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I've always just zip tied my rear panniers together to make them one piece and carried on front panniers and HB bag if you have one.I've had Amtrak staff refuse to let me do that in San Diego, though I have seen it done at an airport. Probably depends on the guy checking you in. I don't think there''s an official policy about it. Yes the suitcase can be a bit of a nuisance to get rid of but it is handy having all your stuff in one box especially if it's got wheels. Different strokes...
I know this is an old thread but I am doing the trans am trail next summer and am sorting out a train for me and my bike and box from Washington to Yorktown. I have seen the reply re the 7.30am train which takes checked baggage so I will plan to get that one. It seems easy enough to reserve the seat for me but I am confused as to how a reserve a space for my bike and bike box. There does not seem to be a step during the reservation process to book my bike and I don't really want to just turn up in the hope that there is space for the bike and box. Does anyone know how I do this step of the process? Do I have to call the reservation line or can I do it on line. I am flying in from the UK to Washington dc a few days before.If just browsed through the regs from the link given here in this CrazyGuy article but nowhere can I find any reference to having to have a booking for a bike i.e. as long as you have a ticket for yourself they will take your bike as one piece of checked baggage (limit 2). I've had no experience with Washington DC to Yorktown but this has been my Amtrak experience. I have taken a bike from: Seattle WA, Portland OR, San Diego CA, San Luis Obispo CA, Vancouver BC and Flagstaff AZ. At the latter I just walked in and bought a ticket on the day of the train. There was a family emergency and I didn't have time to book ahead. If you are planning on leaving/arriving from/to a manned station you won't have any problem. Ive always found Amtrak staff very helpful. What you can do is buy a box and ticket and check your bike in up to 24 hours before you travel but no more than 24 hours. You may want to do this to avoid last minute scrambles.
from Seattle take the Mukilteo Clinton Ferry to Whdbey Island, ride the island north then take the San Juan ferry and tour the islands.+1
If you have time, take the ferry to Victoria BC, another ferry takes you to Port Angeles from where you can return to Seattle.
You could also take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria,( you can take you bike on the boat) tour Victoria then the San Juan Islands, then Whidbey and return to Seattle.
We did San Fran to San Diego in early February because that is our time to travel. Mostly rode in pants, long sleeve shirts and light jacket but we also found lodging each night. It ranked as one of our top tours and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again at that time of year.Thanks. I like the bit about finding accommodation, that's what we plan on doing.
I can't imagine that January would be a whole lot different.
I topped up our white gas when we rolled into Pueblo. As indy notes, there was a markup -- I think I paid $2 for less than a pint (IIRC, the bike shop charged by the size of the container). Outrageous, when a gallon was $5, maybe; I still saved $3, and didn't have to dispose of the rest of the gallon.Outrageous? These guys were probably running running a business not an indigent tourists charity, while they were tending to you they may have had a real customer interested in a new bike walk off.