Author Topic: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport  (Read 2582 times)

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Offline Gypsea

Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« on: April 10, 2019, 04:27:58 pm »
I'm planning a ride which will include riding east on the Erie Canal. Due to time constraints, I want to rent a vehicle in Albany, one way, to Buffalo. I will then continue my ride through Niagara Falls, then west via north shore of Lake Erie, to Cleveland, then catch the train back to Pacific NW.   I wanted to take the Maple Leaf Train, but was told by Amtrak that they do not take bikes.
Can I assume best locations to rent and return is at the airports?  I have found little information on best bike routes to/from these airports.  I would appreciate any local knowledge, suggestions, or alternative ideas.
Thanks for your assistance!

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 04:43:56 pm »
Two things.  OK, three.  1) The Amtrak website sucks.  2) You can take a bike between Albany/Rensseler (ALB) (NOT just "Albany" which typically brings up the Albany airport (ABA)) using the Lake Shore Limited.  The ALB station is downtown by the river.The bike service is carry-on.  You must have all packs off the rack and then you lift the bike up to them. 3) For cars, definitely look at the consolidators such as Kayak as they may have better deals.  Additionally, I have found that it is frequently cheapest to use a "Local Edition" Hertz instead of the airport as the airport has heavy taxes.  As a bonus, the local editions are typically in the city as opposed to way out in the country.  Do a little research to find what is best for you.  Also, get at least a mid-size SUV so you don't have to break down the bike.

Have a great trip, John

Offline Gypsea

Re: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 04:49:42 pm »
Thanks for reply, John!  Great information. 

I too thought I could take a bike on the Maple Leaf.  I had to call Amtrak as they have no reservation or fee information on their website.  I think there are 2 trains that go that route, one takes bikes and one does not.  I will investigate further as I would rather take the train. 

Thanks for the recommendations on where to rent a car!  I had seen small pickups on Kayak and they seemed to be cheaper than a one way car. 

I have until early June to get this part of logistics figured out.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 04:53:48 pm »
I would book the car as soon as you can.  The reason is the vast majority of the time you have the option to pay at the counter (you can cancel last minute without penalty).  This may cost a few dollars extra but I have seen a $100 swing in prices so if the price goes down, you can re-book (then cancel your original one) and if it doesn't you got the best price.  Again, you can always cancel if you don't need it any longer, just don't book the "pay now" option.
Tailwinds, John

Offline Gypsea

Re: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 05:21:54 pm »
I found the train you mentioned, the Lake Shore Limited.  It's a night train so I'll sleep in the train station until daybreak in Buffalo.  Cost was $61 including bike vs. car rental at well over $100 for a one way.  Thanks for your comments and information!

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 09:54:57 am »
I had to call Amtrak as they have no reservation or fee information on their website.

Wut

I ride Amtrak several times a year for business and pleasure and book directly through its website. Done so twice for trips where I brought my bike on the Vermonter.

And if you want specific information on which trains take bikes, and how, there is this page:

https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

Offline sdotkling

Re: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 04:36:14 pm »
The Buffalo train station is not actually in Buffalo, it's in the sad little industrial suburb of Depew. I Amtrak'd it from NYC to Buffalo, through Albany (the Albany Amtrak station is, sigh, not in Albany, but in Renssalaer, across the river), my bike in the baggage car. My train arrived at 12:30 a.m., and I had to ride 2 miles past darkened warehouses to a motel.

I was joining my son at Lockport as he was coming east from Chicago. He got around Buffalo by going well to the north of the city, on good roads, he reported, crossing not at the Peace Bridge but one or two bridges further north. Might want to consider that.

When shipping a bike with Amtrak, make sure you remove all your lights, speedometer, gizmos and bags. They have a tendency to "fall off."

Offline Gypsea

Re: Bike route from Erie Canal to Albany Airport
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2019, 07:28:40 pm »
Thanks for the information and the tips! 

I don't have to put my bike in a box at any point on my Amtrak trip, but I'll remember to take off lights, seat bag, etc. I'll check the map closely for routes to the "Albany" Amtrak station.