US 1 (a green sign saying T. F. Green Airport) for most of the way to Green Airport. This bypass road looks like a limited access highway, but it is not signed as prohibited to bikes. It had a wide shoulder and then rejoined US 1 northbound only a couple of blocks away from the airport - minimizing the amount of time on US 1.


    Another cyclist had suggested RI 117 -> turn north on Bald Hill Rd./RI 2 -> turn east on RI 113 -> turn north on US 1, and I confirmed this on my RI Bike Map, but I was not able to find the Bald Hill Rd./RI 2 turnoff.


    T. F. Green Airport is south of downtown Providence, so approaching it on US 1 (Post Rd.) from the south seemed to have less traffic than approaching from the north.


    Regards, Brian

    Brian DeSousa, June 13, 2000

    Los Angeles (LAX), California

    George:

    Thanx for the reply. Before my departure I did look at your site and note about LAX. Getting into and out of LAX is a piece of cake and a vast contrast to Miami International which is a total white knuckle experience.

    At any rate, I would like to avoid recommending the Sepulvida tunnel particularly if one is traveling southbound out of LAX with kids or a group of bikes. Going north around the airport so far seems to be the safest route to the beach path Anxious to read what others might have to say about that problem.

    Regards from the Velo Nut
    Dale V Lally Jr W0OWF
    Pompano Beach FL
    co-author Best Bike Rides NY NJ & PA (Globe Pequot Press: 1999)

    The person with experience has little to learn from the person with theory.

    Dale V Lally Jr, June 04, 2000

    Los Angeles (LAX), California

    Another option is leave the bike boxed and get on the G LAX shuttle (G is for Greenline light rail and the shuttle is free). It will take you past the Century blvd. traffic and drop you off at the Aviation train station just a few blocks from Century. You could debox your bike there. Then follow the directions below. You could also get on the greenline ($1.35?) and take it east to Redondo Beach and ride to the bike path from there. The train runs frequently during the day and about every 20 minutes evenings and weekends. Good luck.


    East a mile on Century (very heavy traffic, but not suicidal), south on Aviation (wide enough shoulder for bikes), then west on Imperial to the beach (bike lane).


    Jim Norris, June 04, 2000

    New Orleans, Louisiana

    George: direction to/from the New Orleans airport. -------- Once you've found the New Orleans Airport, it's very easy to get into and out of.


    There's two ways of getting there: the direct route, and the scenic route. The scenic route isn't much longer, only slightly more scenic, but a much nicer ride.


    You'll need a map, though, to navigate the city. New Orleans has got to be the hardest place to navigate to strangers. For example: you can stand on the bank of the Mississippi River, look directly east into the morning sun, and you're looking at the WEST bank of the river! It flows north by the downtown and French Quarters area.


    Leaving the city:

    From the corner of Canal and Basin streets (an intersection of one corner of the French Quarter) stand on Canal with your back to the river (everything is relative to the river, not north and south!) Go one block to your left to Common Street, turn right on Common and head out away from the river. Straight ahead, you'll find the street becomes Tulane Avenue, a major thoroughfare. Keep going.


    At or under the I-10 expressway is S. Claiborne Avenue. If you want the direct route, simply go straight ahead, following Tulane Avenue (Route 61) about 10 miles until you come to the airport.


    Alternately, you can find Route 90 and take that instead. Several ways to do this: turn left at Claiborne, take it until it joins up with Rt. 90. Or continue out on Tulane Avenue, going left at Broad Street (which is Route 90), or left at Jeff Davis Parkway or even as far as Causeway. Any one will do, to get you down onto Rt. 90.


    This route follows the river. There's an interestion where Rt 90 and LA Rt 48 diverge. Route 90 has signs for the Huey Long Bridge, which you don't want. You want to continue on Rt. 48. This Rt. 90/Rt. 48 continuum is called Jefferson Highway. Continue out along this Rt 48 for several miles, though several smaller cities and neighborhoods. It's four-lane highway but has a generous shoulder most of the way.


    At the city of Rivertown, there's a public square on your left, and steps leading up to the levee. This is at the foot of Williams Boulevard. Neither the street name nor route were indicated, but the park and city is a good indicator. Turn right on Williams Blvd, and within a mile you'll be back to Route 61, Airline Highway again. Turn left and you'll see the airport shortly.


    The scenic route adds a couple of miles, but is much better riding away from the city. The airport entrance is clearly marked, the airport isn't that big, and it's easy to enter and exit from it as well as find your way around.

    Bob Kastigar, May 29, 2000

    Washington, DC (Reagan National)

    Found on dc.biking


    A week or so ago someone was asking the list about airport access. I haven't seen any replies. Last weekend I checked out the little path south of the southern most bridge. The path goes to a stop sign where you are told to dismount. Past the stop sign a ramp leads you down to a tight 90 degree turn into a tunnel going under the access road. At the other end of the tunnel you make another tight turn to get on the ramp leading up. The path takes you between some access road and what looks like rental returns and parking garages. It ends near a sign that says bike parking.


    Before you can get to the worm style bike racks you go through a little hedge of plastic reflectors. The day I rode there I had wide errand runner panniers on so the reflectors made this thwap thwap sound as I rode through. Riding through the reflectors is the best part of the experience. The bike parking area is on the outside of the garage, not under cover. It is in a place where a bike thief can take his time while sawing through your lock. To get into the garage you have to go down some stairs.


    Above the stairs is a sign saying that bike riding is forbidden on airport property. Maybe I was supposed to dismount at the stop sign before the tunnel and stay dismounted?? Anyway, I nosed around the airport , took my bike up the elevator to the Metro station and found that the Metro station has better bike parking. It has those typical Metro three prong racks. The Metro bike parking is somewhat covered, some of the racks had water dripping down on them and others seemed dry.


    As I write this it occurs to me that it might be worth another reconnaissance. The sidewalk leading from the northern part of the north bridge could be a better way to the Metro bike parking especially if you are coming from DC. There may be some covered railings or posts closer to the terminal and bike accessible from that sidewalk.


    George Dalton

    George Dalton , May 22, 2000

    Bike Permits dropped on NJ Transit

    From: Richard D. Kerr 491-7459 To TMAs and Bicycle Organizations:


    I'm happy to notify you that the new NJ TRANSIT commuter rail schedules (effective this Sunday, May 21, 2000) remove the requirement to have a permit in order to bring a bicycle aboard an NJ TRANSIT train. This action results from a year-long internal review of bicycle policies and the experience gained and documented through the permit process.

    Under our Bike Aboard program, standard frame bicycles are now permitted on all trains except for peak-period, peak-direction trains. The peak train exclusion remains necessary because space on board these trains is at such a premium. It applies to trains inbound to New York, Newark Penn or Hoboken between 5:00am to 9:30am, and on trains outbound from these locations between 4:00pm to 7:00pm. The time that applies is the scheduled time at the cyclist's boarding station. The holiday exclusion remains unchanged. **Both of these exclusions do not apply to the Atlantic City Line, which will allow bicycles on all trains.**

    At the same time, the requirement to bring and use tiedowns, such as elastic cords, becomes optional. If tiedowns are not used, the cyclist is required to remain with the bicycle and steady it.

    NJ TRANSIT continues to accept up to two bicycles on each accessible car (not two bikes per train, a common misconception). These cars bear the blue international symbol of accessibility. Cyclists should let other passengers go first, and should use the train door where the accessibility symbol is displayed. Presently, 40 percent of the NJ TRANSIT railcar fleet is accessible, and this percentage continues to increase.

    As you can see, the program constraints have been reduced to basic capacity and safety considerations. As in the past, there is no additional charge for the bicycle.

    Remember that NJ TRANSIT also offers free bike racks at 89 percent of its New Jersey commuter rail stations, as well as enclosed bike lockers for lease through the local TMA at 16 percent of these stations, providing a total storage capacity of nearly 1,800 bicycles.

    Some commonsense Bike Aboard fine print still applies: The bicycle is transported at the owner's risk. NJ TRANSIT is not responsible for bicycles that are lost, stolen or damaged. If the bicycle is considered by an NJ TRANSIT employee to pose a hazard to the safety of other passengers due to overcrowded trains or other operating conditions, the employee may prohibit the bicycle.

    Cyclists must be able to lift their bicycles up and down stairs while boarding and detraining, or while gaining access to station platforms. Cyclists must not use escalators, and must walk bicycles through stations.

    On the new Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, bicycles are also welcome in the low-floor vestibule sections of the vehicles. The same general Bike Aboard rules apply, except that all peak period trains are excluded and there is no holiday exclusion.


    I'm sure you share my enthusiasm about these improvements to the Bike Aboard program. Please make sure that your publications and Web sites are updated to accurately reflect the program. Thanks!

    Richard Kerr

    NJ TRANSIT

    John Boyle, May 16, 2000

    Bikes on CTA -- Chicago Transit Authority

    CTA -- Chicago Transit Authority - CTA Press Releases: WEEKEND BICYCLE ENTHUSIASTS WELCOME ON CTA TRAINS


    05/03/00 Today the Chicago Transit Authority announced a Bicycle Access Program encouraging weekend bicycle use on CTA trains. The program will begin this coming Saturday, May 6, 2000. After a successful pilot program last summer, the program has been expanded to a year-round format that will better serve the cyclists of the CTA service area.


    This program allows bicycle enthusiasts to rely on the extensive CTA train network to get to the bike paths on the lakefront and throughout the city. Bicyclists are out in the neighborhoods all twelve months of the year, and this expanded Bike & Ride program now gives them access to another option - no matter the season, said CTA President Frank Kruesi.


    The program will be effective 6:00 a.m. Saturday through 12:00 a.m. (midnight) Sunday and holidays, including: New Year's Day, Memorial Day (observed), Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Due to heavy passenger traffic associated with the fireworks show, bicycles will not be permitted on July 3rd. Combining these two convenient and environmentally-friendly modes of transportation is a popular option for the serious and casual cyclist alike, said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett.


    In one instance during the pilot program, we recorded over 550 bikes on train users throughout the course of a single weekend, she added. Cyclists ages 18 and over are encouraged to bring their bicycles onto any of the six rail lines that operate on weekends. Children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to board with bicycles and an adult must accompany cyclists ages 12 to 17. Riders will enter the system through the access gate with the help of the Customer Assistant or security guard. When using the stairs, bicyclists are asked to maintain a large amount of space between themselves and the other customers. When available, elevators should be used.


    Once inside the station, two bicycles will be allowed per car, riders must hold onto their bicycles at all times, and bicyclists must not block access to the priority space on each car. These guidelines were developed with suggestions from the CTA's ADA Advisory Committee, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, and the Chicago Department of Transportation Bicycle Program. Permitting bicycles on trains is a part of the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council's Bike 2000 Plan, designed to make Chicago more bicycle friendly by the year 2000. The plan calls for improved coordination between mass transit and bicycles.


    The CTA Bike & Ride brochure that details the program's regulations will be available at CTA stations throughout the system and on the CTA's website, www.transitchicago.com. Bike information is also available at www.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/Bikes. For information on all CTA travel, call (888) YOUR-CTA.


    FeedbackCopyright Jan 1999 Chicago Transit Authority

    John Boyle, May 16, 2000

    Bikes Fly Free

    Your page was recommended to me by a posting on the Biking Across Kansas web site ( http://www.bak.org ), in the message boards area.


    While the topic is a little old, I saw a posting on your web site from '97 regarding Adventure Cycling. My wife gave me a one-year membership in Adventure Cycling for Christmas just over a year ago. I was a member all of 1999. And I got nothing out of it.


    Adventure Cycling *can* get your bike on a plane for free... but there (of course) a couple of catches:


    1) You have to book your flight through one of their travel agencies;

    2) The deal only applies when the base price of your round-trip ticket is $300 or more.


    I can count on one hand the number of times I bought a plane ticket in the past 10 years (I fly most every year, but it's usually job-related, and paid for by my employer). And I have *never* paid $300 for a plane ticket! Never have, and hopefully never will! When I fly, I look for the cheapest airfare possible--usually this is $150-250. Add the $100 bike charge to it, and then what good has Adventure Cycling done me?


    [On a more personal note, I found many other aspects of Adventure Cycling of no use. Some of their bike trips are outrageously expensive, IMHO. They want something like $800 to ride for four days in Wyoming or Montana... and that's after I've provided my own transportation to and from the ride start. In a few weeks, I'll be doing my 3rd BAK. $150 registration, which includes accomodations and some meals. I'll bring along another $200 for the rest of my meals and other travel expenses, and have eight days of cycling with hundreds of great people, seeing this great state... for less than half of most of Adventure Cycling's offerings.]


    So make sure you look for hidden strings attached to a club or organization that claims free passage for your bicycle.




    ***********************************************************
    Randall Kowalik
    rkowalik@yahoo.com
    ------- __o
    BAK 2000 -------- _`\ JUNE 10-17 ------ (*)/ (*)
    ***********************************************************
    Randall Kowalik, May 09, 2000

    Bikes on CTA -- Chicago Transit Authority

    The Chicago Transit Authority has updated its program allowing bicycles on CTA trains on the weekend, making it a permanent(?) year-round thing.



    http://www.transitchicago.com/news/ctaandpress.wu?action=displayarticledetail&articleid=106796


    -- greg byshenk - gbyshenk@byshenk.net hate spam? http://www.cauce.org

    Greg Byshenk, May 09, 2000

    Writing to Amtrak

    Found on: touring@phred.org



    Here is the name and address of the CEO of AMTRAK and I'd suggest that all letters be directed to him. At least he will see the volume of mail about the subject rather than have it filtered by some low level person. Also, a written letter is far better because it's far too easy to ignore or delete E-mail or else hit a key to send a boilerplate response. If you happen to live in an area where local busses and/or trains have added bicycle racks, be sure to mention that fact as well as the they gained ridership when they put them in. Be nice, be articulate and give them credit for situations where they do allow roll on bicycle service. It seems from the posts that what we need most is to be able to load or recover our bikes at all stops instead of just where baggage service is in place. Also, stress the potential number of additional users that could result from providing this service, especially considering the rapid increase of recreational and credit card bicycle tourists.


    The main thing is to write and let our needs be known. Also be aware of the caveat for such letters: three paragraphs and one page.


    Jim


    George D. Warrington,

    CEO National Railroad Passenger Corp.

    60 Massachusetts Ave. NE

    Washington, DC 20002

    Jim Foreman, May 08, 2000

    Greyhound, Peter Pan Bus

    Traveling by bus:


    I took my bike from Washington, DC to New York City on Peter Pan Bus Lines, for the Bike New York 5 Boro Bike Tour (May 7, 2000). I called Peter Pan beforehand, and they told me that there's no charge to bring bikes, and no box necessary, but that luggage space on the bus was first come, first serve. The first come, first serve element, in and of itself, doesn't pose a problem, because buses travel between the cities on an hourly basis. I called again, to double-check, and was given basically the same info but was also told that bike boxes are sometimes required, but the customer service rep. couldn't give me the specifics on exactly when this would be the case.


    I took my bike up on the Friday afternoon, two days before Bike New York, and the crew had me put it in a separate luggage bay underneath the bus. They said I didn't need a box. No problem; my bike was fine upon arriving at Port Authority.


    When I headed back to DC on Sunday night, though, I ran into some trouble. The Peter Pan/Greyhound crew at Port Authority told me that I absolutely had to have a box, for the trips that were still going back to DC that night. They explained that if a bus was stopping at other points, either before or after arriving in DC, luggage going to other points would be placed in separate luggage bays. And that was the case with the rest of the DC-bound buses that night. In other words, all of the bays, in all of the buses, would have luggage in them; and unboxed bikes can't travel in the same bay as regular luggage. The crew told me to get a box, from the baggage office, if I wanted to travel that night. I had brought some tools with me, but the baggage office didn't have any boxes available. I'm assuming that given the 40,000 or so riders in Bike New York (which, by the way, was incredible!!) that weekend, bike boxes would naturally be in high demand. Luckily, one of the Greyhound crew members found an empty cardboard box lying around and gave it to me, so I did get to go home that night (on a bus that would eventually head for Laredo, Texas).


    The problem, though, is that traveling without a box via Peter Pan/Greyhound turns out to be a real gamble. There doesn't seem to be a good way of knowing which bus is going to go to other cities, before or after your destination. Peter Pan buses have a more limited range, but they sometimes use Greyhound buses instead, and those rarely just run back and forth between two cities. I wish the customer service reps could have told me this so I could have avoided the headache. After all, if one of the crew members hadn't randomly happened to find an abandoned box lying around, who knows when my bike and I would have made it home. So, if you're traveling on Peter Pan, you should probably be prepared to box your bike regardless of what you're told by customer service.


    - Rob Randhava

    Randhava, Rob, May 07, 2000

    Greenville, Spartanburg, South Carolina

    Love the site, just wanted to add something to your airports list:


    GSP (Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina) Access is trivial (just don't take the road that dead ends at the Interstate) Regards, Brian


    Brian DeSousa Orange, California, USA http://briandesousa.com/


    Brian DeSousa, April 16, 2000

    Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

    Love the site, just wanted to add something to your airports list:



    SCC (Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay, Alaska) Access is trivial (although you'll likely need permission to go through the pipeline company's property to get to the Haul Road)


    Regards, Brian


    Brian DeSousa Orange, California, USA http://briandesousa.com/


    Brian DeSousa, April 16, 2000

    Washington, DC (Reagan National)

    Hi George,


    You have a very nice web site on bike access. Now all I need to do is plan a trip that includes my bike.


    For the Washington National Airport information, you include some incorrect information about taking bikes on Metro (subway). This is from the Metro web site (http://www.wmata.com/USINGMET/BIKRAIL.HTM)


    "Bicycles are permitted on Metrorail (limited to two bicycles per train) weekdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., between 7 p.m. and closing, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and most holidays (limited to four bicycles per train). Bicycles are not permitted on Metrorail on July 4th and other special events or holidays when large crowds use the system." The page goes on to describe some other conditions and guidelines.


    Ken -- Ken Buja

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    Ken Buja, April 11, 2000

    Amtrak -- Piedmont, Cardinal and Ethan Allen Scratched

    Amtrak also allows bicycle roll-on access for trains on its Cardinal Route, which runs three times a week between Washington DC and Chicago. This train travels through the beautiful Piedmont region of Virginia and the mountain biking mecca of West Virginia, through Charlottesville, Charleston, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Cost is $10 or $15, depending on the length of the trip.

    Chuck Tharp

    Chuck Tharp, April 05, 2000

    Amtrak


    I had a great experience with Amtrak while bicycling across Wisconsin last summer. Amtrak requests that you show up an hour earlier and bring your own tools. I suggest you do a dry run, taking the pedals off and turning the handle bars first so there are no surprises at ticket time. Our bikes needed to be crated in cardboard boxes. I couldn't get my handle bars to turn so I ended up removing the front wheel and slipping the whole thing in the box. Ask if they have any used boxes. Sometimes you can save a couple of bucks.

    Lenny Komorowski, April 03, 2000

    UPS

    On the other hand...


    I've shipped bikes to and from Long Island, NY and Santa Fe, NM (5 days each) on about 30 or so occasions, always via UPS. Only once did I have a problem when they lost my ProFlex for a couple of day's. It showed up a day late with a complete shipping refund. Never any damage to bikes, ProFlex, Klein, Miyata, Cannondale...All insured to the max at $2500 or so.


    I'm very careful how I pack, having learned much - the info about how to pack a bike is on a web site another post gave. I once bent a wheel skewer (my fault), and have seen damage to the box, but have no concerns about UPS, even after reading other posts from former UPS employee's. I would NEVER use the US Postal Service. They cannot even get my mail right, much less trusting them to an insured $2500 bike.


    Hmm........

    Steve Bailey, March 30, 2000

    Spacecase

    I used the Spacecase bicycle case to transport my bike from New York to Australia, to New Zealand, and back to New York last year. It worked great. It was a bit bulky and difficult to carry, and the wheels suck, but my bike made the trip without a scratch. One particularly nice feature about the spacecase is that it is collapsible. I stored it in a hostel when I was staying in New Zealand and traveling around in a rental van and by bicycle. One drawback is the size. On my trip to Oz, I was charged an oversize luggage charge but not a bicycle transport charge. Also, the same charge was applied on my return trip from Las Vegas to New York. Hope this info is helpful! -Ethan Healy


    Ethan Healy, March 28, 2000

    Delta Airlines

    Four of us flew Delta Airlines from Cleveland to Munich, Germany in August of 1999. We contacted Delta and told them we had bike boxes and have it put on the computer record. The day before when confirming reservations we found the plane leaving Cleveland was a small jet and they could not, would not take our bikes from Cleveland to JFK in New York for the next leg of the flight.


    They provided no help and suggested we ship them through Delta trucking. This would have cost a couple hundred dollars each plus no guarantee they would arrive in JFK the next day. Delta could not offer any other solution and said the bikes must be on the planes with us to Europe.


    We ended up finding a local trucking company to ship the bikes overnight to JFK at our expense. Then Delta wanted us to pay $75 for the flight from JFK to Munich. We raised hell and they did waive the fee to Europe but we had to pay the $75 for the return. Lessen learned is to check the size of the planes you are flying on in each leg. Bob Parry


    bob parry, March 26, 2000

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Info about Salt Lake City airport (USA-Utah)


    There is a cycling path from the airport to the airport motels area !


    Been there august 1999

    Brabander, E., March 26, 2000

    Tucson, Arizona


    Tucson International Airport is Bicycle Friendly - Two N-S routes with bike accommodation lead to the airport (Tucson Blvd has wide outside lanes, and Campbell Ave has striped bike lanes. Once you get there, there are bike racks that can serve to secure your bicycle, If you are not taking it with you.


    Contact me for more info.

    Richard Corbett, March 14, 2000

    A Biking Commuter Rides Out the Subway's Bureaucracy

    Found on bikes-n-transit@topica.com


    A Biking Commuter Rides Out the Subway's Bureaucracy


    By JANE ENGLE, Times Staff Writer


    Here I came up against some very interesting rules. You need a bike permit to take your bike on the train. Fair enough, and it's free. But it comes with two pages of draconian regulations.


    Rule 1 is you can't take your bike on the train between 6 and 9 a.m. and between 3 and 7 p.m. on weekdays--the hours most people use to commute (in fact, the only hours that work if you don't want to ride home in the dusk or dark).


    Rule 2 is that you must stash your bike in the train-car doorway that is opposite the platform--a fairly straightforward concept except that midway during my 20-minute trip, the platform changes sides. Where is the worst place to have your bike? In the doorway blocking boarding passengers, of course. So you must schlep the bike across the aisle and back--a difficult maneuver on a crowded train, and in fact, a violation of another rule forbidding you to move your bike through the aisle.



    And speaking of crowds, my favorite rule, bar none, states: No bicycle shall replace or inconvenience a passenger. If a car becomes crowded, the bicyclist must leave the car and wait for a subsequent train.


    Are these rules enforced? Yes. I've seen officers collaring some poor pedaler on the Hollywood platform after 7 p.m. to see if he has a permit. And a strap-hanging colleague of mine says he has seen officers pull bicyclists off the train during rush hours. That's a $250 fine, and you can lose your bike permit too--the same punishment for violating any of the rules.


    Jane Engle can be reached by e-mail at socalliving@latimes.com.


    Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times

    John Boyle, March 12, 2000

    American Airlines Admirals Club Showers

    I don't know if this information would be of enough interest to include on your site. I will rely on your editorial judgment.


    The following American Airlines Admirals Club locations offer showers, basis a directory printed 6/1999 and current as of 3/2000. Most Admirals Clubs do not have showers. Please note that you need to be able to get into the Admirals Club for these to be of use.


    • Chicago O'Hare
    • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
    • Frankfurt, Germany, Rhein Main Inernational Airport
    • London Gatwick and London Heathrow
    • Los Angeles International
    • Miami International
    • New York JFK
    • Paris Orly
    • Seattle
    • Tokyo Narita

    Kruger, Mike, March 05, 2000

    Seattle, Washington

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    We used the Seattle city buses on two occasions.


    Once we were lightly laden, and the other time Pat was moving on by herself, so had all her gear for a 3-week (non-camping) tour.


    The general idea with respect to luggage is that it should be off the bike. When the bus arrives, you toss the baggage on board and put the bike in the rack. It's obviously easier if there are two of you - one to do each job, but it's no big deal if you're on your own. As long as you're not dilly-dallying I think the driver will be happily wait for you to finish.


    Putting the unladen cycle into the rack is a quick operation, and the bike is held securely. But I don't know whether a low-rider front rack might cause a problem. There's a bike shop in north Seattle (can't remember which one, though) that has one of these racks outside in front of the shop. This gives cyclists an opportunity to see exactly how to put a bike on and get it off the rack without feeling any pressure to rush because there's a busload of people who want to get going. It's a brilliant idea. Perhaps a Seattle based Phredite with a low rider rack would like to go to the shop and see whether the rack is a problem or not (or perhaps they already know) and report their findings here.


    Mike Strauss Ledbury, England Pat_and_Mike@compuserve.com

    Pat & Mike Strauss, March 03, 2000

    UPS

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    On Sun, 20 Feb 2000 MBray wrote: My pricing experience with UPS. I sent my sister a Schwinn AeroDyne from Nebraska to Texas. UPS was rediculous in the pricing. I wound up sending it via Continental Bus and the price was approx 1/3 the price. Insurance was only a couple of dollars.
    [trimmed]


    Try the bus lines. Saved me about $125 (American).


    Was your box over the UPS maximum size? This can add a lot of cost. When I sold my Trek 520 the past fall I sent it in two boxes (one for bike, one for wheels) and the shipping cost total was about $20. This was WA state to CA. I've shipped boxes in one bike across the country (NC to WA and PA to WA) for about $35 UPS ground or $50 FedEx 2-day.


    If you keep the size under the maximums for either company then pricing is based just on weight. Most boxed bikes are in the 40-50lb weight.


    alex

    Alex Wetmore, February 19, 2000

    UPS

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    Shipping bikes ahead by UPS is a practical solution which I've used in the past. If you send them to a local bike shop in Bar Harbor, ME you will have a couple of advantages. Provided you have contacted them in advance, they will be able to receive your bike(s) as a usual delivery item. Hotels (or B&B's) may not be accustomed or prepared for it. For a fee, the shop can assemble the bike for you in advance AND check and repair any shipping damage. More importantly, the return shipping is not likely to go smoothly out of a hotel. Who's going to prepare and pay the UPS charge?


    We once shipped our bikes (via 3-day orange label) to a shop in Kansas City, KS to arrive on a Thursday so we could cycle over the weekend. They got lost and never showed until Monday. We told the bike shop to refuse the shipment since we couldn't use them. There was some handling damage which UPS paid for without a hassle. All other pre-shipping experiences went well. Lesson learned: allow extra shipping days.


    Be sure you know how to pack a bike (or get your LBS to do it for you). By the time you pay several small charges, you may have the cost of an airline fee.


    I don't have the LBS contact info for Bar Harbor, ME. There's at least one shop (was) that rents MT bikes. Shop(s) may be seasonal.


    Joe Stafford Dallastown, PA

    Joe & Carolyn Stafford, February 18, 2000

    UPS

    Found on: Touring Cyclists List


    Scott Nicol asked: Does anyone have experience shipping bikes to hotels? How about a local bike shop?


    There's a bike shop in Bar Harbor that has done this in the past. The Can-Am Wheelers tour participants have had a shop there receive and prep their bikes. That's undoubtedly the best place to ship to in that area.

    Andrejs Ithaca, NY

    Andrejs Ozolins, February 18, 2000

    Bike Box Storage

    Found on: Touring List


    I don't know about other places in the world where they have better public transportation and are less car-dependent but here in the US we have what are known as Off Airport Parking facilities. These are places from a mile to several from the airport where one can leave their car while they are gone for about half (sometimes even less) than what it would cost at the airport. These places have vans or small busses to shuttle people to and from the terminal. I've checked with the three major ones here in Oklahoma City and all of them have been more than willing to pick up cyclists and their bikes at the airport and then store the cases. Two of them said that it was such a small deal that they would charge only the usual $5.00 shuttle fee and nothing to store the box. The other agreed on a flat $10.00 for the shuttle and storage. Either way, it is a bargain and gets you away from the traffic zoo found around most airports. My suggestion for people flying into a strange airport and needing a place to store their boxes is to contact one of these facilities ahead of time and ask if they would accommodate you. Go to http://www.bigyellow.com and look for Parking Lots. You will find Off Airport as a sub-section. Jim

    Jim Foreman, February 16, 2000

    Alaska RR

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    I called the Alaska R.R. today and asked a few questions about the Whittier road. The train still runs on a daily basis. I didn't ask if bikes could be taken, or how much. I guess I should have huh? However, they also said that bikes might be allowed to ride the road through to Whittier this summer, but she didn't sound to sure. They might still be deciding this one. I did ask how much it would cost to put a bike on the train from Fairbanks to Anch. $20 bucks, and you don't have to box the bike. Their web addy is www.akrr.com They have a schedule for the trains, but I haven't checked it out yet.


    Ken Mathis 271 S. Flower Anch. Ak. 99508 907-338-7039

    keep yer tires on the street and yer butt on the seat.:-)

    Ken N. Dale, February 16, 2000

    Aer Lingus, Dublin to Boston

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    As long as you mention Ireland, here's a problem that I had recently on Aer Lingus --


    I borrowed a plastic bike box from my local LBS, and disassembled the bike into it. It got to Ireland without a problem, as checked luggage and with no extra charges, and it came through fine. At Dublin, we rented a car and drove it to my wife's mother's house in Kildare, where I put it back together. The bike was my transportation in the country area they live in, so that my wife could use the car to drive her ma around.


    Since I was coming home to Boston a week before my wife, I suggested that she keep the bike in Ireland, so that when she arrived, I could pick her up with our car and drive her, her luggage, and my bike home. She balked at that idea, fearing that she'd pay an excess luggage charge since she'd have two suitcases and a bike box. Whereas, if I brought the bike by myself, I'd have a backpack, a small daypack (that I used as a carry-on), and the bike box, all of which could go with me at no charge.


    My plan in Boston was to take the Commuter Rail to my home, saving a $45 cab fare. But since Boston has no direct connection between the rail and Logan Airport, but instead, connects the two via a shuttle bus and subway that required a transfer and a couple of stair-climbs, getting the bike home alone was a problem. I couldn't do this with a bike.


    So my wife called Aer Lingus, in Dublin. The telephone person said that they could hold the bike in Boston for a nominal fee ($1 a day, very cheap). Storing it at the airport would let me return with a car at my convenience and bring it home.


    After the first leg of the flight, from Dublin to Shannon, there was a layover. Moseying around the terminal at Shannon, I saw an Aer Lingus Information booth. I figured I'd find out more about what to do when I got to Boston. So I asked him about storage arrangements.


    I don't know about that, this guy said, but don't worry, we'll get you sorted.


    Less than assured, I got back on the plane, and asked a stewardess if she was familiar with the procedure for storing luggage at Boston.


    I've never heard of that, she said, ah, but don't worry! You'll be all right.


    You can predict what happened in Boston. None of people in the Customs Hall who were standing by to assist deplaning passengers had a clue about storage facilities. I finally got bumped up to a guy named Jarlath Keaveney, who was some kind of supervisor.


    Essentially, he called me a liar -- or more accurately, he called my wife a liar. He said that this was ridiculous information, that I'd never be told such a thing. When I suggested we call Dublin and find out, he said, It's after 8pm there -- no one is available.


    I called my wife to double-check. She insisted that she'd been told I could store my bike with Aer Lingus, and she gave me the number in Dublin that she called where she got this information. I did. But unfortunately, Jarhead's statement was correct -- there was nobody in the offices at 8pm (Dublin time) on a Saturday evening.


    I then went back to Jarmouth, and begged him just to stick it in an office for a day, so that I could come back on Sunday and pick it up. His answer? You've changed your story! You said you were going to leave it for a few days, now you want it in a day!. Then he turned on his heel and strutted away.


    Of course, I was trying to be helpful ... but Jarbreath used the opportunity to call me a liar once again.


    I then noticed that I was the last passenger leaving the Customs Hall, and that there were bags not picked up. I asked one of the other helpers what they did with them. They're going into storage, and if they're not picked up, we send them back.


    Into storage! Into storage!


    So could I put my bike into storage? Couldn't they just pretend I didn't pick it up?


    No, no, no! If we did that for you -- we'd have to do it for everyone!, was the nonsense answer.


    ------


    In the end, I took a cab from Logan to South Station in Boston. I had to jawbone with the cab driver about putting the bike in his trunk. It actually did fit, but he insisted that it was too big, that I'd have to wait for a van, yada, yada, yada (I suspect that the fare wasn't big enough for him).


    Because I'd spent so much time arguing with Jarnose, I missed the train I'd intended to take, and I had to wait about an hour and a half for the next one (they don't run very frequently on Saturdays). I lugged it on board, my backpack on my back with my carry-on strapped to it. It took me two trips down the stairs at my destination to get everything off. I dragged it up the hill to my house, and got in at about 6pm, which was 11pm Irish time.


    I'd arrived at Dublin airport at 9am, so it took 14 hours to get home. Three of those hours -- that's half the length of time it took to fly from Shannon to Boston -- were spent trying to travel the 15 miles from Logan Airport to my house.


    And next time, I will have to arrange for some kind of car to meet me at Logan, or just leave the bike in Ireland an extra week. My lesson's learned.


    Tom Revay Dedham, MA

    Tom Revay, February 15, 2000

    Washington, DC (Reagan National)

    Found on: dc.biking


    I walked the Mount Vernon trail (at least from Old Towne to the 14th St Bridge), and discovered something wonderful. There is now a way to get to the airport via the MV trail without having to sprint across or pedal along the airport roads. Going north, close to the newly opened bridge, there is a side path that leads to an underground crossing of the airport road, and then to the garage! From there, you can get anywhere.


    -- Joe Ahlgren, joe@geoclock.com

    Joe Ahlgren, February 10, 2000

    Delta Airlines

    Delta has unilaterally decided that trans-atlantic and trans pacific flights will not accept bikes as one piece of luggage the way other airlines do. Sept. of 99 it was $75 to fly my bike to Dublin from Memphis, TN.


    I'm off to Sweden this year on SAS. They still take the bike as one piece of luggage. Best, Steve Gordon

    Steve Gordon , February 10, 2000

    Baltimore/Washington Airport (BWI)

    Found on: dc.biking


    I have a cuesheet from Savage Mill to BWI that I can send you. The problem is that the trailhead is on Stoney Run Rd. and from that point to the airport is only about 2 or 3 miles. The distance from the BWI trailhead to the B&A trailhead is only about 7 miles. There may be another trail from the Greenbelt side. I'm terrible at geography.


    -- Scott Talkington freewheeling@bigfoottail.com Cut the tail to respond by email.

    Freewheeling, February 08, 2000

    San Diego, California

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    hi,


    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to get you from the Amtrak station to Spanish Landing park. here goes:


    a. exit the south end of the station and head for Broadway (about 50 ft away).

    b. go west on Broadway, cross Pacific Highway, and cross to the west side of Harbor Drive where you will pick up a bike trail. You are now right beside San Diego Bay.

    c. Head north on the bike trail which parallels Harbor drive. Be sure you don't get too distracted by all the hard bodies and wander off the piers into the bay.

    d. Harbor drive, and the bike path, gradually turn west and run along the south side of Lindberg field (the airport). there will be a Coast Guard station that you will pedal by on your left.

    e. Cross Harbor Island Drive still heading west on Harbor drive, and shortly you will come upon Spanish Landing Park on your left. it is a long narrow strip of a park.


    This is a very short ride. As far as maps and things go, I would recommend that you get in touch with the downtown hostel. It's on the corner of 5th and Market. Their telephone no. is 619.5251531. email is: hisddwntwn@aol.com and their web site is: http://www.hostelweb.com/sandiego


    you should love san diego.


    phil

    philip crepeau, February 08, 2000

    Bike Rental -- Maui, Hawaii

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides

    I rode the North Shore of Maui back in 1995. It is extremely hilly with wonderful views! I took my video camera along. Bring plenty of water...not much out on the North Shore and water stops are few and far apart.

    I rented a mountain bike from West Maui Cycle in Lahaina...price was very reasonable for a day, believe about $25.
    Visit my web site for more cycling info at: http://www.geocities.com/repete_bike
    or http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Arena/6870

    Let me have your stories about this cycling tour or others. These can be included in my Quotes section.

    RePete

    RePete, February 04, 2000

    Amtrak -- Piedmont, Cardinal and Ethan Allen Scratched

    Presently Amtrak has roll-on bicycle storage and security systems integrated with ski and snowboard storage and security in special baggage cars on the Vermonter trains, the Ethan Allen Express trains, and the Adirondack Express trains which serve Vermont and eastern upstate New York (to Montreal). These storage systems may be seen at http://www.biketrack.com/amtrak.htm


    Also Amtrak trains in North Carolina have roll-on bicycle parking modules installed in baggage cars. You can see a brochure and route map at http://www.biketrack.com/takeyour.htm


    Gerry Hawkes Bike Track, Inc. Woodstock, Vermont


    www.biketrack.com

    Gerry Hawkes, February 03, 2000

    Amtrak

    Found on bikes-n-transit@topica.com


    Reports from Amtrak West are that equipment on the new Pacific Surfliner (currently the San Diegan) will have bike rack space for three bikes in each coach, providing roll-on access at any station. The new equipment is supposed to begin arriving in April.


    Stephan Vance Senior Transportation Planner San Diego Assoc. of Governments

    sva@sandag.cog.ca.us phone: (619)595-5324 fax: (619)595-5305

    SANDAG HomePage: http://www.sandag.cog.ca.us


    Each of the 15 new Surfliner cars will be equipped with 3 MMW-2X-MHV bicycle security hangers which can be seen on the Web at http://www.biketrack.com/MMW-2X.htm

    Stephan Vance, February 01, 2000

    Los Angeles (LAX), California

    George,


    Excellent site! Just wanted to add a note about cycling out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX):


    Sepulveda Blvd. (Highway 1) south of the terminal becomes a tunnel under the runways. The tunnel is posted as bikes prohibited, but the prohibition is probably illegal, and I've heard that it's not enforced anyway. The tunnel is fairly well lighted, but the lanes are narrow, so caution is prudent.


    Brian DeSousa Orange, CA http://www.briandesousa.com/

    Brian DeSousa, January 27, 2000

    Bike Rental -- Pinellas Trail, Florida

    Found on: rec.bicycles.rides


    For renting bicycles in Pinellas County, Florida, you could try Trail Sports. They have recently moved the shop location from what they have listed in the online yellow pages telephone book - they are now on Seminole Blvd. the number should still be the same (727) 381-4308. They are on or very near a portion of the Pinellas Trail.

    DFoley, January 25, 2000

    Train/bike Touring

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    Message by koralee I've been thinking it might be fun to do a couple of mini bike/train tours


    Hi Koralee; That's a great idea and one that a number of people on the list have used. Combining a train with a tour not only extends your scope but can also serve as a bailout in case the tour has to be cut short. One of the T@CO members rode AMTRAK from the east coast to Trinidad, NM with the intention of riding back. However unseasonably hot weather did a number on him and he had to resort to the train for part of the return. I live in the Oklahoma City are where we have a shortline of AMTRAK that runs to Fort Worth and back. Although it has been in operation for only six months, several people have used it as part of tours or day trips. We can hop the train to several great cycling areas between here and Texas, ride all day and then catch the train back that evening. The best part is that we can ride from our house to catch the train and the ride home that night. That's true bicycling where the car does not have to leave home.


    One of our more neophyte members rode it to Fort Worth to celebrate her birthday and then used her bike to tour a number of museums before she returned that night. Some of our members took advantage of winds out of the north at 30mph a few days ago to ride south for a hundred miles and then caught the train back.


    The KATY trail is one of the better known bike and train outings. You can find two or three reports on tours people from the Oklahoma Bicycle Society have done along that trail. See their web page, www.oklahomabicyclesociety.com and click on Tour Tales.


    You have two trains with roll-on bicycle service in your area. The Cascadia and the Mount Adams run up and down the coast and would provide a number of opportunities for day or weekend tours of this type. Jim

    Jim Foreman, January 09, 2000

    Train/bike touring

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    Koralee,


    I do alot of my touring combining a bike and a train, some of it on Amtrak. Amtrak has two policies regarding full-size bikes on trains:


    (1) Some trains allow roll-on bike access. You are responsible for putting your bike on the train, typically the baggage car, but I've seen bike racks in some cars on some trains. You lock your bike to the rack, then go get a seat (in a car near the baggage car.) Cost is $10 -- you buy an extra ticket for the bike. You can get the bike off the baggage car at any stop the train makes (with one exception that I am aware of, Bellows Falls NH)


    (2) Some trains transport bikes in baggage cars, but Amtrak baggage handlers are responsible for putting the bikes on and off, and the bikes must be in a bike box. The bike box is HUGE -- to get a bike in, you just take off the pedals (Have pedal wrench will travel) and turn the handlebars. I've never had a problem with an Amtrak station having a bike box. If you are going to and leaving from the same station, they will even save a box for you, sparing you the $10 fee.


    Leslie The Intermodal Queen Tierstein ltierstein AT constellar.com


    Leslie Tierstein, January 09, 2000

    Train/bike touring

    Found on: touring@phred.org


    I've taken the train across the country a couple of times and last April I took my Bike Friday with me to Pawtuckett, Rhode Island and had a great time riding out there. One day I rode with the Naragansett Bay Wheelmen around the state (easy to do with a little state like RI). Another day I rode the fifty miles up to Walden Pond in MA, hiked around the pond, saw the original site of Thoreau's cabin, etc.


    A couple of my friends took the train to West Glacier and then rode back to Seattle from there. And if I remember right a fairly recent copy of Bike Magazine has an article by Mike Ferrentino where he started in Seattle and did what you are proposing, getting off at one station and then biking to another.


    The big trick will be having a bike box or making sure Amtrak has the space to let you roll an unboxed bike onto the train. If you need a box, you'll have to make sure you can get one at each station or figure out some way to carry it. With my Bike Friday, I have a soft bag that it goes into when folded, but other Bike Friday owners use a suitcase that converts to a bike trailer.


    Amtrak can fill you in on the bike transit requirements, schedules, etc. And when you figure out where you might like to go, try doing a websearch to connect up with a local bike club in the area you are interested in. I find it a lot of fun to ride in a new area with some of the locals and they seem to enjoy showing off their home turf.


    Have fun and keep your toes warm!

    Kent Peterson Issaquah, WA USA

    Kent Peterson, January 09, 2000

    Touring around Lake Ontario

    Cyclotour Guide Books (Bicycle Touring Books & Maps): http://www.cyclotour.com I used his book on a round Lake Ontario tour and enjoyed the book almost as much as the tour.

    George Farnsworth, January 07, 2000

    Bags vs. Boxes ... (a continuing debate)

    I have shipped my bike in a plastic bag on various occasions by way of Delta, Lufthansa, Qantas, Transat and Canadian Airlines (now Air Canada) without any problem at all. In most cases, the airlines provides the bag for a small fee. On the other hand, Alaska Airlines insisted I box my bike and although the bike did arrive in good shape, that box had obviously had very rough treatment. I was afterwards told by an agent that it's better to ship in a clear bag, since the bike is then handled and stored separately from other baggage

    John Cuthbertson, January 07, 2000

    Greyhound

    The people riding Greyhound still haven't got the whole story ,or else the people at the local Greyhound overlooked something in my case. I prepared in advance for the ordeal by getting a box from a bike shop, and spending some time making it foldable. I also rehearsed for the occassion, dis-assembling the bike and packing it. This turned out to be key becaused the pedals were quite frozen. So the next day I rode the 7 miles to the transit terminal having bungied the folded box to the bike with my tools on top. In the terminal it was pop of the bars, remove the pedals and the front wheel and everything into the box-about five min. I had used vecro to secure the box top and bottom so I wouldn't have to mess with tape and also I had bought luggage strappes which you can get in most hardware stores. The result was good for the short trip I was taking-longer I would have wanted to bubble wrap some parts. When I presented this package to the Greyhound people it simply went on the buss as regular luggage. At the other end was of course the reverse process with the box going back on the bike and my 30lb. tool bag on top of that as I was on my way to work. There are folding boxes on the market which cost quite a lot. My way cost just a few bucks for the velcro and the strappes. To make the box fold take a razor knife and score along were you want the fold to be, your choice on how you need it to fold. Remove all the packaging staples and substitute velco instead. The luggage strappes add extra security. I had called Greyhound in advance to make sure that I could do this and get the bike on without charge so it all went off without a problem - it's probably a good idea to do this as various people seem to have gotten different answers from Greyhound in other areas.


    Good luck if you try this.

    Sylvia Chavez Frinak, December 25, 1999

    Bike Friday

    We totally agree ... have taken our Bike Fridays to Cape Cod, San Francisco & Seattle. Yes, the steering feels a bit "quicker" at first, but you soon get used to it. Absolutely great to have on a trip ... having a bike-to-fit is a definite plus, especially if you're the 'small' person needing the riding position found on your Terry road bike. (The taller Trek rider is equally happy with his Friday).
    As the Irishman said to a traveler seeking directions,"I wouldn't start from here."

    jerry gluck, December 24, 1999

    Denver, Colorado

    I finally looked at a map and came up with this:


    The route from Fort Collins:


    US 287 south through Longmont, and on to Westminster to 104th Ave. Go east on 104th to Tower Ave, then go south on Tower. You might have to go west on Peña for a while, but take the exit for the car rental return (the left part of the Y at the gas station), and you can get to the terminal from that road.


    Chris

    **************************************************

    * Chris & Lori Bovitz *

    * mailto:gophers@airmail.net *

    * http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Trail/7918/ *

    *************************************************

    Chris or Lori Bovitz, November 17, 1999

    Las Vegas, Nevada

    I was in Vegas in June. I rented a road bike and rode a loop around Red Rock Canyon, but there are a lot of desert trails there also if you prefer off-road. Red Rock Canyon is about 15 miles from the Strip, and about 8 miles from the bike shop.

    I rented from the bike shop below:
    http://www.escapeadventures.com/bikeshop/bikeshop.htm

    It's not run by very experienced people, but they'll have everything you need. Just be sure and check the equipment out yourself before you leave the shop to make sure you have everything, and to be sure the bike's ready to ride. They tried to send me out the door with a low tire and a seat that was too high.

    They also run guided tours, but it's not much more effort and a lot cheaper to do it on your own.

    Rod Monsees

    Rod Monsees, September 29, 1999

    Kalamazoo, Michigan

    Bike access to the Kalamazoo MI (AZO) airport is not a problem. The only entrance is off of a non-limited-access road.

    -Jeff Bell

    Jeff Bell, September 27, 1999

    Bikes Fly Free

    Hi there fellow bikers. Info re: flying bikes free domestically. Had a flight reserved via TWA from Boston to Albuquerque. E-mailed TWA to find out about supposed policy with LAB to fly bikes for free. No response for 2 weeks despite repeated e-mailings. Finally called reservation number to inquire (800-221-2000)

    After checking with her supervisor, the woman at the other end told me we could fly our bikes free in lieu of one piece of check-in luggage. I asked her if she could relay that info to the check-in counter so there would be no surprises at the airport when we got there, and she called up our reservation and entered a note via computer to that effect. There was no mention about having to fly via LAB.'s travel agent.

    I would recommend that anyone trying to take advantage of free flight agreements make sure that the people at the check-in counter are aware of the arrangement. Even the reservation desk had to look into it- I'm sure the check-in people wouldn't have had a clue.

    Jerry Kuc

    Kuc, Jerry, September 23, 1999

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    San Juan. Very doable. You have to bike on the shoulder of a limited access highway, but it is legal. There is no place to lock up a bike at the airport, for say taking a day trip to the USVI, but for $5 you can check the bike for the day at the baggage storage place.

    Don.

    Blaine Bauer, September 17, 1999

    Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico - Condado: Rent A Bike (Condado Bicycle), 1106 Ashford Ave, 722-6288 Isla Verde: Adrenalina, Isla Verde Ave. Don Wiss, September 17, 1999

    Amtrak -- Sacramento, Yosemite

    Hi George!
    On August 30, 1999, I was at a YARTS meeting in Yosemite National Park and met Chris Morfas and Robert Raburn. They traveled, with their bikes, on Amtrak from the bay area and Sacramento to Merced. In Merced they transferred to the VIA / Yosemite Connection bus that connects with Amtrak for service to Yosemite National Park. They were able to place their bikes in racks on the California Car. On the particular schedule they used, we did not have a bike rack (we do have racks on 4 of our coaches), but there was plenty of room underneath the coach.

    We are happy to carry bikes on our coaches and what a beautiful place to cycle! Yosemite offers some wonderful bike paths, and has rentals available also.

    Please check out our web site, via-adventures.com for additional information or call me at 1-800-PARK BUS.

    Best Regards,
    Karen Davey
    Operations Manager

    Karen Davey, September 08, 1999

    Oakland, California

    A non-freeway route out of Oakland airport to Oakland is to go through Alameda. When exiting the airport, turn left onto Doolittle Drive. Follow this until you get to the intersection with Bay Parkway (?; not sure about name; anyway, it's the first turn to your left, and has a traffic light.) To your right, you will see a (badly or un-) marked bike/ped path. Get on that. That will take you to a bike/ped bridge that crosses into Alameda. If you continue straight on the road into which the bridge leads, you will get to another bridge (this one on the road) that goes into Oakland. You can then continue north to Jack London Square. Warning: the neighborhood along the waterfront in Oakland is not great -- industrial with some rundown housing. A local friend avoids it after dark, but it looked acceptable for daytime bicycling.

    It's more than 1-2 miles from the airport to Jack London Square. Try about 5 or 6.

    Leslie

    Leslie Tierstein, September 05, 1999

    Oakland, California

    I have driven the route to the nearby BART station from the airport, but I haven't ridden it on a bike. my impression is that it's not all that hairy. I surely would never want to ride to Jack London Square, however. Once at the bart station you'll be on your way to San Francisco, Colma, Daley City, or wherever. I don't know where you want to begin your ride once you are across the bay. when you board the BART with your bike, make sure you are in one of the cars at the end of the train. Also, although people do it (including me once), you're not supposed to take your bike on board during commuter hours.

    philip crepeau, September 05, 1999

    Amtrak -- Portland, Olympia

    Amtrak's Cascades service between Olympia, Washington, and Portland is excellent. The Cascades route accepts bikes as ridden to the station -- no box needed. There is a $5 surcharge for the bikes, but I am under the impression that the conductors don't pay much attention to whether or not you have a voucher for your bike.

    In late August of this year, I boarded southbound in Olympia. The attendant immediately offered to take my bike to baggage. There, bikes are hung by the front wheel in a purpose-built rack. In Portland, it was an easy walk to the baggage car where the handlers were helpful and downright friendly.

    The next day, service was as good on my return to Olympia.

    It's important to schedule the Casades service, NOT the Coast Starlight. I believe the Coast Starlight still requires bikes in boxes. Anyway, cyclists traveling between Seattle and Portland are well served by Amtrak Cascades.

    Rlesnik, September 04, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Burlington Vermont

    I recommend:

    The Cutting Edge North
    160 Benmont Ave.
    Bennington, VT 05201
    phone: 802-442-8664

    I regularly spend a week in Southern Vermont in late August. For several years in a row, I have rented mountain bikes from this bicyle/mountaineering shop in Bennington, Vermont. Their service and prices are quite satisfactory. I value their willingness to install accessories or swap saddles at my request. Their rental stock has varied in quality, but it has always been adequate for my purposes (day riding on paved or gravel roads). In the last couple of years, they have started to offer better quality machines. This year, their rental model was the Kona Firemountain, a very decent hard-tail ($500 retail).

    Jim Chapman
    Los Angeles, California

    James Chapman , September 02, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Dallas, Texas

    You can rent from Richardson Bike Mart... http://www.bikemart.com/ and Jack Johnston bicycles ... http://www.jackjohnstonbicycles.com/

    Jack Dingler

    Jack Dingler, September 02, 1999

    Chicago, Illinois (Midway)

    I would suggest taking Archer Avenue northeast to either 35th or 31st Street and head directly east to the lake. Alternately, you can head directly east down 55th street (Garfield Blvd). I've ridden this to the lake but always turn north once I get there. Once at the lake, you can take the bike trail south to 71st street where the trail ends (as per the Chicagoland Bicycle Map). Continue south on Route 41 to Route 12/20 and into Indiana. I have read on this list in the past that Route 12/20 is a ridable route into Indiana. Maybe someone else can confirm this. Sorry, can't help with the blues music.

    Hope this gets you started,

    Paul Miceli

    Paul Miceli, August 30, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Portland, Oregon

    A lot of the bike shops in Portland have rentals. The last time I was down there I wrote down a few phone numbers. Try Bike Central Coop (732 SW 1st.) at 503-227-4439; The Fat Tire Farm (2714 NW Thurman) at 503-222-3276 (they happen to be at the gateway to Forest Park which is supposed to be one of the best areas to ride within the city. The park is HUGE!). Portland is a great city to ride in. Very bike friendly.

    Phil

    videoproducer, August 04, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Portland, Oregon

    There's a G.I. Joes in Hillsboro (west of Portland) that rents bikes (wierd name, I know, but its a big chain), but Fat Tire Farm is probably the best bet.

    Blaine Bauer, August 04, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Vail

    Thanks for the info. I thought you might also like to know that Winter Park Ski resort (Colorado), which has about 300+ miles of trails in and around the park, also rents full suspension and hard tails at the resort as well as in the town of winter park. The resort is about 2 hours from Denver. You can get more info at http://www.skiwinterpark.com.

    Mike Wager

    Mike Wager, August 03, 1999

    Juneau, Alaska (JNU)

    Only interstate jet carrier is Alaska Airlines (AS), with $50 one-way bicycle surcharge.

    Bicycle access from Glacier Highway via Shell Simmons Drive.

    Weekday Capital Transit University Express buses equipped with 2-bike racks stop at passenger terminal. Other buses stopping at Nugget Mall .3 mi away will have racks by late summer. Downtown Juneau is 10 mi from airport, ferry terminal 4 mi.

    Bring good rain gear! Local bike club info at www.juneau.com/freewheel or email me.

    Rlesnik, August 02, 1999

    Recumbent Rental -- California

    In the SF Bay Area, CVC Cycles in San Francisco has Vision and Linear singles you can sample. Renting one might not be neccessary with them because they run on an appointment only basis and take a lot of time with their customers. Their web: www.bikeroute.com/CVC

    In Los Altos the Bicycle Outfitter: www.bicycleoutfitter.com/pages/OutfitRecumbent.htm sells BikeE as does Garner Pro Bike (also Visions) in Redwood City: www.bikeroute.com/GarnersProBike.html

    For your tandem request, Zach Kaplan may very well be the man. He is located in Muir Beach in Marin County. His web: www.bikeroute.com/zach.

    Don't know if he has any demo tandems that you can rent but I do know he used to have one, maybe even a few. And Zach is a much respected authority on most all matters bent!

    BTW: I absolutley love my S&B tandem. There is a picture of it at: www.bikeroute.com/S-B

    Once you get one, you will never look back!! What a joy!

    Cycle America, August 02, 1999

    Customs

    Just recently, we had a conversation with a couple that took single bikes overseas. They had been corresponding with the airlines about bike handling and had a written letter detailing airline policy with them. On their return trip they were hassled at Customs about duty on their own bikes being brought into the US. They produced the letter and cut the hassle short. The lesson here is to have a document (sales slip, etc.) in hand when traveling.

    Hope this helps

    Joe & Carolyn Stafford
    Tandems Of York Society (TOYS)

    Joe & Carolyn Stafford, July 25, 1999

    Amtrak

    I understand that you now must put bikes in boxes and that the boxes are available at the Amtrak stations. How elaborate is the breakdown?

    I've done it a few times. You need to remove the handle-bars, pedals and wheels to fit most bikes into these boxes.

    How much earlier should we arrive to accomplish loading?

    I'd recommend doing a trial run at home to see how long it takes. Each time I do it, I do it a little faster. The hardest thing is removing the pedals, beause they get really tight; but if you remove them at home during a trial run, they'll be easier to deal with at the train station.

    Is there an additional charge to transport bicycles?

    Yes, Amtrak imposes a $5 hassle-you-because-you're-a-cyclist fee. (Aside: They'll even do this if you're bringing aboard a folding bike that's exactly the same size as regular luggage, and even if it's in a suitcase or nylon bag. This is totally ridiculous, so if they ask what the item is, say it's "exercise equipment" or somesuch.)

    I don't remember what the deal is for purchase of a bike box there. I went to my local bike shop and they saved me some of the boxes that new bikes come in.

    Will the stations save the boxes that we must purchase?

    I don't know. Sometimes I've folded the box up, tied it to the back of the bike, and carried it along with me. This can be a real drag though -- as in wind resistance.

    <_Jym_>

    Jym Dyer, July 19, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Vail

    Most Ski resorts (Vail, Breckenridge) have lots of bike shops that rent full suspension bikes right at the base of the hill. Try Base Mountain Sports or Kenny's Double Diamond at Lionshead in Vail. By the way, a full day chairift ticket at Vail is $25. $14 for one ride.

    Paul, July 07, 1999

    Washington, DC Area Commuter Rail (MARC, VRE MTA, Metro)

    Folding bicycles (when properly folded) are allowed on all rail and bus transit (although some transit employees may hassle you). Universal access on transit is a primary reason to own a folding bicycle.

    MARC does not allow unfolded bikes on board but might in the future. VRE recently acquired several bi-level cafe cars that readily accommodate bikes and now allows full bike access in these cars.

    While MARC still prohibits regular bikes, MTA Light Rail--with lines to both BWI Airport and to the B&A trailhead in Glen Burnie--allows bikes on board anytime except from two hours before to two hours after Orioles games. If your new office is near MTA Light Rail, this might be an option.

    Using the route of the recent WABA ride between DC and Baltimore, the one-way distance between the Greenbelt Metro and the BWI Light Rail station is 23.7 miles, mostly on relatively low-traffic roads. It's doable for you at least occasionally.

    For a carless commute with a regular bike, you could ride MARC (sans bike) on the DC end and just bike to work from a reasonably close MARC station near Baltimore.

    Allen Muchnick
    703-237-8967

    Allen Muchnick, June 29, 1999

    Bike rental -- Long Island, NY

    Take a look at my Web site for a list of local bike shops in the NYC tri-state area. There is bound to be one nearby that can help you out. Brands in Wantaugh immediately comes to mind.
    ---------------------------
    Phil Harrington
    Author: Short Bike Rides in and Around New York City
    http://members.aol.com/bikebookny/sbrnyc.htm

    Phil Harrington, June 20, 1999

    Alaska RR

    I took my loaded touring bike on the Alaska Railroad from Fairbanks to Denali Park, and then on to Anchorage. Alaska Railroad just started taking passengers again last year. It's a small railroad, with the same open friendliness I found throughout Alaska.

    There was some confusion about how they wanted to load my bike at first. In the end, both in Fairbanks and at Denali, I removed the panniers, tent and sleeping bag and turned the whole collection over to the baggage department. They loaded my bike and gear in the baggage car, and then returned it all to me at the end of each trip. You can see the whole process from the platform. They load the bike by hand, so that's why they wanted me to remove all the gear.

    I don't remember what the bike ticket cost -- something like $40. Their home page is at http://www.akrr.com/index.html

    Lobo Loco, June 17, 1999

    Amtrak

    I just took the Coast Starlight from LA to Seattle last month after riding the other direction. My bike was boxed in an IronCase, but the baggage office had a plentiful supply of big bike boxes. Since I got there a bit early, I hung around for a while and watched the baggage operations, and it looked like the bikes in cardboard Amtrak boxes got good treatment, including one that came in on another train and was checked through onto the Coast Starlight.

    (I got to downtown LA early because Amtrak reservations had told me I could load my bike at the Pomona station for the ride to LA as long as it was already boxed. I found out when I got to Claremont that in fact they would not accept any bikes, boxed or not, at the unattended Pomona station. Luckily I had time to hitch a ride to LA and catch the train there instead. Do not trust anything the national reservation service tells you about bikes on trains without calling back and checking several times with different operators and supervisors. Of the three people I talked to when making my reservation and the two I talked to confirming it, only the last one thought that maybe bikes couldn't load in Pomona and suggested I confirm it locally.)

    Two people in LA had been told they could load their bikes unboxed, but after they'd rolled them out to the platform and loaded them on the train, they were ordered back off the train and told to box the bikes. Fortunately it doesn't take much to get a bike into an Amtrak box, so they had time to take care of this before the train left.

    Then at one stop in northern California, there were apparently no complaints when someone else loaded an unboxed bike.
    --
    Josh@WolfeNet.com is Joshua Putnam / P.O. Box 13220 / Burton, WA 98013 http://www.wolfenet.com/~josh/

    Joshua_Putnam, June 16, 1999

    Amtrak -- Sacramento, San Jose

    The commuter Amtrak trains have three bike racks per car (San Jose to Sacramento), the other trains do not. I accidently ended up on a LA to Seattle train for my normal San Jose to Oakland commute (I didn't feel like doing the mostly boring 50 mile ride that day), and the conductor had no problem with my bent and BOB trailer not being boxed (there are always empty bike slots on the commuter train, so the bike usually goes in one and the BOB in another).

    We tossed everything into a utility shaft and all was fine. So, the moral of the story is that to do the trip you are talking about, you are supposed to box the bike, but a nice conductor may let you get on without doing so. The downside to taking your chances is that you may get a not as nice conductor or your bike may get tossed around in the storage hold.

    Hope the info helps,

    - Dan

    Dan, June 16, 1999

    Denver, Colorado

    You asked about the problem biking out of Denver. This was two years ago and we were told if we even attempted to bike out of the airport we would be picked up by the police. Discretion being the better part of valor, we opted to be conservative and not begin our vacation on a more sour note. Ironically, once you get out of the airport, Denver has beautiful bike routes and the state as a whole seems to make an effort to attract bike tourists.

    I guess it's OK to bike Colorado as long as you don't fly into DIA.

    Rlesnik, June 15, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Utah

    Is Gooseberry Mesa a good ride???!!! It is probably one the top five best mountain bike rides in the U.S.!! Check out the March issue of Mountain Bike Magazine if you don't trust me!! I live closer to Moab than Zion, but it will be some time before I visit the Moab area again!!! You can see my description of Gooseberry on my site: http://www.xmission.com/~bobyne

    As for renting a bike, I would definitely stop in and see the guys at Bike Zion in Springdale.

    Bob

    Bob, June 06, 1999

    Seattle, Washington (SeaTac)

    The riding around Sea-Tac is pretty ugly - lots of cars moving too damn fast in too little space. My best suggestion for getting from Sea-Tac to Vancouver Island would be catching the bus at the airport (all of Metro's buses have bike racks on the front) to downtown Seattle and taking a ferry from there.

    You can catch a ferry directly to the island or take one across the Sound to the Kitsap penninsula and ride to Port Angeles then catch a ferry to Victoria.

    Another option would be to transfer buses in downtown to a northbound, get away from the city a bit and ride up to Anacortes to catch the ferry to Sydney.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/other-svcs/default.htm#Anacortes-Sidney has links to the major sea routes available to you.

    tripplanner.metrokc.gov/cgi-bin/stop_info.pl?Id=3002370&resptype=U has information about Metro's bus system out of SeaTac.

    -Ken

    Kenneth Stagg, June 03, 1999

    Peregrine Folding Bike

    I can tell you a bit about the folding mountain bike from Peregrine Bicycle Works (http://www.pbwbikes.com) that I did a 43-mile test ride on a bike tour in New York City a couple of weeks ago. I'm planning on buying one in the near future.

    The version I rode has both front and rear suspension and this turned out to be a great advantage on some of the rough streets. It may have also contributed to the reduced fatigue in my arms and shoulders compared to my normal rigid frame mountain bike. Either way, I found myself steering into the big potholes, just to test out the suspension and smaller wheels and was pleasantly surprised at the smooth ride.

    The bike was very well constructed and the quick-folding mechanisms were fast and easy. It's pretty amazing how compact the bike becomes.

    As far as handling and rideability, there was a brief adjustment period where I got used to the more abrupt turns, but from then on, it was great. I also found the internal shifting Sachs 3x7 rear hub to be easy to shift, as long as you plan ahead somewhat for the equivalent of a "chainring" shift on a normal bike with a front derailleur. The gear range was more than adequate to pedal with a normal cadence up and down any hills I encountered.

    The only negative I encountered was the slight heaviness of the bike, but my style of bicycle use usually involves loading a lot of gear onto the thing anyway, so I won't quibble about a couple of pounds on the frame. The bike felt very solid and stable and that was my more important concern.

    Good luck with your search for a folding bike, and feel free to email me if I can tell you anything else about my folding bike experience. By the way, I'm a bit over 6'3" tall and that was no problem.

    Cheers,
    Kelly

    Kelly Slough, May 23, 1999

    New York City (Central Park)

    Fred Goldrich wrote:
    >You can rent bikes inside the Park, just north of the Boathouse. Sunday's a busy day -- you might want to check in advance to see if you need to get there early.

    Be careful on weekdays, though. For some reason they allow cars in the park during rush hours and late nights during the week. At these times there is a designated bike lane. I left it to leave the park and was arrested and rather unpleasantly injured by the police for riding in the wrong lane (??).
    I argued to the judge that the bike lane follows the inside of the park and therefore one must ride around in circles until the next morning and happily he dismissed the charge. But it cost me a day of work; on a vacation that would be even worse.
    Miguel

    Ralph E. Yozzo, May 16, 1999

    Washington, DC (Dulles)

    I finally got around to viewing your airport access site firsthand. I have some update info for you regarding Dulles Airport.

    1) The last 2-3 miles of the Dulles Airport Access road, although limited access, is bike-legal. This is west of the route 28 interchange (route 28 is Sully Rd). East of this intersection, bikes are not legal.
    2) There is a feeder road which has recently been constructed which goes directly from near the long term blue lot to Old Ox Road (route 606) to the north of the airport. This is the preferred access route for bicycles as route 28/Sully Rd is very high speed (traffic in excess of 80mph at times)
    3) From 606, bikes can go several ways depending on where they are headed. To head west towards Leesburg and the Shenandoah Valley, go east on 606 and cross route 28. Continue for 0.2 miles and go left at the blinking light/Exxon station onto Shaw Rd. From this point go north on Shaw Rd, crossing Sterling Blvd in about a mile. Continue north on Shaw for another half mile and go RIGHT on Cedar Green Rd. This will bring you to a T at Church Rd in about 0.7 miles. Jog R/L over Church Rd onto Ruritan Lane. You will intersect the W & OD rail trail in 0.1 miles. LEFT on the W & OD is westbound, Right is eastbound. This location is just about mile 23.5 on the trail (0 is at the east end of the trail in Shirlington). More info on the W & OD and connections can be found at: http://blueridge.infomkt.ibm.com/bikes/text/Places/DC.trails.html
    4) Vans run very regularly between the three DC area airports (National, Dulles and BWI). Cost is typically $15-$20 for a seat on a 20ish passenger van. Bikes may or may not fit on these vans, but they are typically pretty empty.
    --
    SteveC@dev.infomkt.ibm.com Stephen M. Ciccarelli c/o IBM infoMarket
    Ben Scott SteveC Lindsey Corby Voice: 703-205-5628 Fax: 703-205-5706

    Stephen Ciccarelli, May 15, 1999

    Brompton

    I bought a Brompton because I wanted to cycle to work and be able to store the bike securely in my office. I probably bought that rather than one of the other respectable folders because of misplaced nationalistic feeling (it's British, I used to be). If you want a bike for dual mode commuting (bike/train/bike or something like that) it's probably the best choice. It folds very quickly and is probably the smallest package of any when folded (less than 2ft by 2ft by 1ft by an inch or so in each direction), so if your problem is that you have a very small space to put it in (light plane or boat) it's probably a good choice. It also has a very good capacity for carrying things although its approach to this problem is not mainstream.

    It isn't cheap--the model I would buy if starting again is the L5 (5-speed hub gears, no rear rack or lights)--costs about US$850. It isn't high performance, as it has a rather upright riding position and the gear range isn't huge. It can be noticeably improved by changing the stock tires to Primos. The one I have (a T5 with rack and lights) has a top gear of 82in and a bottom gear of 36in, which suits me fine for my not too hilly corner of the world. This range can be shifted up or down (91 in or 75inch top) with different options of chain/rear sprocket wheels, and a bolt on front derailleur is available at a price.

    But I like it very much. It gets used most days for my 4.5 mile commute, I use it regularly for a 19 mile round trip on Saturday nights, and we conquered New York in the 42 mile 5 boro tour recently with no ill effects (and we didn't disgrace ourselves in performance, either). It's the only bike I've got and I use it for the hell of it as well as ordinary commuting. I can't compare it to other bikes, though. I haven't ridden any.

    There are other good choices. The Birdy has a good reputation and almost certainly a better ride, but it doesn't fold as small. There are several Dahons to choose from that are probably decent. Bike Friday has a very interesting range of foldable and seperable bikes.

    A good place to start looking for information is http://www.a2bmagazine.demon.co.uk/

    which has links to most of the bikes you might want to consider, and includes a US price list.

    Be warned. According to all the reports I read when I was making this decision last year, it's a mistake to go for the cheap end of the range. And whatever you get will be a compromise between performance and folding. I think the Brompton is a very good compromise (I'm biased--I have to justify this expense to myself.)

    If this sounds like a Brompton commercial, it's only because I'm a happy customer.

    Richard Lighton, May 12, 1999

    Other Touring Links

  • 125 web pages dealing with budget travel.
  • A Touring Library
  • Cycling books, maps, videos, & magazines.
  • New Yawk City by bike
  • Raph's travel-by-cycle pages of bike touring -->
  • InfoHub
  • VeloNet
  • Links to information on touring world wide, from Denmark.
  • International Bicycle Fund
  • PennyWise Tours
  • http://www.flatearthbicycletrips.com Commercial tours in UK
  • cycling for fun and fitness
  • George Farnsworth, May 07, 1999

    Hampton Jitney

    I've done this a couple of times, your bike goes in the baggage bin under the bus. There's no padding, so it just lays on the metal floor. My bike survived with no damage, but you might want to bring something to use as a pad. Jitney also charges extra for a bike, I think it's $10

    Tony M Liford, May 05, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Plattekill, NY

    Plattekill Ski/bike rents bikes so long as you ride their center. not for beginners though...

    Yoyodog

    ConnArch, May 02, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Denver, CO

    Englewood Bicycle Shop, 303-781-1162. I just called them and they could have the proper frame size with advance notice.
    3546 S. Logan, right near Hampden and Broadway.

    Also try Wheat Ridge Cyclery 303-424-3221 Should have them available.

    Check out our Colorado rental condo at http://www.sni.net/~dfox

    Denver C. Fox, April 27, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Monkton, MD

    There's a store in Monkton, MD on the North Central Rail Trail that rents bikes. I think it is just called Bike Trails, or something basic.
    Good luck!
    Sarah

    SCG, April 25, 1999

    Bags vs. Boxes ... (a continuing debate)

    Just a comment on taking bicycles on aircraft. We did a tour last year from London, Ontario to Belize through Mexico.

    We used Air Ontario (Dash 8 aircraft) from London to Toronto, Air Canada (Airbus 320) from Toronto to Houston, and Continental (Boeing 737) Airlines from Houston to Cancun. There were six of us travelling at the same time.

    All of the bikes made the journey (at the same time, I might add). All of the bikes were intact with some minor adjustments required on one rear derailleur, and one rear wheel which was out of alignment. Four bikes were shipped using ordinary plastic bicycle bags provided by the airline, and two were shipped in bike boxes which were packed by bike shops. The bikes in the boxes were the ones that needed the adjustments. The ones in plastic arrived in fine shape (maybe the handlers could see what they were shipping, I don't know). Continental was great, they even notified us prior to departure from Houston that all of the bikes were in fact on the aircraft.

    Kevin

    Kevin Rodger, April 18, 1999

    Bike Rental -- Naples, Florida

    There is a bike shop by the Ritz Carlton that rents road bikes and has maps with a 28 mile route. It's been a few years so I'm not sure of the name or address but it was in a shopping center on the right hand side on the main street that leads to the Ritz Carlton.

    BZ, April 07, 1999

    Amtrak

    Wow -- what a fabulous site you have there!

    All I can add now is a quick bit regarding my experience on Amtrak. I used to take the Pioneer from Portland to Chicago on a regular basis. These cars (`Superliners') are apparently different than the ones used on their eastern corridor routes, and have a large public area just as you get inside specifically for carry-on baggage storage. I usually took all my baggage carry-on, including my bike in a regular bike box; in a dozen trips, no one once gave me a hard time about the insane amount I brought on.

    I also did fine checking the bike (boxed), although not all stops handle checked baggage.

    Note that Amtrak's bike boxes are generously sized, and appear to be designed for single bikes with the wheels on. With the wheels off, the boxes will take a tandem.

    regards,
    -henry

    Henry Throop, April 06, 1999

    Oklahoma Bicycle Society

    The Oklahoma Bicycle Society is a 600 member touring club that puts on four overnight tours and a week-long sagged tour each year. We also work with and link to the Oklahoma Department of Tourism to provide bicycling information to people who request it. Our URL is

    Oklahoma Bicycle Society, March 20, 1999

    Orlando, Florida

    Someone asked ... I need directions on how to ride out of Orlando, FL Airport.

    Wow! That is going to be a tough ride. Leave the airport heading north.  Take 436 (also known as Semoran Blvd) to SR 50.  Head east on 50 to the coast. Enroute to 50 you will pass a toll road (528 aka the Beeline) stay away from that road.  Once you start on 50 East you will see SR 520.  DON"T go on it.  That road has so many accidents it is called "Bloody 520".

    Once you ride 50 long enough ( don't know the mileage) you will cross the St. Johns river and Interstate 95.  Keep going and you will hit US 1 or US A1A (they parallel each other).  Turn north on US 1 and ride, you will get to Daytona eventually.

    The ride from the airport on 436 to 50 and the first 10 to 15 miles on 50 are going to be brutal and dangerous so be careful (I've heard that Orlando is one of the 4 worst cities for bikes.  Might be an urban legend though)

    Tim Willingham, March 14, 1999

    Greyhound

    Greyhound s_u_c_k_s!
    Ok, this isn't a nice title, but when you read was has happened to me with Greyhound, you maybe agree.
    First the good part of my trip: I had a fantastic 2.5 week bicycle tour in November from Fresno over Sequoia NP, Lake Isabella, Death Valley NP, Vegas, Zion NP to Bryce NP. ...[snip]

    Now the bad part:
    From Las Vegas to Zion NP you have no choice other than to take the 90 mile long Interstate where mostly there is not much to see. The best way might be to take the bus.
    At least I thought.
    In Vegas I called Greyhound for a trip to St. George. They told me that the trips costs 26$ and 16$ for the bike. But the bike has to be boxed. After asking for boxes they told me they have some for 10$. The trip you can take at 5.15am, 5.45am and then late again at 9pm. So far everything was OK.

    Nov, 20th.1997 After spending 2 nice days at Vegas I left tired my hotel at 3.30 in the morning and rode nearly 1 hour with lights to the terminal. I got quickly my ticket for me, but the ticket for the bike I shall get at the Info counter. Though there were working 8 or more people at the terminal no one seem to be responsible. After waiting 10 minutes I knocked at an open office door and got only a harsh answer to wait at the counter. After another 5 minutes of waiting I asked again (the bus was leaving in 30 minutes and the bike has still to be mounted apart) I asked again and earned only a angry look. I told that I need only a bike box and after asking them again 5 minutes later I got only the answer that they are out of boxes. "What should I do?", I asked. "Go to the ticket counter to another worker", they said. I got 5 or 6 rides on buses in the past in other countries and no time I needed a bike box. Even the suggestion with a ripped normal box on top of the bike was not helpful.
    At the ticket counter somebody was writing. After a minute he looked up and asked me what I want. I started to tell him about the box problem. Now the exact words of his answer: "Don't you see that I have some work here to do? I can only concentrate on one thing. You have to wait until I'm finshed!". Why this harsh answer, I asked myself. And he has asked me, what I want. He could have said that he just need some more seconds. After finishing the work I told him again of the box problem and that I have called them on the phone where they said that they have boxes. Now again his exact words: "That's not our problem. that's yours!" I got really angry.
    I can really not remember when some company treated his clients like this. I mean, when there is no chance, why are they not friendly? I met a lot of nice Americans on the rode but here they were totally unfriendly. Has it something to do with their clients which can not afford a airline ticket? Mostly poor people where hanging around waiting for their buses. But that doesn't mean to be unfriendly to someone.
    The worker told me also to get a box in town. At this time? (5am). I would lose one day. Instead In that time I could nearly ride the whole Interstate. But that was something I don't want to do. So what? Better riding one day beside trucks and saving 46$. I said no and that I want my money back.
    "You have to go to the ticket counter."

    Now the best part of all: At the ticket counter they said: "For a refund there is a 15% charge!" I could not believe it. Now I was really angry. Was that now my fault or theirs?
    "I want to speak to the supervisor!", I said. "Yes, there is a 15% charge!", the supervisor said. I told him of my telephone call. He smelled blood or so and asked me if this was a standard 1-800 call to the states service center. "No, the call was just right to this terminal", I said.
    And I said that I will a make a note on the internet with the title above. I was so angry about these unfriendly people. I can say to you only this:

    WHENEVER POSSIBLE, DON'T TAKE GREYHOUND!
    Before I have had only good experiences with other bus organisations in other countries. But this was really sad.

    How was it going on? I was standing at 5am on the rode in the darkness, downtown, still tired. The hotel was closed for me of course. So I waited 1 hour in the centre for the sun coming up and started on the Interstate for riding out of town. After having met so many nice people and having had a great time so far my mood was really down. Maybe out of town I should try for getting a lift, I thought. Out there there was much less traffic, but I waited only 5 (five!) minutes for a pick up. It was Joe from Phoenix driving to Mesquite, just 35 miles before St. George. Great!!!! And my mood was becoming much better. He was a really nice person and after having all this shit this morning I was feeling really good again. We talked a lot and the time to Mosquite was very short. He got a business meeting there. If I want to wait 1 or 2hours he can me drive further to the turnoff to Zion, 40 miles ahaead, he said. Yes, I like to do that!!. And the waiting was really short, because I was so tired that I slept in the truck till he was coming back... So I arrived at midday on the rode to Zion which I reached in the evening. The end of my trip was going on well again and I must say that I have had a good time on my trip in this fantastic landscape with it's nice and friendly people (mostly).

    Comments welcome, Christopher

    chris melton, March 09, 1999

    Chicago, Illinois (O'Hare)

    An anecdote:

    Last September, I wrote to the City of Chicago bike office to get a route in and out of O'Hare.

    No answer. No answer. Then I saw one of your posts and checked your site out.

    In January, the bike office apologized for the delay, and said if I sent them my fax number they would fax me some directions. I sent them my fax # by e-mail, along with your directions (citing the source!), in case they would be useful.

    They faxed me the directions off your site, having obviously gotten them earlier, and thanked me for my alternative.

    Will they notice they are exactly the same in another 5 months?

    Mike, March 01, 1999

    Amtrak -- Chicago to Kansas City

    At least since last year, since I used it on my aborted cross plains ride (http://www.netpath.net/~veloman/trip1998.html).

    However, be forewarned that the carrying method used on this train is pretty primitive. It's a series of large, flat shelves on which you lay your bike on its side. There didn't appear to be any way to "tie down" the bike, but I guess it didn't slide around too much.

    Didn't bother me any, but if you're ultra-sensitive about your bike, you might not like this. Me? I'm just glad they have some sort of roll-on service, and I'll take what I can get.

    Cheers!
    Chuck

    Chuck Tharp, January 26, 1999

    Amtrak -- Chicago to Kansas City

    Don't know when they put this service in place but they now have it on the Ann Rutledge lines between Chicago and Kansas City. You can now ride the KATY Trail and use AMTRAK for return. These are their lines numbered 301-301-104 & 306.
    Great news,
    Jim

    Jim Foreman, January 25, 1999

    VIA (Canadian Railroad)

    About six or seven years ago, my brother and I took the VIA Train from Jasper to Vancouver. We had cycled to Jasper from Montana. When we arrived at the Jasper Station, we went to purchase a ticket on the next train. The ticket agent was extremely rude. She gave me a tongue lashing for not having a reservation. I was perplexed as the train was not three quarters full. VIA charged us to transport our bicycles and we were told to go to the baggage car where a baggage car worker would load our bicycles on to the train.

    Well, there was no baggage car worker! We finally got up into the baggage car ourselves and managed to tie up our bicycles securely. Hell, I could have taken half the bags off the car as there was no security at all. The trip to Vancouver was another matter. The VIA Rail employees were useless and to make matters worst, they were rude. A number of them referred to some Japanese students as "the gooks". It was unbelievable! I am surprised that VIA Rail is still in business after my experience.

    Thomas Martin, January 22, 1999

    Bike Transport in Latin America

    United Airlines to Brazil

    My wife and I flew United Airlines Seattle - Chicago - Sao Paulo, connecting to a Varig flight to Curitiba on Dec 25-26 1998. When we purchased tickets in July, we verified with United that there was no bicycle charge on international flights. When we got to the gate, we were hit with $60 per bike (including the Varig segment). The agent was helpful, but talking with her supervisor and a Varig representative did not remove the charge. She claimed that the policy on charging for bikes on international flights had gone into effect in April, that all airlines were doing it, and that it applies to all destinations except Japan. United provided boxes at no additional charge. I got the impression that there might be more flexibility in the charge if we didn't have the segment on Varig. It is not true that all airlines charge, since our flight to Ireland on British Air / Air Lingus in August 1998 had no bike charge. When we arrived in Sao Paulo, we had to reclaim our bikes to go through customs and baggage inspection. Then we needed to take the bikes to Varig to check in. The 2.5 hours between flights was about the right length of time.

    Our return flight was from Florianopolis to Sao Paulo on TAM, then United to Seattle. The people at TAM were great. One of the check-in workers was a former Brazilian cycling champion who spoke good English. They were all impressed that we had cycled in Brazil and we were invited to use the VIP lounge and introduced to the pilot when we boarded . We checked in the bikes unboxed with no charge. We were not charged the usual $8 domestic Brazilian airport tax. However, they could only check the bikes to Sao Paulo, not through to Seattle.

    We had an hour and 45 minutes between flights, but we arrived in Sao Paulo half an hour late. We had to reclaim our bikes and find the United counter. By the time we got there it was about 30 minutes before departure. There was a huge check-in line, but we got express treatment. The agent initially told us that bicycles could not go as baggage. We said that we had flown them down on United. They accepted the bikes without boxes or payment, but said they might arrive the next day. We ran for the gate, but hit a huge line for passport control and missed the flight. We did get onto another flight that stopped in Miami. Our bikes made it home a day after we did, delivered by United. They had been put into boxes in Miami. One checked bike pannier also arrived the next day. I had packed my helmet in the top of it and it had gotten smashed. When I called United's toll free baggage number, they said that they were not responsible for damage to contents. I went to the Seattle airport and talked with an agent who gave me $25 for the helmet.

    Tyler Folsom, January 15, 1999

    San Diego, California

    The ferry to Coronado Island from San Diego doesn't charge for bikes.

    Andrew Schwartz, January 06, 1999

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    We are the Oklahoma Bicycle Society and our URL is www.icon.net/~jwente We are a touring club of around 700 members and in addition to about a dozen weekly rides, we have three overnight tours and one week-long tour each year.

    Thanks for adding us.
    Jim

    Jim Foreman, December 10, 1998

    Amtrak

    As of October 26th, 1998 (schedule change) Amtrak's Ethan Allen (NY-Albany-Rutland) and the Adirondak (NY-Albany-Montreal) join the Vermonter (DC-NY-Springfield-WRJ-St.Albans) in offering bicycle cars that carry unboxed bikes to ALL station stops!

    These bicycle cars reportedly were in service on Labor Day of 1998 for the fall foliage tours. Between these two train routes - several ferries cross Lake Champlain offering numerous places to begin or end a trip on the Lake Champlain Bikeway.

    Note that I try to keep a list of public transit operators that offer bike racks in NH, VT & ME on a special page of my Public Transit Web Site. That site also contains detailed schedules (that are not always current). 🙁

    Of course Rail-trails offer a delightfully traffic-free route of travel - where you can find them and thus my Rail-trail Web Page tries to provide detailed information about each such Rail-trail (when the sponsoring agency is willing to part with this precious information)!

    Kenyon F. Karl, December 10, 1998

    Delta Airlines

    In the summer of 1998, I took a tour of Southern Colorado, starting in Durango, supported by VBT. The VBT travel agent told me it would be $60 to ship my bike each leg of the trip. My itinerary was Cleveland to Cincinnati to Denver via Delta then Denver to Durango via United. When checking in at the Cleveland airport, I was informed that it would be $60 (for Delta) plus $50 for United. A total of $110!!!

    When I returned, however, the agent at Durango only charged $50 (for United) and ignored any charge for Delta.

    Moral: watch those interline transfers.

    Tom Jenkins, November 12, 1998

    Amtrak -- St. Louis <--> Sedalia

    Our recent experience with Amtrak's St. Louis to Sedalia train was very positive. We loaded the unboxed bikes in a passenger car and simply leaned them against the wall. We did not turn bars, remove pedals,... The Amtrak workers were helpful and it made the logistics for riding the length of the Katy Trail trip much simpler. We would suggest the trip to others.

    We did make reservations for the bikes and the cost was minor.

    Daniel C. Flowers, October 26, 1998

    Baltimore/Washington Airport (BWI)

    Q: When is a bike trail not a bike trail?
    A: When it can't decide if it's open.

    Today, I discovered that you are supposed to be able to bike around Baltimore-Washington International Airport on a trail. The trail, which extends the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail north to the light rail station in Linthicum, was supposed to have a loop around the airport opened this summer.

    It has fallen behind schedule. Parts are still under construction, parts are open -- but not contiguous parts. And parts are finished but closed. And still other parts are closed or open, depending on which way you start. Item: I rode south on the trail segment that goes through the equestrian center in Linthicum. When I reached the road on the edge of the airport, I found cans with a sign saying "CLOSED." Funny, but there was no such sign on the other end.

    The trail should be great when completed. But it's quite confusing now.

    Rlesnik, October 09, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Poconos, PA

    There are two shops in the Poconos that will rent you a bike:

    Vitulli's 717-424-1163
    The Loft 717-629-2627

    The towns they are in are E. Stroudsburg and Tannersville respectivly.

    Thanks for putting togther the list... It took me forever to find info on bike shops that rent but once I found your page I was able to find just what I was looking for. Me and my wife are heading to Pheonix, AZ next week for a mountain bike trip to Moab, Flagstaff and the GC. I just found that my frame has a small crack in it and was desperately tring to locate a rental shop.

    Take care and thanks again for the site!

    Joe C.

    Joe Chapman , October 08, 1998

    Bike Rental -- San Francisco

    I rented from Blazing Saddles in July when I was visiting. The basic MB was a Rockhopper, equipped with bike bag, toolkit, lock, rack and bungee cords. There was a basic cyclocomputer (the "computer" you mentioned) and a nifty little map they have created showing some basic routes. We took our bikes right on a ferry to Angel Island and biked around the island all day (my friend refused to ride a bike where there was even the remotest possibility of even a single car to scare her, so that was our compromise). I recommend the ride from Fisherman's Wharf along the water, ending up over the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. Blazing Saddles has a map for that too!

    Rlesnik, September 02, 1998

    Amtrak

    I have two other Amtrak experiences from earlier this year, on the Piedmont train that runs from Raleigh, NC to Charlotte, NC. This train also allows unboxed bikes. If you're interested, they're at http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/9381/trip1998a.html and ... trip1998b.html .

    The first trip was uneventful, as we handed our bikes to attendants in the baggage car, and didn't see them again until they were returned to us at our destination. Couldn't be easier.

    But the second trip was much more interesting, as the train didn't have a baggage car. Check out http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/9381/bikes-on-train.jpg .

    Thanks for keeping your access site!
    Chuck

    Chuck Tharp, August 22, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Los Angeles

    Cycle Scene in Brentwood 310 571-1177 will rent bikes, ask for Ziva or Brian. For a ride you can leave the shop and go down San Vincente to the coast. North to Malibu and south to Venice. On the weekends we meet there around 12 to 1 and either do a road ride or a dirt ride.

    Sherry Katz, August 17, 1998

    UPS

    Just got back from riding 200 miles of the Great Divide Ride.

    Went with 5 other fellows, but since we flew into Kalispell and I didn't know when, if ever, I'd be in that area again, I flew out 2 days early to ride into Glacier National Park.

    I used Adventure cycling's deal to fly my bike free from Hartford, CT to Kalispell, MT.

    Flight was to arrive at 1, but was delayed one hour. Still I had the bike assembled in about 20 minutes and was on the road by 3 pm. No problems.

    Everyone else used UPS.

    Four of the other 5 bikes arrived fine on Monday, they flew in on Tuesday and we were to begin riding on Wednesday.

    Except one of the bikes didn't arrive till Friday!

    It was shipped to Minnesota instead of Montana. My friend assumed he'd goofed on the Zip code or something. But the zip code was entered correctly. Apparently someone at UPS just goofed.

    My friend wasn't as aggressive as I would have been.

    I wanted to get on the phone and point out that I frequently use their next day letter service. If I get it to UPS by 6pm in a small VT town, they can get it anywhere in the US by 10:30 am the next day. I would have DEMANDED that they ship the bike to me by air IMMEDIATELY.

    Anyway, I was very pleased with the airline's service, but very disappointed with UPS's performance.

    They've offered to refund his shipping fee, I've told him to send them the receipt for the bike he rented and demand that they reimburse him for that amount.
    [ more on airline snipped - GF ]
    Bob Immler

    Bob Immler, August 17, 1998

    Amtrak

    Thanks for posting my message on your web site. I would only like to add that Amtrak's other intra-California routes (besides the San Diego-Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo San Diegans) also use "California Car" equipment, which has bike racks on the lower level of most coaches; bikes my be carried aboard unboxed and ready to roll. These routes are the Capitals (San Jose-Oakland-Sacramento-Colfax) and the San Joaquins (Oakland-Martinez-Stockton-Merced-Bakersfield, with bus connection to L.A.).

    Bicycles may also be stored unboxed in the luggage bin under San Francisco-Emeryville Amtrak Thruway buses which connect with the San Joaquins and Capitals. This service is not available on other Thruway buses in California.

    Regards, HaRRy, San Diego

    Harry Sutton, August 11, 1998

    Carry-on Bikes

    Four trips to Europe (one this past weekend to Helsinki), four to Asia, and countless Chicago - L.A. trips, and never a charge, here's how:

    Put the wheels and other light but awkward stuff (rear rack / floor pump) in a frame box with a hand (inspection) hole large enough to see that there is in fact no frame in there. Check this box at the gate for free. It's important that it's so light that there is obviously no bike in there. (right now I'm in the process of making a wheel carrier that crumples up and can fit in my panniers.)

    Place bars, fork, components etc... in a carry-on bag. Only things left on the frame are the front derr, bottom bracket, and bottle cages. My Trek OCLV w/ dura ace only needs 3,5, and 6mm hex keys, a crank extractor, and a pair of vice grips to disassemble this far. Taya chains kick butt. Total assembly time is usually 18-25 minutes. I do it right there in the airport. (assemble the bike, that is)

    My frames (56cm road) have fit in every overhead compartment except one (a charter version of an L-1011. These fine folks at now defunct Rich Air placed my frame with the garment bags. Their baggage handler refused to gate check a carbon frame) Sometimes you have to hold the frame up as you close the bin most of the way, and then simultaneously remove hand/close bin.

    The frame fits nicely in a 30 gal Hefty Steel Sack, and with the straps around your shoulder you don't lose use of a hand. Not to mention it camouflages the bike - they usually ask me if they can hang my coat as I board the plane.

    As a final note, I always clean the frame thoroughly. On the occasions when airline personnel have asked, "What's in the bag," I suspect that they might have hassled me if they saw a mud / grease encrusted frame.

    Ride on,

    Bob Maher

    Bob Maher, July 15, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Northern Virginia

    Under "Rental Bikes Around the World" it would be appreciated if you will list a bike shop under the heading "Northern Virginia." They are close to us and have 10 or 12 good hybrid bikes that can be used either on the C & O Trail (no paving) or on the W & OD Trail (paved).

    The bike shop is owned by Craig & John DuBois and is called Bicycle Outfitters, 19 Catoctin Cir., NE, Leesburg, VA 20176-3100. Phone: 703.777.6126.

    The W&OD Trail is 200 yards from our B & B and we run a shuttle service for our guests to the C&O Trail. It isn't that far, five miles, but there is a bad stretch of highway (Rt. 15) north of Leesburg on the way to Whites Ferry where we pick up and deliver folks on the C&O.

    Let me know if there are any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Pam & Don McMurray
    The Norris House Inn
    108 Loudoun St., SW, Leesburg, VA 20175-2909
    Web site: http://norrishouse.com
    E-mail: don@norrishouse.com
    Tel.: 703.777.1806 Fax: (703) 771-8051

    George Farnsworth, July 14, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Cleveland, OH

    In the Cleveland Ohio area we have an LBS - Century Cycle, that also rents by the hour or day. - They are located in Penninsula.

    Ronney Black, July 10, 1998

    UPS

    I used UPS to ship my bike from Chicago to Colorado and back for Ride the Rockies this year (1998). The box suffered some abuse, but all of the contents arrived with no damage. The tracking via the UPS website was convenient as well...about 4 days out, 4 days back.

    Chris Love, July 06, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Maui, Hawaii

    I rented a road bike from West Maui Cycles in Lahaina in March of 97. Good shop, knowledgeable folks, reasonable rates (seems to me it was around $10/day for a Cannondale with STI). Although the majority of their business seemed to be mountain bikes, I'm afraid I didn't pay much attention to their MTB selection.

    Roald Oines, June 30, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Dubuque, Iowa

    You might try one of the few bike shops in the area. I personally like Free Flight 582-4500 or Bike Shack 582-4381

    Enjoy the trail and check out the emus about half way though at Graf.

    Mattdalt, June 29, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale, AZ

    There is a small bike rental place near my house. They rent mountain bikes roller blades and a few road bikes and cater to tourists. They probably have about 200 bikes for rent, but tourism is slow around here during the summer months. They are closed on Thursday during the summer.

    Wheels 'N Gear
    7607 E Mc Dowell Rd
    SCOTTSDALE AZ 85257-3603
    (602) 945-2881
    Tempe Bike Shop
    330 W. University Dr.
    Tempe, Arizona 85281
    (602) 966-6896 phone
    (602) 894-0714 fax
    E-mail: tempebike@tempebicycle.com
    The Tempe bike shop is the biggest bike shop in this area and I think that they rent bikes.
    If you want more info email me nmonsey@uswest.net
    I should be able to help you out. Noah Monsey, June 21, 1998

    Bike Rental -- San Francisco

    I was in San Francisco last fall and rented a cross bike to explore the waterfront around fisherman's wharf. There is a place called Blazing Saddles right along the pier that rents mountain, cross, and tandem bikes by the hour or by the day. They provide you with a bike, lock, and a map of different routes. The place is easy to find, just take a cable car down the wharf and enjoy.

    See: http://www.citysearch7.com/E/V/SFOCA/0003/15/31/13.html for more info

    Mike Blubaugh

    Edward Diller, June 08, 1998

    Bike Rental -- Hudson, NY

    This is NOT a commercial! I just concluded a short but letter-perfect bike rental from Steiner's Sports 518-828-5063 in Hudson, New York, a couple of hours north of "the city." This would be a "town that time forgot," except that Amtrak remembered; i.e., it's a stop on the "Montrealer," and is actually a beautiful (train) ride up the Hudson (the bank, of course, but right at riverside). But the fun starts when one picks up (as I did) a brand new Cannondale at a more than competitive price, with help that is knowledgable & courteous to ride roads of almost any difficulty level (well, the Alps they're not); seriously, the Catskill Mtns can challenge; ditto, the Berkshires in the 30 mile away range. At more modest levels of difficulty, there are routes in Ulster County that work for the seriously out of shape... and everywhere in between.

    Rlesnik, June 01, 1998

    Washington, DC -- trails

    Hi, George, I found your site and would appreciate your listing us. We are the Tri-state Bike Trail group and we produce a Bike Trail planner for three (soon four) major trails: The 184 mile C & O Trail along the Potomac River from Gerogetown in Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Md., the 20 mile Mount Vernon Trail from Arlington, Va. to Mount Vernon, Va., and the 45 mile W & OD Trail from Alexandria, Va. to Purcellville, Va. Soon we'll add the Pittsburgh, Penn. to Cumberland, Md. Trail (to be called the Great Allegheny (GH) Trail, I think) in western Pennsylvania. It will tie-in to the C & O Trail in Cumberland creating a 360 mile trail network.

    The current Bike Trail planner lists thirty-three B & B's by mile post along the trails, directions from the trail to the B & B, and three connector routes between the above trails. The planner can be downloaded FREE from the bike pages of our web site (http://norrishouse.com) or a printed version can be ordered for $1.00. When the GH Trail is added, another eighteen B & B's along the trail will be included in the planner.

    Please let us know if there are any questions. We look forward to having you list us.

    Pam & Don McMurray
    The Norris House Inn
    108 Loudoun St., SW, Leesburg, VA 20175-2909
    Web site: http://norrishouse.com
    E-mail: don@norrishouse.com
    Tel.: 703.777.1806 Fax: (703) 771-8051

    Don McMurray, May 23, 1998

    Amtrak -- Vermonter (Scratched)

    I just found your nice report the roll on bike access on the Vermonter.

    I thought you might enjoy seeing a photo of the bicycle accommodations that is posted at http://www.biketrack.com/amtrak.htm [Manufacturer of these and other racks - GF]

    Gerry Hawkes, March 24, 1998

    Tandeming on Amtrak

    Route: Buffalo NY to Chicago to Normal IL. Station personnel in Buffalo very helpful, sold me 2 boxes which I taped together (they even provided some tape). Due to baggage train schedules to Normal, had to go back to station that eveing to pick up the box. The biggest hassle with Amtrak is finding baggage handling stations & trains.

    PS. Used Depew Station in Buffalo, east of downtown. Very easy to bike in and out of.

    Ron Matuska, March 24, 1998

    Bike Box Storage

    On the subject of storing bikes at hotels, I have also found that booking both the first and last night of the trip works well. I have had the following experiences with storing bike boxes at hotels:

    1) In Vienna, not only did they keep the bike boxes for us, but they stored them upstairs, in a hallway, behind a door. They also kept our suitcases for us in the office.

    2) In London, the B&B kept the bike boxes in a shed in the back yard. They also picked us up at the airport and took us back there at the end of the trip. No charge for the transportation.

    3) In Maine, they kept the bike boxes in the back yard for us.

    4) In Seattle, they kept the boxes in the garage. Same in Portland.

    The problem, we have found, is getting to the hotel or B&B from the airport easily and inexpensively. Sometimes the airports are really far from the city, and using a van-type taxi can be expensive. In Seattle, it was about $40, one way. (That was with airline-sized boxes; now we have smaller, hard-shell bike cases that will fit in a station wagon.)

    ... Andy

    Andrew Schwartz, February 28, 1998

    Amtrak

    My (relatively) long wheelbase BLT, including a Bruce Gordon front rack, fits Amtrak boxes just fine. Last time I used one they charged me $10 for it, however.

    Dan Phillips
    ACA trip leader and route researcher
    Associate Professor of Music
    Southern Illinois University

    Dan Phillips, February 21, 1998

    Amtrak -- Tandems

    You might have to remove the handle bars and turn the forks around. At least, my Santana 21" x 19" tandem fits. I still use two boxes and put the wheels and other stuff in the second box. However, AMTRAK has changed it's policy and will now take tandems but you might want to check out their "official" policy and be prepared to quote page and paragraph to the ticket agents. The old policy was "no tandems", period. It's a good idea to call in advance to see what their response to your request will be. I've found them to be very cooperative if the shipping and recieving stations are equiped to handle this type of "luggage". Good luck.

    Dave Ogilvie, My AirGlide goes everywhere I go
    San Jose, California, Dave

    Dave Ogilvie, February 21, 1998

    Amtrak -- Tandems

    On a related note, the Amtrak San Diegans will accept *unboxed* bikes. Does anyone know if there's a limited number of bikes these can handle, and if they will take tandems?

      Brian DeSousa                                __O            _~O _O  Orange, California, USA                      \,            \;-\,  http://alum.wpi.edu/~desousa/             (*)/(*)        (*)/---/(*)
    Brian DeSousa, February 21, 1998

    Miami, Florida

    I just completed a tour from Ft Lauderdale to Key West (Jan 1-5) and wrote an article about it. Can send it later this weekend. My approach was to stay as close to the ocean as possible. However, I did take the paved path that runs under the Miami Metro out to 67th St & then Ludlam Rd south. Must get to work now but happy to chat with you about my experiences. BTW, starting from Ft. Lauderdale was a great choice.

    Regards from the Canton (NY) Bicycle Club

    Dale Lally, VP
    CBC

    Dale V Lally Jr, February 12, 1998

    Amtrak -- Indianapolis, Chicago

    Monday December 1, 1997 I started out on a bike trip by train to Chicago Ill. I made reservations by telephone with a very helpful agent at Amtrak for a two day trip to Chicago with the bike. She sold me a round trip ticket for $37 and $30 for the bike. At Indianapolis I boarded in the morning at around 6AM and as the Cardinal coach car did not have a rack which the attendent was not happy about we placed it in the bottom of the car next to a center rail and I used my "U" lock to hold it upright. The train ride was nice and I was able to get an nice breakfast in the dining car. At Chicago the train people made sure I got off ok and as I wheeled the bike through Chicago Union Station I got some odd looks but the only problem was dragging the bike up the steps in the main hall as I never took time to find the handicap ramp. I then spent a wonderful day in Chicago pedaling some of the neatest routes and shopping at Marshall Fields.

    I stayed the night at the Brompton Inn (found on the Internet!) and they were glad to let me put the bike in my room. As a side note I stopped by CycleSmitty and bought some antique bike parts from the owner who was very nice and hospitable. The next day I went north a ways on the lakefront bikepath and then went down to Navy Pier. The north bike path is nothing special when it is cold. The Navy Pier is quite something.

    Close to dusk I pedaled over to Union Station and as I was pushing my bike in the Amatrak or local law enforcement man asked what I was doing with the bike which I replied that it had a ticket and I was headed back home to Indianapolis. He went on his way. The train was not due to leave untill 7 but I was cold and it was getting dark out. I am glad I got there early as I made friends with the gate attendant and as a result he made sure I got on the train early. The train back to Indianapolis did not have any rack, rail or holding device for the bike again much to the conductors dismay.

    He said it would be OK to just lay the bike down on the floor in the lower handicap seating area where there was a place for it. I got plenty of sleep on the way back and the Amtrak people really worked at keeping it quiet after hours so people could sleep. All in all the Amtrak people realllllllllly were nice to me and made a real effort to work with the situation.

    Now the bike. I use an old Schwinn Racer for commuting an so I took it to Chicago. It has been converted to a Shinamo 7 speed internal hub. I have the smaller front Wald basket and a rear rack. This bike was perfect for the planned adventure. I wish I had taken several more bungie cords and a better back pack. Also I removed my winky light from the rear fender mostly so it wouldnt get broken by the people moving around my bike in the train station! I just might do this whole thing again as it was pretty neat! More people should try the Amtrak bike-rail program. My only wish is that there were more trains!

    Ronald P. Cooper, December 02, 1997

    Northern California Airport Access

    I publish Krebs Cycle Products bicycle maps. Our maps show access to San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Carlos, Livermore, Watsonville, Monterey, Stockton, Eureka and Reid-Hillview(San Jose small planes)airports and I'm sure quite a few others I'm not thinking of off hand. You may check our web site at http://www2.cruzio.com/~krebsmap/index.htm.
    E-mail me and I'll send you a flyer by USMail. Thanks!

    Richard James, November 20, 1997

    American Airlines

    On a recent trip to France we made a special request to our travel agent to have our bikes travel with us at no additional charge. He was able to book a rate of approx $750. We retrieved boxes from the local bike store and packed them fairly tight adding some additional cardboard and packing our sleeping bags and pads around the bike. We arrived about 3 hours early to check through. There were no problems or questions about the weight and size at BWI.

    When we arrived in Paris we were directed to a special door where large packages are delivered and our boxes were there. One was in good condition with a few small tears and the other looked as though it had been through a small war - several large tears and the top shoved down. Fortunately nothing was damaged which may be due in part to the additional padding.

    On the way home 6 weeks later we followed the same routing of checking into Orly about 3 hours early and had no problems. This time we were using bike boxes purchased from the airlines at $20 each. The boxes were larger and so we dumped more gear in with the bikes. When we received the boxes at BWI they were pretty banged up - torn, bent, tape missing and large openings. Nothing was missing or damaged but we were fortunate. Part of the problem may have been due to the additional weight. Overall, once the bikes were at the airport, that part of the trip for the bikes was OK with American.

    Pat and Lloyd Wheeler, November 05, 1997

    Bike Rental -- San Francisco

    Hi George,
    I noticed that you have Blazing Saddles linked to your website and wanted to recommend that you link American Rentals as well. Why? Because American Rentals is located right on the bike path to The Golden Gate Bridge! And because our bikes are top quality! Etc! Check out our website http://www.americanrental.com and hopefully you will link us!
    Thanks,
    Kimberly
    American Rentals
    San Francisco

    Martin Krieg, October 15, 1997

    Greyhound

    I think the $10 fee applies if you buy the box from Greyhound. The first time I shipped my bike (Chicago-Madison WI and back), I paid for their box. The next time, though, over the same route, I rented a Trico case from my bike club and they accepted that as one of my two free pieces of checked baggage; no additional fee. (The ticket agent did want to get the thing weighed to see if it was over the 60lb free limit, but the guy on the dock said "Bike? Its under 60 lb, dont sweat it".)

    Don Piven -- If someone says "jersey" and you DON'T think of cows or turnpikes ... you might be a cyclist.

    Don Piven, September 26, 1997

    Greyhound

    I traveled from Missouri to Oregon via Greyhound to begin a Trans America on a Ryan Vanguard Aug 13. This was, unfortunately, the same time as the UPS
    strike. Not only were the buses full of baggage but, for some unknown reason, were also overloaded with passengers. I had the Ryan in 2 separate boxes and the
    box with the frame was over-sized. It apparently required a separate cargo compartment all to itself. I found out during the trip I should have been charged an
    additional $15 for the oversized box. In Denver, I watched as a baggage handler failed to find an empty compartment for the boxes. As he wheeled them back into
    the Greyhound storage area, he assured me they would be on the next bus to my destination. I worried about them all the way to Eugene, Oregon and two days
    after I arrived at Eugene, they finally arrived. Hopefully you won't have the troubles I experienced, but I strongly suggest you pay for extra insurance against loss (or
    theft). I didn't and suffered much worry because of it. Good luck.


    Don J.

    Goin' there, Doin' that.

    Don J, September 26, 1997

    Chicago, Illinois (O'Hare)








    Getting into O'Hare: Getting out of O'Hare:

    Approach the airport traveling south on Manheimm Road, from Higgins Road. Although Manheimm is a large north-south route, the approach from Higgins, north of the airport, is suggested because Manheimm isn't very 'bicycle friendly' and this approach minimizes the time spent riding on Manheimm.


    Just a few blocks south of Higgins is Zemke Blvd, on your right or west. This goes a very short distance, to Bessie Coleman Drive.
    Turn left on Bessie Coleman Drive.


    Down this road, on the right, you see an entrance to a "Commercial Vehicle Staging Area" which is where the taxis enter, and wait, to
    be allowed into the airport. Go into this area; you'll need to ride through a gatekeeping system which allows the cabs through. You get a lot of strange stares and comments, but nobody will stop you.


    You'll be on a very wide one-lane ramp, reserved for the taxis. There is a low speed limit, mostly ignored but not by much. Riding on the right, on the wide shoulder, there is plenty of room. This road will take you to the lower level of O'Hare, right by the United Terminal.



    Bob Kastigar, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers


    IBEW Local 1220 | Chicago, IL USA | BBS phone (773) 693-1223


    This is somewhat more difficult.


    Follow the road or sidewalk all the way around to the end of the last terminal. At this point the cars are directed to re-enter the
    expressway system to Chicago. You could take this and ride the shoulder, but somewhat safer is a road to your right at this junction, through a small parking lot, that leads to the heating and air conditioning plant for O'Hare. Take this road, and follow it until it ends at another street, directly across from a Chicago Firehouse. Turn left, go a short distance to a stop sign for the expressway.


    You will need to ride on what amounts to the expressway shoulder for a 1/2-mile, until you come to a ramp that says "Terminal 5" and
    "Long Term Parking Area." Take this ramp.


    This will lead you onto a wide two lane (but no shoulder) road and eventually you will come to a traffic light. This is Bessie Coleman Drive. You will need to make a left-turn at the light. Stay on this road, past the long-term lots, and eventually you'll be back on Manheimm Road again.


    Taking a left on Manheimm will lead you back to Higgins. Again, I'm suggesting this route, even if your eventual start or destination is south. Higgins Road is still busy, but a wide road, and runs diagonal into the city. With any reasonable city map you ought to be able to find the intersection of Higgins and Manheimm and can plan your route to this point accordingly.


    Good luck.

    Bob Kastigar, September 06, 1997

    Chicago, Illinois (O'Hare)

    A short distance south of Zemke on the east side of Coleman is the entry to the Kiss-and-Fly area (also used by the shuttle buses from lot F to get to their stop near the end of the ATS). You can enter the Kiss-and-Fly area and then -- though I don't know whether people are allowed to take bicycles onto the ATS -- try taking your bicycle with you on the ATS to get to the terminals. There are elevators at all changes of level, so you don't need to carry your bicycle on stairways or escalators (that is, if people are allowed to
    carry bicycles on the ATS).


    I suppose that you could lock your bicycle near the ATS station in lot E instead of taking it along on the ATS, but there is some risk of theft, as has been discussed here.

    David Tamkin, September 06, 1997

    Ground Transportation

    When we arrived at the Seattle airport a few years back, some of had had to take a shuttle since the ferry we wanted to take (Mukilteo) was about 60 miles away. I think 3 riders took the Shuttle and they had to charter the whole van. My vague recollection was that they charged a flat fee for all 3.

    The cost divided by 3 is not too bad. If shouldered by one person, a bit too steep. The best way is probably to ask somebody local to call around. If anybody's going to San Francisco, we'll be more than happy to call around for rates.

    J Gaerlan - Gaerlan Custom Cycles
    "home of travel bikes & bike travels"
    (415)362-3866: (415)677-8943 fax
    http://members.aol.com/Gaerlan123/bike.html

    J. Gaerlan, August 19, 1997

    Ground Transportation

    I wanted to get an opinion on what happened here in Seattle with Super Shuttle (or Shuttle Express). A guest was needing a shuttle to the airport and, having just completed a coast-to-coast ride, had his bike in a box. He called Super Shuttle and was informed that without the bike, the cost would be $21 (or so), but with the bike, it would cost $52!! I called them to find out why (he's Swiss and wasn't confident with his English), and they said if you travel with a bike box, you have to charter the whole van because the bike goes under the seat and other people might step on it. I told them never mind, and called Yellow Checkered Shuttle. Their cost was $28 with an additional $3 charge for the bike. What's the difference? Maybe SS got sued or something? Any thoughts/ similar experiences? TIA.

    Laura

    Laura Houston, August 19, 1997

    Ground Transportation

    Almost the same in Boston, MA. I get charged an extra $15 to take the bike aboard, the reasoning? It takes up so much cargo space that it cuts down on the # of passengers they can take.

    Greg Przybyl

    Gregory Przybyl, August 19, 1997

    Ground Transportation

    I took Super Shuttle from Seattle/Tacoma to Redmond and back as well as from San Francisco airport to Palo Alto. I didn't have any problem and did not have to pay extra. Any regular size bike (at least my Bianchi Volpe) can fit in the back of the van.

    Serdar

    Serdar Dinc, August 19, 1997

    Amtrak -- Chicago

    As of August 1, 1997, Amtrak is offering a "demonstration project" of roll-on bicycle access on the "Cardinal" trains and between D.C. and Chicago. This is one of the most scenic rail routes in the country, passing through West Virginia's New River Gorge, the Ohio River in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, and the Potomac River in Virginia. Reservations are currently required and there is a $15 fee (provisions that the League is working to change); schedule and service information is available by calling (800) USA-RAIL (or at www.amtrak.com).

    This progress is, in large part, due to pressure brought by the League, with the support of U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Congressman Oberstar (D-MN), upon Amtrak's leadership. The League's expectation is for far more service throughout the Amtrak system in the future.

    QUESTIONS? (202) 462-8376 (or email).

    LAB, July 28, 1997

    Portland, Oregon

    Laura and Jonathan Einbinder wrote:
    > 2. Is it hard to ride out of the Portland airport?

    > 3. What is the best way to get from Portland to the coast? Bike (95 miles) or rent a car...? I would hate to spend 2 days (out of 7 or 8 total riding) on an unremarkable highway. The Bikecentennial map does give an alternate route (Highway 26) through the Cascades to the coast.

    > 4. How do we get back to Portland (or other large airport city) if we bike down the coast? Car? train? bus?


    My vote would be a ride down the Oregon coast. you need to get a copy of a book entitled, "Bicycling the regon Coast" by Robin Cody (ISBN No. 0-914143-25-5). Biking out of the Portland airport is very easy. You are correct in stating that the ride from the airport to Astoria is unremarkable, but it does have its moments. The book claims that you can take a bus to Astoria, but it seems to be a roundabout way to get there. I'm not sure that it still runs. nevertheless, the ride down the coast is worth any sacrifice you might have to make to get there.



    At Brookings there is a bike shop that will box your bike and ship it back to you via UPS. They do a great job, and the price is right. Almost across the street from the bike shop is the Greyhound bus station from which you can get a ride back to Portland. At the bus station in Portland you can catch a shuttle to the airport. There is a great youth hostel at Fort Columbia. It is across the Astoria in bridge in Washington. you should work it in if you can. You might want to think twice about the 'little brown squirrel' hostel in Newport.


    Ciao,

    philip crepeau, July 07, 1997

    San Francisco, California (SFO)

    The SFO airport is now undergoing construction and is in a mess. However, going out of the airport is not that hard. The terminal is U shaped with departures from top, arrival below. The side road that leads out of the airport is where the car rental terminals are. The hardest part is getting into these terminals. I;ve never really done it. My suggestion is to get to the courtesy phone and ask the airport police. It's only about a 200 yard stretch that's kind of messy. If you have to walk it, do so.

    Once on the the side roads, it's smooth sailing. You'll be taking a side road parallel to the freeway. I suggest you go North and see the city and at least spend a night there. If you need specific directions, you can mail me a map with a SASE and I can highlight the route.

    J Gaerlan - Gaerlan Custom Cycles	  "home of travel bikes & bike travels"  (415)362-3866: (415)677-8943 fax  JFreewheel@aol.com  http://members.aol.com/Gaerlan123/bike.html
    J. Gaerlan, July 02, 1997

    Amtrak

    I've done this several times between Portland and Seattle.

    The system is that you buy a ticket for your bike, just like a person's ticket. It costs $5. You make a reservation, just like a person's reservation.

    What is supposed to happen is that the baggage car has some hooks on the ceiling for hanging the bike by its front wheel. Often times, the trains don't have a baggage car, so they find a place for the bike. Mine has ridden on the floor in an unused car, in a locker, and other places. They tried once to put it in the luggage shelves, but I nixed that idea.

    I have found the baggage handlers friendly and helpful. Also, I've always been sent out to load the bike and board the train before the other passengers.

    Peter

    Blaine Bauer, June 29, 1997

    Amtrak -- Mid West

    Sara Easler wrote: On Amtrak's Web page (http://www.amtrak.com) several trains are listed as allowing un-boxed bicycles. Does this mean that bicycles can be treated as carry-on baggage on them? Or do they still have to be checked? What are the facilities like?

    Just last week they started allowing bikes on the Amtrak train from St. Louis to Kansas City.

    Rules:
    1. You must give Amtrak 24 hours notice that you are bringing a bike.
    2. It's an extra $10.
    3. You must put the bike in the overhead baggage compartment.

    I don't know why you must give 24 hours notice unless its to ensure that there will be enough room for the bike. I consider putting the bike in the overhead compartment a very bad idea. Not only could it scratch the paint and bang up components, the baggage compartments will get greasy and tire marked.

    Jerry Whittle
    Belleville, Illinois, USA
    whittlej@apci.net
    My bicycle is a Trek and my minivan is a Voyager.

    Jerry Whittle, June 25, 1997

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia - Rail access update

    You no longer need a permit to travel on SEPTA regional rail to the airport Bikes are not allowed on trains on weekdays inbound (from the airport) 5-9am and outbound (to the airport) 4-7pm, bikes are allowed at all other times. John Boyle, June 20, 1997

    Amtrak

    Sara Easler writes: On Amtrak's Web page (www.amtrak.com) several trains are listed as allowing un-boxed bicycles. Does this mean that bicycles can be treated as carry-on baggage on them? Or do they still have to be checked? What are the facilities like?

    California Cars, at least, have this capability. CA cars are currently running on AMTRAK's Capitol route and at least some/most San Joaquin runs.

    Each coach car can accomodate three bicycles. That means 12 bikes on a typical Capitol run, don't know the size of the trainset for the San Joaquins.

    The bicycle is simply wheeled into the car and faces a nook at the end of the car. You lift the front wheel right up such that if you drew a line through your axles/skewers that line would be perpendicular to the floor.

    The you scoot the rear wheel into a receiving tray and a spring-loaded 'glommer' takes the front wheel. Everything sits there nice and tidy as you please. There is room for three bikes and the height is adjustable to accomodate different size machines.

    Easy to do. You should have no trouble.

    H D. Pureheart Steinbruner

    Proud Morris Minor Owner since 1973. (Hey! Stop laughing!)

    Aptos, California ... Yes, it still runs.

    D. Pureheart Steinbruner, June 17, 1997

    Baltimore/Washington Airport (BWI)

    I do note that you do not have any info on BWI airport. I will try to compile information and give you another mail later.
    For the time being, here's some basic stuff:
    1) There is an offroad paved path called the BWI trail which connects from the airport and heads east. Unfortunately, the entrance to the airport faces west and I don't know what the specifics of connecting to the trail are. My GUESS is that the trail swings north of the airport near the long term parking lots and the hotels then down the northeast boundary of the airport towards the intersection of Dorsey Rd (route 176) and interstate 97.
    2) There *IS* a trail which connects from a park just east of this intersection (176/I-97) and heads east along 176 towards Glen Burnie. At Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, which is about a mile or so east on 176, you will find the southern terminus of the Baltimore Light Rail and the northern terminus of the B & A Rail Trail. The light rail takes bikes unboxed roll-on without a permit. The northern end of the rail line is in Cockeysville not far from the southern end of the NCR rail trail, about 2 miles east of the intersection of Shawan Rd and York Rd. THe northern terminus of this trail continues to extend northwards as Pennsylvania funds more and more of the trail. Last I heard it was very close to York, PA.
    The B & A trail runs 14 miles south to a point near the intersection of route 2 and route 50. Route 2 east of this point is closed to bikes, but one can make a connection over to Rowe Blvd, although I'm not sure just how to do that. I've biked the section of route 2 that is technically closed without a problem.
    For points west of the airport, there are several back roads near the airport, including Elkridge Furnace, Hollins Ferry, Race and Hanover Rds which connect to Elkridge and over towards Columbia. Race and Brock Bridge Rds form the backbone of a very lightly travelled backroads route from Baltimore to DC. -- SteveC@dev.infomkt.ibm.com Stephen M. Ciccarelli c/o IBM infoMarket
    http://blueridge.infomkt.ibm.com/bikes/
    Ben Scott SteveC Lindsey Corby Voice: 703-205-5628 Fax: 703-205-5706

    Stephen Ciccarelli, May 15, 1997

    Washington, DC Area Commuter Rail (MARC, VRE MTA, Metro)

    The rules for bikes on Metro have changed. You can bring your bike into the last car of any Metro train weekdays between 10 AM and 2 PM and between 7PM and closing, and any time on weekends and certain holidays. A pass costs $15 for three years.

    --
    David Talmage
    Kaman Sciences Corporation
    http://www.cmf.nrl.navy.mil/CCS/people/talmage/

    David Talmage, April 28, 1997

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    I found this in the bike forum on compuserve.
    --- Forwarded Message ---
    If you are flying into Oklahoma City with your bike, hop on one of the Bentley Hedges off airport parking vans. They will transport you to their place of business, provide a sheltered place for you to assemble your bike and store your box until your return----all for free. And they say Okies aren't friendly.
    -------------------------------
    ... Andy

    Andrew Schwartz, April 21, 1997

    United Airlines

    George - I just came back from flying United LAX to Orlando. You are allowed to take your bike on the plane without having to put it in a box. The $50 still applies (unfortunately) but this way you don't have to pay the $10 for the box as well.

    I boxed it on the return flight and it was treated far worse than unboxed on the flight out. IMO, not boxing it is better - because I think they treat it better. (Damage is easier to see.)

    Note that the ticket people aren't aware of this change, but it is in the computer if they look.
    Regards -
    Susan Merrill

    Susan Merrill, April 21, 1997

    Continental Airlines

    Trip 3: 1996 - Gatwick (UK) - Denver (Colorado) - Tucson (Arizona) - Gatwick (UK)

    Once again the bike was packed up, no problems getting it there. Although why is it that bikes are always the last luggage off the plane? On the return journey, I purchased a huge box from Delta airlines for 10 US dollars as Continental didn't have any and required one. They then proceeded to try and charge me 50 US dollars to take the bike home. Only after much protest and consultation with higher beings did they admit they only charged for domestic and not trans-atlantic flights. Back in the UK, it appeared that the box had been repeatedly stabbed with a knife to check the contents, resulting in a few sratches.

    Dave Bute, April 07, 1997

    San Francisco, California (SFO)

    I lived on the peninsula from 1952 to 1978. The roads might have changed since I have been there. I would try this....There was a frontage road going south from the airport on the east side of 101. You know you are on the right road when you see the old Fly TWA hanger. Bicycle to the Millbrae overpass (the first overpass you come to after the TWA hanger, go over the freeway, you will go about a mile when you go over the SP railroad tracks. There is a frontage road on the other side of the tracks going south, take this road.

    Try and stay on the roads going on either side of the tracks (It use to be called Old County Road). Try and avoid the El Camino Real since it is pretty busy. In Redwood City you can continue on El Camino Real or you can go on a slower Middlefield Road, it is on the east side of the RR tracks. El Camino Real is on the west side of the railroad tracks. The temperatures should be pretty good there this time of year....

    Rlesnik, March 23, 1997

    Fairbanks, Alaska

    Although I haven't actually flown *with bike* into Fairbanks, I kept my eye out for biking access on my recent trip. Fairbanks is a very bike friendly town (bike paths all over the place!), and it looks to my semi-trained eye as if there is easy accessibility to/from the airport. And, the airport is not all that far from town.

    Judy Colwell, March 23, 1997

    Anchorage, Alaska

    Spenard Youth Hostel is less than a mile from the Anchorage, AK airport.

    Judy Colwell, March 11, 1997

    St. Louis, Missouri

    Biking away from the St. Louis airport is not very difficult. Directly across from the main terminal building, go under I-70 over to Pear Tree, and then go left (east). Keep going about 2/3 mile to Woodson Road. This road is wide and in fairly good shape. You can take Woodson south without too much trouble, although it is busy in rush hour. At Olive, it becomes McKnight, which you can take to Delmar. Once at Delmar, you can go east. If you want to get to Washington University, turn south on Big Bend in University City. Go to Millbrook, and you are at the corner of the campus. Forest Park is immediately east of Washington University. Nice, big park; bike path. East of the park, you can bike on West Pine to St. Louis University, and from there to downtown.

    Andy also pointed to http://www.bi-state.org/bike-n-ride.htm, a website for the St. Louis transit, all about how to take your bike on the buses, using newly-installed racks.

    Andrew Schwartz, March 01, 1997

    Los Angeles (LAX), California

    It took us about an hour to finally get our bikes [in Los Angeles] once we arrived via TWA. There was this long chute, with a locked gate at the bottom. No attendants were there to unlock it. Baggage people were way down at the other end of the area, and not interested at all in bicycles.

    Andrew Schwartz, March 01, 1997

    San Diego, California

    Across from the airport there is a bike path that parallels the bay. Go left and keep on going, and you'll get to downtown. Go further, and you'll get to the convention center without ever being in traffic. At the Broadway pier, you can get on the ferry to Coronado for $2.00 + .50 for your bike. Leaves every hour on the hour. Want to get to Mission Hills or Hillcrest? Take Laurel Street from the airport, under the I-5, and left on State that becomes Renard that becomes Goldfinch. Right on University to Hillcrest.

    San Diego is a very bike friendly city.

    Andrew Schwartz, March 01, 1997

    Portland, Oregon

    The airport is close enough to the city to bike; city streets are fine, and there is a bike path parallel to the north-south interstate. You may want to bike along the Columbia river gorge before leaving the area, however. Not to be missed. We did not inquire about checking bike boxes at the airport, and since we have hard-shell cases, obviously did not want to discard them. There is a taxi stand with helpful people right at the airport. I would suggest getting a station wagon taxi rather than a van, since there is a surcharge of $15 for the van, and none for the station wagon.

    Andrew Schwartz, March 01, 1997

    American Airlines

    On a trip to Calgary from Boston we watched the baggage handlers "dribble" our bike boxes off the cart and then toss them on the baggage ramp of the plane. On arrival they (the boxes) were a mess, and we had some small breakage. When I spoke with the baggage people in Calgary as the boxes were brought out to us, they thought nothing unusual of the treatment.

    Michael Beech, February 15, 1997

    Amtrak -- Fresno

    Amtrak's newer two-level California cars are a great boon for the travelling cyclist. The lower level of each car has space for 3 bikes and it is very easy to roll on from a proper platform, like the station here in Fresno. At the trackside ones like Berkeley, you have to lift your bike up but it is not bad at all. It's free and there is none of the frequent "put your bike in a box" silliness that many Amtrak lines have. The San Joaquin line (Bakersfield-> Oakland) trains that I have been on have all had at least 2 California cars and I have yet to see another bicycle on them. And the Capitol trains (Davis-> Berkeley) have all had California cars recently, though I don't ride those as often. I understand the San Diegan line also has California cars, too, so I assume that bikes on that line are also a piece of cake.

    In any case, I think these are great. It is great to be able to bike to the station, take the train up to the Bay Area (very spacious, comfortable cars with tables to work at and nice wetlands to stare at), then have a bike in Berkeley and SF (via BART). Out of all the bikes-on-trains stuff I've done in North America, this is by far the most convenient and better even than just about anything in Europe that I've been on. There is potentially the problem of what will happen if all the racks are taken, but at the moment that seems like a long way off.
    I usually just ride my old commuter, fenders, folding baskets and all. The first time I took that bike was because it had been so wet and rainy and I wanted fenders and cargo capacity, and it really very convenient and satisfying to travel that way. Amtrak gets high marks from me with the new arrangement.

    Sean Cleary Department of Mathematics Peters Building 359 CSU Fresno CA 93740

    http://math.math.csufresno.edu/~cleary

    Sean Cleary, January 27, 1997

    Boston, Massacusetts (Logan)

    If you have your bike in a box you can take it to the airport (Logan) via the T (Blue line): cost 85 cents.

    John Newman, December 27, 1996

    Amtrak

    Capitol Limited - Washington, DC/Pittsburgh/Chicago
    Cardinal - D.C./Charlottsville/Cincinnati/Chicago
    Sunset Limited - L.A./Miami
    City of New Orleans - Chicago/Memphis/N.O.
    Texas Eagle - Chicago/St. Louis/Dallas/L.A.
    Cal Zephyr - Chicago/Denver/Oakland
    Desert Wind - Chicago/Denver/L.A.
    Southwest Chief - Chicago/K.C. Albuquerque/L.A.

    Most others cannot be accomodated (yet) because of the design of the baggage cars. However, they are currently redesigning their bike racks to fit all their baggage cars. It is not clear from the article where the bikes can be put on/taken off the trains. It does mention that on the Vermonter, bikes can now be accessed at all stations except Claremont, NH.

    Lastly, LAB announced that all bike fees on Amtrak will be waived if you purchase your tickets through their travel agent.

    Happy Rails... er, Trails!
    Chuck

    Chuck Tharp, December 15, 1996

    Amtrak -- NYC

    Took it to Penn Station at 5pm Monday for a 6am departure Tuesday. Surprise! the bike did NOT make it on my train, but it made it just the same.
    Take the train!

    Bracken C. Craft, November 30, 1996

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    The city has recently completed a bike path from North Temple street to the airport auto loop. To reach the airport from downtown, proceed west on North Temple, going SAP along the old North Temple alignment until reaching the airport boundry. There a bike path leads around the south airport boundry, ending at the airport observation parking lot. Continue on the access road and follow signs to the terminals.

    Leaving the airport, follow the auto loop to the airport return exit. Go east over the auto loop overpasses and follow the signs to the observation parking lot, where you pick up the bike path which leads downtown.

    Mark A. Matthews, November 20, 1996

    Continental Airlines

    Speaking of bikes. On the trip over, Continental wanted our bikes boxed. So, off with the handle bars, pedals, front wheel and front fender. On our return trip to the U.S., via Air Inter (BOD-ORL), their box(although cardboard), more resembled the type of armor thrown over the horse in the medieval jousting contest. The handle bars(unturned) and the seat stuck out from the top. All that came off were the pedals. In fact, the Air Inter personnel just wheeled the bikes out the door(with reduced air pressure). Continental had no problem accepting this arrangement when it was their turn. When is a box not a box, but accepted as one?

    In St. Emillion, we bumped into two bikers from Quebec, who flew over on Air France. They said all they did was take the pedals off, and the ground crew just wheeled theirs on, hanging them up on a rack.

    Hopes this adds to your data base. If anyone has any inquiries regarding our self tour in Bordeaux, let them know that I will offer any knowledge that I acquired.

    Alan Zelt, October 16, 1996

    Green Tortoise Bus

    They also will accept unaccompanied bikes as well. Their fee for that is $20 (or $25. if continuation) plus a $20 deposit (which is refunded when someone meets the bus at the destination) Some of the stops Green tortoise makes are Long Beach, Santa Monica, Downtown LA, Hollywood, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obpiso, Salias, Santa Cruz and San Francisco (they operate LA-San Francisco weekly (Sunday evening arr San Francisco Monday Morning. (returns to LA are on Fridays evening ONLY) and they also operate to Seattle twice weekly from San Francisco (Monday & Friday) some of their fare are very cheap, LA-San Francisco is $30.00 (although price might have gone up recently) for more info, they have a web site http://www.greentortoise.com) or call them at 1-800-867-8647

    Mark Panitz, October 11, 1996

    San Diego, California

    aka Lindberg Field. Access by bicycle is easy. I live in San Diego and have personally bicycled out of SAN to my home.

    Roy Tobin, September 14, 1996

    UPS

    Hi, I work at UPS and the above is true. I see one traveling bike every month or so addressed to a Seattle bike shop. I guess bike shops see ya as a future customer if something on yer bike is vibrated out of whack in the UPS 18 wheeler. I've never seen an externally damaged UPS shipped bike but I recommend to all folks a layer of bubble wrap inside.
    Tape those corners well. The big damage items I see at UPS are the over 90 pound packages. No bikes that weight and if there were your thighs would be huge! I still haven't seen a tandem bike box. Although maybe I did see it and thought it was a table. Cheers, Jon.

    Mark Panitz, August 11, 1996

    Bike Rental -- Seattle

    I also rented two bikes from them in June, 1996, road bike (Specialized Allez) for me, and Trek 750 for Cathy. Both in excellent condition and fully fitted out. The shop swapped my SPDs for their own pedals and added toe clips and straps for her. I added my wireless computer and panniers. We brought our own car rack. Helmets and waterbottles would have been included in the rental, except that we had our own.

    George Farnsworth, June 27, 1996

    Bike Rental -- San Juan Islands, WA (Orcas)

    Their bikes have names, rather than numbers. We got Arlo, Owl, and Hank.

    George Farnsworth, June 27, 1996

    Bike Rental -- Burlington Vermont

    The situation in Burlington Vermont looks good, though I haven't rented there myself. The Ski Rack rents good road bikes (Merlin, Pinarello, Serotta, etc) for $40/day.. ok, pricey, but nice machines! They also hav MTB's etc, presumably for less.

    Essex Junction Cycles (~5 miles east of Burlington) rents MTB's and tandems... don't know about road.

    -Don Perley

    Don Perley, June 03, 1996

    Bike Rental -- Williamsburg, VA

    The Bikesmith of Williamsburg (VA) has 7 good Trek Mt. bikes for rent and seems to take pretty good care of them.

    Chuck Kramer, June 01, 1996

    UPS

    You might want to look into shipping your bike. Last year I had UPS ship my bike to Aspen, CO. I picked up a new bike box at my local shop for free and used lots of tape and packing. The shipping charges (including insurance) was about $25 each way. This saved the hassle of getting the box to the airport and dealing the airport folks.

    Everything was great going out, but for the return trip I reused the same box and probably didn't take as much care in packing. My Trek 990 had a ding in the down tube when it got home. After my initial ranting and raving, I called UPS, filled out a few forms, an adjuster came to my house, and they cut me a check for a new frame and labor. It was a painless process.

    I'm not implying every bike will be crushed by UPS but it is comforting to know that they stand by their service if something goes wrong.

    Chris Saulnier, May 30, 1996

    Amtrak

    By all means, please publicize the Amtrak bike service! It took a lot of cajoling to get Amtrak to install bike racks in the baggage car...now let's get people to use them! Actually, they are pleased with the usership already. That's why they plan to install racks on the baggage car that they've ordered for the Seattle to Vancouver, BC run.

    What can I tell you about it? Travelers must reserve a bike space when they order their Amtrak tickets. It's a $5 fee each way to haul your bike. It's a self-service, roll your bike on and and hang it on the bike hook. No locks are provided, so a bike traveler must provide their own lock. Amtrak personnel can help a traveler if they are unsure of how to use the rack. Bike travelers also unload their bikes themselves.

    Amtrak, I believe, has finally recognized the potential market in bike travel. They have equipped one or two of their runs in the Northeast (Vermont, I think) with roll on bike service. I think they would also like to equip their California Coastal Starlight with bike racks as well.

    Hope this helps!
    Louise

    Louise McGrody, February 22, 1996

    Bike Rental -- Cape Cod

    In the fall of 1995 I rented two bikes from a shop on Cape Cod for an afternoon ride along the local bike trail following my wife's business trip to Boston. Bikes were hybrids, 18-speed, in pretty good shape.

    George Farnsworth, December 11, 1995

    New York (JFK)

    I just did this a few days ago. Here is the full story:

    (1) The subway connection shuttle bus (aka the long term parking bus) allows you to take bikes on it (I am talking unboxed, but boxed should be even less trouble) as long as the bus is not overcrowded -- if it is you should wait for the next one. That bus will take you to the A train which in turn will take you to civilization! (bikes are OK on NYC subways, theoretically in off-peak hours only, but I have done it at all times as long as the cars are not too full; around Howard beach station where you get the A from the airport the trains are _never_ full); BTW, the bus to the subway is free. The subway is $1.25 so this is by far more economical then all those bus services (if that is a factor);

    (2) now the hard way, which is what I tried to do last weekend. Previously as I had ridden the shuttle bus from the subway I could not help noticing enticing "bicycle lane" signs on the route of the bus to the passenger terminals, so of course I assumed that this is a bike path from the subway to the terminal. So last weekend I decided to try it out being that I had to meet somebody at the airport and the flight was late (I had some extra time in which to get lost). So I took my bike on the A train to Howard beach and instead of getting on the shuttle bus proceeded to bike through the parking lot and then got on this pretty decently labeled bike route. I stayed on it until a point at which it seemed to branch off into the wrong direction, so I took some initiative and headed towards what seemd to be the passenger terminals.

    I ended up at a point where my only choice was to get on the highway as the regular road seemed to dead-end into some cargo terminal. So I assumed I had taken the wrong turn and retraced my steps to where I had gotten off the labeled bike route. I got on the route again and kept going on it. Not surprisingly I realised I was going way east and the airport control tower was west of me--I was obviously headed out of the airport area. So I went back to the point where gettting on the highway was my only choice. I rode on the highway which took me with no problem to the International Arrivals building (that is basically the same area for all the passenger terminals).
    To sum up: I could not find a bike path (or even a non-highway road) which would take me to the passenger terminal area; what I did find was a decent bike route/path whic seemed to go around the airport. Getting on the highway for the last 1/4 mile was not that bad (but I dont know if it is illegal) -- I would not do it in the dark though, since the shoulders were full of debris (mostly car parts, but some broken bottles too), plus the cars are going pretty fast plus there are a lot of underpasses where you may not be seen by a speeding car.
    Some other comments: (a) The bike route which I mentioned above is surprisingly well labeled -- unfortunately at times the signs suggest that bikes go on the sidewalk, which at places is in really bad shape and is undoubtedly unsafe to ride on (I chose to stay on the roads, which are easily the best paved roads in NYC -- a great place to train?) I am still puzzled about the purpose of this route -- is it for airport personnel to get around, or did I just miss something and there is an approach to the passenger terminals? (b) The winds at around JFK are brutal (do not try to ride into the wind on a fixed-gear bike like yours truly did); this is exacerbated by landing planes which when flying about 100 feet over your head create alternative and just as strong wind currents.
    On the way back I took the bus (see (1) above) which was absolutely no problem.
    All of the above, of course, relies on the subway. You could also bike to JFK from, say, Manhattan, but you would have for at least part of the way to ride through some not so great neighborhoods (how does biking East New York sound late at night?) I am sure, though, that with careful planning it could be not that bad (just take a street map of Queens and/or Brooklyn with you).
    Hope this helps. I would love to hear of any other oipinions/experiences on the subject.
    -- George '}+{opo' Pavlov  -- pavlovg@acf2.nyu.edu
    George Pavlov, October 03, 1995

    St. Louis, Missouri

    Your best bet for St. Louis airport bike access is probably the MetroLink. The trains accept bicycles at any time of day or night, and it gives easy access to the downtown and Central West End areas of St. Louis. Road access is another story. There are a number of surface roads leading into the airport, but they are a bit difficult to follow if you're not familiar with the area. Also, they get very crowded at rush hour (I-70 runs right by the airport) and peak airport times.
    Bill Dilla

    William N. Dilla, August 31, 1995

    New York (JFK)

    I noticed an unpublicized convenience for cyclists at the entry to JFK airport from Lefferts Blvd, just south of the Belt Parkway.

    A small sign in the underpass invites cyclists bound for the passenger terminals to cycle into Long Term parking lot #9 and board the free shuttle bus to the terminals. These buses have two wide doors, low floors with no steps and wide open floor spaces.

    The airport also has bike lanes on the Van Wyck Expressway service roads entering the airport, but these lanes end after the employment areas and do not continue into the terminal area.

    Larry Gould, June 23, 1994

    Amtrak -- Boston

    I used Amtrak a couple of years ago. Their bike boxes are relatively cheap ($5); that's good. However...

    I had to change my travel plans because the mere fact Amtrak stops at a station doesn't mean you can load or unload luggage. Check with them first to see if you can really do what you want to do. In my case, I had to drive two hours so I could catch the train in a city that has a luggage stop.

    The trip out took eight hours -- that's EIGHT HOURS -- longer than it was supposed to. This meant that I got to my destination (Boston) in the early evening rather than in the morning. Needless to say, this changed my plans again.

    While watching the luggage carts at the Boston station, I saw my bike box precariously perched on top of a pile of suitcases. The operator made a sharp turn, and my bike flew off the stack and did a few endos. Those $5 boxes must be pretty good, as my bike sustained no damage.

    All in all, my Amtrak experience was an interesting one, but not one that I'm in any great rush to repeat.
    -- L. Mark Finch (juanoffhue@aol.com)

    L. Mark Finch, April 24, 1994

    FedEx Shipping

    If you don't mind paying to fly your bike, I have found that the most convenient way is to ship it Federal Express. They pick up and deliver to your door - The 2-day delivery is about $35.00 (last time I did this was in 1988, so it may be more now). I think airlines charge about $45.00. While this is more convenient, if you need your bike right away it won't work. Sometimes Fed Ex 2-day delivery gets there in one day, but it is not guaranteed. They are also very good (so I have heard) at reimbursing for any damage to the bike, if you report it right away.

    Rlesnik, April 21, 1994

    Newport News, Virginia

    I haven't taken a bike to Newport News airport. I would rate the road access as hard for bikes since Jefferson Avenue is a bad road for biking. 45 MPH with rocky shoulders, narrow lanes, many businesses, and an interstate interchange very close to make biking in that area an "exciting" trip.

    Mike Brooks, April 21, 1994

    Norfolk, Virginia

    I haven't been by the Norfolk, VA airport by bike in a while, but nothing has changed since my HS days when friends and I would bike to the airport because their game room was the most convienent to my house. Obviously, the airport must be easy to reach by bike if it was trivial enough to accomplish for a few video games.
    The roads are quite easy for bicycles. The areas near the front airport entrance are residential, with the businesses about a mile away. I don't know about bike racks now or any other storage amenities for bikes. There is motorcycle parking in a wooded area near the short-term parking lot (departures) that could probably accomodate bikes. You will have to contact the airport itself for any other questions. Like I said, I haven't been there on a bike since HS (before my driver's license)(1981). And I have never tried to put a bike on a plane.

    Mike Brooks, April 21, 1994

    Richmond, Virginia

    Richmond is easy to moderate due to it's access roads. I believe that Baltimore is all interstate, which would make it hard or impossible. But I thought that Dulles was all interstate, but you seem to have a way around that. I am curious to hear how you can get a bike to Dulles.
    I presume that this FAQ is for rec.biking or a similar maillist. I haven't biked in a while, but I hope that this helps some.
    Good luck with this project.

    Mike Brooks, April 21, 1994

    Amtrak -- Philadelphia

    Here goes some useful information for tourists and travellers. For $5.00, Amtrak will sell you a large cardboard box. Your bike will fit inside this box after you loosen the stem binder bolt and rotate the bars 90 degrees, then remove the pedals and screw 'em into the backside of the cranks. That's it. Wheels can stay on, empty water bottles are OK, computer and frame pump can stay on. This box is now your luggage. It may not go on the same train as you do, depending upon if your train has a baggage car. Not every station has baggage facilities. Extra insurance is available (sorry, I don't know what it costs). 1-800-USA-RAIL for more info, though you may be transferred several times.

    I did a tour on Easter weekend with my bike club, and we shipped our bikes from Philadelphia - Harrisburg, and from Washington DC - Philadelphia. No problemo, no damage, no lost bikes. More info?
    Email me.

    Peter Laverghetta, April 20, 1994

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Access: easy ride, tricky route

    I've *walked* into the following, so I know there is a good route, but it isn't obvious. I couldn't recreate it except with a map. The Philadelphia airport is hemmed in by the city and the river and will require riding in moderate city traffic.

    Edward Reid, April 15, 1994

    Tallahasse, Florida

    Access: Trivial

    Edward Reid, April 15, 1994

    Missoula, Montana

    Access: Trivial

    Edward Reid, April 15, 1994

    Amtrak - New Orleans, Chicago

    I did this, and had a pleasant experience. No problem with the bike. $5 for the box.

    As someone else said, you must get on and off at a station that handles luggage, however. Not all stations do. Check with Amtrak or check the timetable for the little gizmo which indicates which stations will check luggage. If the station doesn't check luggage, forget it. Also, make sure that the station knows you will be needing a box for the bicycle so that they have one available for you when you get there.

    I got on in New Orleans and off in Chicago. No problem whatsoever.

    Bob Kastigar, April 14, 1994

    Madison, Wisconsin (Truax)

    I can add the following for your list: Easy, road

    Alan Furchtenicht, April 14, 1994

    Albequerque, New Mexico

    I just wanted to let you know that the airport in Albequerque, NM can be easily accessed by a bicycle. The roads leading to the airport are not major highways, they are just normal 2 lane roads. It is certainly a huge contrast to Boston's Logan airport! I have only flown there once, but it struck me how calm the airport and it surroundings were. Hope this helps! -Greg

    Gregory Larkin, April 14, 1994

    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Access: Road/tricky
    Indianapolis has access via a highway which is impossible and secondary roads which do not have signage and are difficult to follow to get to the terminal. The roads around the terminal are very dangerous.

    dbbollin, April 13, 1994

    New York (La Guardia)

    You probably could ride right out of the airport, but beware of all the reconstruction in the airport area. the neighborhoods around the airport didn't look at that safe

    Terry Zmrhal, April 12, 1994

    Jackson Hole, Wyoming

    easy, small airport

    Terry Zmrhal, April 12, 1994

    Houston, Texas (Hobby)

    There are 2 major airports here in Houston and have never attempted to ride my bike to either or seen anyone trying. Houston Hobby - Is very urban and not in the best neighborhood. Houston is so expansive getting anywhere by bike takes some major leg power. Supposedly in a few years Houston will have a city-wide network of bike routes/paths which I think includes the airports

    Mike A. Harris, April 11, 1994

    Houston, Texas (Intercontinental)

    Access: Difficult
    Contact: Mike A. Harris
    Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 10:06:23 -0500 (CDT)

    What qualifications do you use to determine the rating of each airport? Houston Intercontental - On the northern edge of town, if you go directly south from there towards downtown it is again not in the best neighborhood. I would hate to have a flat there. Houston is so expansive getting anywhere by bike takes some major leg power. Supposedly in a few years Houston will have a city-wide network of bike routes/paths which I think includes the airports

    Mike A. Harris, April 11, 1994

    Orlando, Florida

    Hideous, and the surrounding roads are awful.
    Tom Moberg, Gambier, Ohio USA

    Tom Moberg, April 10, 1994

    Columbus, Ohio

    I've never ridden out of the Columbus, Ohio, airport, but I travel through there a lot, and it would be very easy to get to and away from on a bike. Tom Moberg Gambier, Ohio USA

    Tom Moberg, April 10, 1994

    Phoenix, Arizona

    Hard to find your way out of the Phoenix airport, but then only a short stretch of 4-lane until you can get on quieter streets (at least heading east). Tom Moberg, Gambier, Ohio USA

    Tom Moberg, April 10, 1994

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