Author Topic: Getting Home from the big ride?  (Read 4837 times)

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Offline Powderbird

Getting Home from the big ride?
« on: July 23, 2007, 11:51:55 pm »
Hi, I am thinking about riding the Northern Tier or Trans Am route from west to east. I live in Washington State. Does anybody have any good tips on how to get home after the big ride? I was thinking about taking a train. After a big ride like that is it best to just hop on a plane and get home ASAP or is the train a good way to mosey back home? Cost factors? What do most people do? I guess a real man would just turn around and ride home :)

Offline freerider

Getting Home from the big ride?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 10:45:13 pm »
Sorry Powderbird, I have no idea what the best way to return from that ride is. I am not very knowledgable about American trains, planes, and automobiles.
However, I was hoping to ask a related question, and rather than creat a whole new thread, I'll just hop on this one: I have to Greyhound it home after my trip down the west coast. While I know I can handle the day and a half long bus ride, I'm concerned for my faithful steed. Does anyone have any tips for packing a bike for shipment? Ideally bike boxes are the way to go, but as you might have guessed I'm on a budget. Any clever, McGuiveresque, suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Offline valygrl

Getting Home from the big ride?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 03:11:46 pm »
#1 - how to get home:  Don't make a plan until you get a couple of weeks from being done.  It's so much nicer not to have a hard-and-fast deadline for where/when to finish.  I did this for my XC, and was thinking I would buy a plane ticket (or train or bus) at the last minute, but then I ended up getting offered a ride home to California in a car. Yeah, that's not going to happen to everyone, but it shows how giving yourself flexibility allows you to take advantage of whatever comes along.

also, you will know a lot more at that point what you WANT - do you just want to get home, right away?  do you want to mosey?  do you want to ride your bike home?  if it's about what's best for you psychologically, no one can answer for you.  if it's about cost, don't forget to add up all the $ you will spend on lame train food while you are sitting around for days on the train.  and the pain of sleeping in a train seat.

#2 packing for the bus:  cardboard boxes are fine, you can get them for free at bike shops, (if you are lucky) or for $15 at the greyhound depot (also if you are lucky) or you can go to wallmart or whatever and make one out of regular cardboard boxes.  you will NOT get a straight answer on the phone about whether a box is available at the bus depot.  plus, the thing that i found so hard was if you get box somewhere else, you have to figure out how to carry your box/boxed bike from where ever you are to the bus.  so then what, do you carry the box to the depot, and sit there and box it up, while you are waiting for the bus?  

ugh, the bus sucks so much.  train is the same.

try to find a different way.  hitchike, post an ad on craigslist, rent a car or uhaul - seriously, this could be as cheap as a bus, i did this, there were 2 of us, and it was cheaper to rent a car one way than buy 2 bus tickets.  

Offline litespeed

Getting Home from the big ride?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2007, 05:48:14 pm »
I just had to cut short my summer touring and come home to straighten out a major rental/tenant problem. I flew home and sent the bicycle and gear UPS. But I already had the plane ticket. I got a bike box free at a local shop and put the panniers and gear in with the bicycle and in a couple of other boxes about a foot square. I padded the bicycle and wheels with a lot of newspaper.
The problem with flying is that the further in advance you buy the ticket the cheaper it is. Changing a flight date can cost anything from free to $100. If you can go to the airport and talk personally with an agent your chances of a free ticket change are a lot better.
Naturally this is all a lot easier if you have friends or family at your destination.

Offline erniegrillo

Getting Home from the big ride?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 07:30:29 pm »
I know people who have taken the train cross country and they loved it describing it as scenic, relaxing and comfortable.

Also, try googling "auto driveaway". People are always looking for someone to drive their car somewhere for them. Some even pay you to do it. There are also business's set up to do this to.

Offline nobachi2000

Getting Home from the big ride?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2007, 12:34:19 am »
I've taken my bike on Amtrak had a rack so that I don't need to take it
apart.  I had my bike taken apart and put in a box and shipped back to
me by UPS. I took apart my bicycle and put in a bag on a bus.  UPS was
expensive around $90.  I heard not all trains have a ski or bicycle rack
for hanging a bicycle.  I never was charged extra to take my bicycle in a
bag during my recent trip to El Centro and return back from Quartzsite.
I purchased a bicycle bag for about $50 and I take it with me because I
can fold it put it on my rear rack.  It beats having to look for a box.

One pedal at a time

Offline nobachi2000

Getting Home from the big ride?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2007, 12:36:07 am »
Amtrak did not charge extra for bringing a bicycle on board, but that
was from L.A. to San Diego.

One pedal at a time