Author Topic: Getting from JFK to Wall St. to Sandy Hook (and early March depature)  (Read 6703 times)

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Offline JonathanW

Re: Getting from JFK to Wall St. to Sandy Hook (and early March depature)
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2018, 04:36:21 pm »
Thanks for your input bbarrettx! I've been worrying about the cold weather in the NYC area alot in the past 1-2 months. I've made a 60km test ride in 0 degrees (celcius...) yesterday and I was surprised that it went fairly well with the gear I had. But I had a warm shower at home afterwards. Thinking about that I would have to go through this for the first 2-3 weeks is pretty tough... Would you think it would get even worse or better? Or I assume its not only about temperature alone...

I'm wondering why you suggested to leave my bike boxed? I would think it's easier to have my assembled bike and a dissposible bag with panniers and gear on the train, instead of a huge card box... How are the expeirences with having an bike and bags on an Amtrak? After a first research, I couldnt find negative things. I checked the connections and there seems a direct connection from Penn Station to Newport News. But if I undestand the Amtrak website correctly the only available connection with bicycle transportation leaves at 3:20am. Does anyone know if that is really the only available option to take a bike on the train?

Again, thanks for the thoughts. I really think I will invest 1-2 from my 90 days and get from NYC to Virgina to save some degrees...

Offline JonathanW

Re: Getting from JFK to Wall St. to Sandy Hook (and early March depature)
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2018, 05:05:06 pm »
P.S. @bbarrettx: If  you  rode the TransAm twice, can you tell something about the elevation profile if you are starting east? The Northern route I originally chose has far less elevation compared to the TransAm I think. I am a bit worried that this will keep me pretty busy in the first weeks.

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Getting from JFK to Wall St. to Sandy Hook (and early March depature)
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2018, 06:13:17 pm »
Jonathan, relative to your question on keeping the bike boxed for Amtrak, I had assumed that you could just check it as luggage which would be easier, but I have never taken a bike on the train. You should pose the question out here as someone will know the best way to handle it.

I have crossed twice but the crossing that I finished last summer was a route I designed with help from out here. It was close to the Northern Tier route and I crossed the Appalachians in Pennsylvania. That was considerably more difficult than the TA route through VA and KY. There are some steep climbs on those parts of the TA but nothing like PA. Your planned route sounds like it might be close to the Eastern Express which starts in Washington, DC and goes through southern PA. That route is known for less climbing but I still think the cold will be your biggest problem.

The TA starts south of DC and once you cross into the Shenandoah Valley of VA you will head south and southwest for a few days. I'll estimate that once you're in that southernmost point where you start to head more due west through KY the temperatures should be at least 10 degrees F warmer than PA. Maybe ever 15 degrees.

Not only will you be a few hundred miles south of PA but also keep in mind that PA and OH weather is very much influenced by the Great Lakes (Lake Erie in this case). It's just more cloudy and miserable through the majority of March. You might get cold weather in VA and KY but if it's cold there it'll be just brutal in PA and OH.

In the first few days of the TA you'll have to climb up and over the Blue Ridge Mountains but after that it's mostly just going to be up and down until you get to central KY. You'll have some elevation gain, but nothing crazy.

Offline canalligators

Re: Getting from JFK to Wall St. to Sandy Hook (and early March depature)
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2018, 12:25:01 pm »
Re. Amtrak, their published info is usually correct.  It wouldn’t hurt to call and confirm.

Yes, train 67 is the only one to Newport News with bike service.  This train has walk up service, you bring your unboxed bike to the baggage car where staff will place it in a bike rack.  You must reserve a place for your bike and there is a modest additional fee.  Only single diamond-frame bikes are accepted.  Other types must be boxed.  Tandems that don’t split into two boxes are disallowed.

As time goes on, Amtrak is expanding bike service.  The trend is in the right direction, but they’re not Europe yet.  There are budget, logistic, staffing and equipment issues to deal with, so they roll out new service as they can.  At this point they’ve gotten all the low hanging fruit and most popular bike routes covered.  More improvement may be slow in coming.