Author Topic: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr  (Read 270 times)

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Offline adrian99

bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« on: July 27, 2020, 01:27:57 pm »
Hi, I'm writing to ask if anyone has experience bringing a bike on the California Zephyr.

The Amtrak FAQs say that the tire width limit is 2.0". My question is whether my 2.4" (front) or 2.2" (rear) tires could fit in the rack if I deflate them.

I plan to leave from Emeryville, CA and get off at Grand Junction, Colorado, then ride to meet the GDMBR at Salida.

I dropped by the station to ask my question today and the agent said he'd never seen a bike rejected for tire width reasons, but he also couldn't promise anything.

Thanks for any advice or experiences!
-Adrian

Offline Nyimbo

Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 01:52:53 pm »
I have experience bringing a touring bike on the California Zephyr, but not with oversize tires.  I can only echo the station attendant, and say, it sounds unlikely but I wouldn't like to say it will be fine...   With mine, I took all my bags off the bike and carried them on the train in an extra large duffle bag.  Then handed off my bike to the attendant to put in the baggage car.   When I arrived at my destination I put my bags back on the bike and asked the attendant if he could use the duffle bag and I left it with him.

Offline adrian99

Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 01:58:57 pm »
Thanks for your message.  I'd also been anxious about how to carry all my stuff, and your duffel bag idea is perfect. I'll see if I can score a free one on Craigslist.


Offline Nyimbo

Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 02:02:04 pm »
Thanks for your message.  I'd also been anxious about how to carry all my stuff, and your duffel bag idea is perfect. I'll see if I can score a free one on Craigslist.

I bought mine at Walmart for $16?? its been a couple years now - but free is better

Offline John Nelson

Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 04:53:58 pm »
I just use a cardboard box.

Online jamawani

Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 09:49:59 am »
A cardboard box with nylon straps to make carrying easier.
Then save the nylon straps for camping / tie-down use.

Offline adrian99

Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 11:32:26 am »
I just use a cardboard box.
I just use a cardboard box.

Thanks for the great suggestions.  Right now I'm planning to bike to the station from home, so the duffel would be easier for me to carry (empty and folded up) than a cardboard box.  I live in an area where free duffels come up on craigslist pretty often - although I may need to get 2 medium sized ones instead of one big one. Just scored one yesterday. 

Offline Nyimbo

Re: bike on Amtrak - California Zephyr
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 06:52:24 pm »
A cardboard box with nylon straps to make carrying easier.
Then save the nylon straps for camping / tie-down use.
I like that idea, I decided against the box idea last time I flew home because when traveling through the airport and security with all my panniers and stuff inside I needed to be able to carry it on my shoulder, and carry my handlebar bag on my other shoulder.  A strapped box might just work tho.  Loading onto the train, I guess you could carry the box on the bike as you walked it into the train station - so might work...