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41
Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« Last post by adventurepdx on April 22, 2015, 04:36:49 pm »
You’ve got to respect the 50lb weight limit as well. The weight weenies in Seattle made sure I was aware of this the last time we traveled on Amtrak (and right now it probably is the last time sadly).

I agree that the 50 lb limit is somewhat annoying, but I'd refrain from calling them "weight weenies". I think that limit is in effect because at some small stations, there is only one ticket agent/baggage handler that has to do everything. They want to keep the baggage weight limit reasonable so one person can load/unload a train without help, and at a relatively fast speed, as they're trying to keep a schedule. (Insert snarky joke about Amtrak and schedules here.)

And to note: It's not just Seattle that will weigh bikes, I've had that happen in Portland too. And it doesn't need to be a tandem to tip the scales...
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Routes / Re: Latest date to leave - TransAm East to West (2016)
« Last post by 100th monkey on April 22, 2015, 04:36:18 pm »
Thanks very much for your very helpful answers :)  I am planning on camping as much as possible.  Snow is an unknown quantity to me - riding through it seems impossible to me!  I'm very aware that there's safety factors there that I don't know anything about, and as I'll be travelling solo avoiding potentially dangerous snow conditions (possibly that someone who lives there would find routine) would probably be smart for me.  Holing up in a hotel for a day/few days to wait out a snowstorm is definitely ok with me.

Cold and dry is good, cold and wet not so much but if it's for a day or two I think I'd manage ok.  I live in the north at the moment so humidity is something I live with eight months a year and hate with a passion, so if I need to adjust my timing for hot-and-dry rather than hot-and-humid I'll do that if possible.

I'm aiming for later to give me more time to save for the airfare (and also time my time off work to suit my boss)!  That being said, I'll be as flexible as I can to suit the weather and conditions so I enjoy my ride.

Time - I'm thinking about 11-12 weeks?  Is that feasible?  Slower than necessary?  I'll be moderately fit by then but am by no means a speed racer, and I expect I'll be taking the mountain sections quite slowly but with longer days to make up for it in the flat stretches.  I hope to catch the Coast Starlight train from say Portland to Los Angeles at the end, for the experience and also because flights home from LA are exponentially cheaper, but that doesn't need to come out of my cycling time ^
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Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« Last post by cgarch on April 22, 2015, 04:27:39 pm »
Yes you can bring the tandem on Amtrak - if you can break it down or as adventurePDX sez, fit it in the box. If your tandem has couplers no problem, but there are issues with a split tandem banging around loose in two boxes (timing chain wheels digging through the box would be one). You’ve got to respect the 50lb weight limit as well. The weight weenies in Seattle made sure I was aware of this the last time we traveled on Amtrak (and right now it probably is the last time sadly).

cg
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Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« Last post by adventurepdx on April 22, 2015, 02:33:56 pm »
I believe the answer is no for tandems on Amtrak.

Yep.
http://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

From the site: Recumbent, tandem and special bicycles over the standard bicycle dimensions and will not fit in a standard bicycle box are prohibited.

So if you can somehow fit your tandem into the Amtrak bike box, dimensions of 70" x 41" x 8.5", you'll be fine. If not, you're out of luck.

Someone could prove me wrong, but I highly doubt that Greyhound would be any better in regards to a tandem, and the same goes with airlines. You'd probably need a freight service to ship it to Vancouver, which, assuming you are based in the States, would be very expensive.

Hopefully someone who has toured with a tandem can chime in with some advice.

Another thing to note: Hwy 1 starts in Legget, CA, about 200 miles north of San Francisco. In WA, OR, and the rest of northern CA you'll primarily be riding on US 101.
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Routes / Re: Latest date to leave - TransAm East to West (2016)
« Last post by indyfabz on April 22, 2015, 01:21:12 pm »
Well put by Josh. Personally, I would rather try to stay ahead of the heat and humidity by starting early than wait for a later date in the hope of being "behind" it.

Humidity is also an important factor. With extreme humidity, an 85 degree day can be a lot worse than a 90 degree day with low or no humidity.

When riding a portion of the Trans Am in Montana in late June a few years ago I rant into a few people who had started in the east in early May. They had stayed ahead of the extreme heat in the south and midwest and hit the west after any major threat of lingering snow storms. They would also likely cross eastern and central Oregon before the crispy critter hot days of late July and beyond. (I once did much of the Oregon portion of the Trans Am starting the second week of September as part of an organized event. We had a couple of days east of McKenzie Pass that were downright roasting. The high on the rest day in Sisters was in the mid to upper 90s.) Interestingly, I did the same Montana stretch last year but started a week earlier than the previous time. I encountered only one person riding the Trans Am east to west.
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Routes / Re: Latest date to leave - TransAm East to West (2016)
« Last post by John Nelson on April 22, 2015, 10:56:41 am »
There is what I would consider an ideal timeframe to leave Yorktown on the TransAm (which is the first half of May), but you can really leave anytime, understanding that the farther from the ideal timeframe you leave the greater the chance of weather problems. It isn't like there is some drop-dead date, like leaving on June 8 would be fantastic but leaving on June 9 would be a disaster. Furthermore, it depends on whether you plan to take 4 weeks for the trip or 20 weeks for the trip (how long do you plan to take anyway?).

Personally, I left in early May from Yorktown and did not find the heat to be a problem. If you want to avoid heat, I would suggest you leave earlier than that (April) rather than later. Even though you tolerate cold well, however, you might not tolerate riding through a foot of snow very well. Furthermore, even if you tolerate cold, do you tolerate cold and wet together?

Also, there is heat and there is heat. The temperatures in June might be higher than the temperatures in August in many places, but the humidity in June might be less than the humidity in August, making June more pleasant than August.

Since you ask your question about "latest", I assume that you cannot leave early. If you're not too slow, and you have enough time to wait out a snowstorm or two, I think you could wait as late as August to leave. You may have to skip McKenzie Pass (regrettable), but there is an alternative. Also, if you're planning to camp (are you?), you may find some campgrounds closed after the beginning of September.
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Routes / Re: Getting bikes to Canada from California
« Last post by indyfabz on April 22, 2015, 09:21:26 am »
I believe the answer is no for tandems on Amtrak.
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Routes / Latest date to leave - TransAm East to West (2016)
« Last post by 100th monkey on April 22, 2015, 02:23:03 am »
Hi folks

Just doing some initial planning at the moment - for various reasons, I really want to travel East to West and ocean to ocean.  Just wondering if locals could give me any advice on the latest date I could leave the east coast, without baking slowly like an unbasted turkey in Kansas?  I'm Australian so I'm used to heat, but I have a high cold tolerance and I'd rather use my good cold-weather gear as necessary and be travelling in cooler weather where possible.

Many thanks
100th monkey
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Routes / Re: Touring From Seattle Beginning Early In May
« Last post by johnsondasw on April 22, 2015, 12:55:59 am »


Is it feasible to bike comfortably in the vicinity of the I-90 corridor from Ellensburg to Seattle if I were to shorten the eastern loop?

Thanks for your suggestions.
Richard
[/quote]
I live along I-90 in the Kittitas Valley west of Ellensburg.  Because of construction, you cannot road bike over Snoqualmie Pass, but can ride the unpaved John Wayne trail as mentioned by others. There are rough sections on this unpaved converted RR route but it can be done with a road bike with beefy tires. The tunnel on the JWT at the pass is closed, but in that area you can take paved options on I-90 and/or alterrnate frontage roads. Another consideration--travelling west in the Kittitas Valley all the way from the Vantage area to the Easton area there are HORRIBLE headwinds 80% of the time. It is not uncommon in spring and summer to have steady winds of 25 mph with gusts 30-40 mph.  Just look at all the windmills around you.  I know.  I've been here 40 years and do most of my road biking elsewhere or early in the day before the winds come up or in the few somewhat protected parts of the county.
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Routes / Getting bikes to Canada from California
« Last post by sarahbeard on April 21, 2015, 11:33:13 pm »
Hi,

My friend and I are planning our first touring ride from Vancouver down Highway One to California this summer.  I was wondering if anyone here has done this and has any advice on how to get our bikes up there.  We don't have the money to fly so I was wondering if anyone knows of a bus that goes up that far or if you can take a train with a tandem.

Thanks!!!!
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