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Metrolink & Ride

Old 08-02-13, 03:16 PM
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Metrolink & Ride

I've ridden the Amtrak and the Metrolink a few times, but I've never taken my bike on either one. The other day I was on the Metrolink and noticed some cars are designated bicycle cars.

It got me thinking: where could I go on the Metrolink (from Fullerton station) to ride?

I ride with a group fairly often, and I would say folks in the group would be up for something which was < 50 miles and < 2000 feet of climbing, total.
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Old 08-03-13, 04:16 PM
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$10 for a weekend pass...
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Old 08-04-13, 12:00 AM
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You could ride all kinds of places, I take Metro link from Irvine to ride the Fully Loop MTB. The $10 weekend pass is now only good for a single day.
I'm still trying to make an Amtrak century happen for some friends and myself.
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Old 08-04-13, 07:20 AM
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I ride the Metrolink daily. The bike cars are supposed to be on designated trains, but the cylavia in downtown LA screws it up for weeks leading up to it so they can assemble special trains with four bike cars to take people to the event. Now, almost two months later they still are not straightened out. Friday there were almost twenty bikes on my usual train, and no bike car (this is a designated bike car train). Bottom line. Don't count on the train you catch having a bike car. The good news is that regular cars have room for two bikes, and the weekends are not as crowded with bikes.

I rode yesterday to Irvine to ride the Santiago Canyon loop, and was th only bike on the bike car in both directions from Oceanside.

Last edited by CommuteCommando; 08-04-13 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 08-04-13, 09:23 PM
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Today some friends and I took the Metrolink from Oceanside up to Fullerton and rode back. No dedicated bike car on our train, either. Fortunately the conductor didn't care that all of our bikes weren't in racks just as long as we didn't block the doors.
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Old 08-05-13, 08:08 PM
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I think it is interesting that folks are riding the Metrolink up to OC in order to ride around here. I can ride from my home to the Loop or CHSP or SART and points south.

This morning the group carpooled down to Laguna Hills to ride down to the Ritz-Carlton. With a bit of advance planning we could have used the Metrolink, but RT is $18 per person from Fullerton, which is enough to make carpooling attractive.

There is some talk of doing Bike The Bay on 8/25, but I think folks will ride down the day before.

I was thinking more in terms of taking the Metrolink to points south (of north OC) or points north.
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Old 08-05-13, 08:49 PM
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Metrolink got rid of their weekend passes but they have a day pass for $10 on the weekends. You could take the train down to San Clemente or Capistrano and ride back up.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
I think it is interesting that folks are riding the Metrolink up to OC in order to ride around here. I can ride from my home to the Loop or CHSP or SART and points south.
I usually ride from home on the weekends, but since I have a monthly pass, I sometimes train to OC to ride. Last Saturday was a family event at Irvine Regional Park.
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Old 08-12-13, 11:33 AM
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In 2012, the Orange station was a great place grab the Metrolink bike car to Oceanside. There you have a junction for
the Inland Empire and OC lines. There was always a bike car on every train.

From home I ride 15 miles to get the train at Orange. There is a closer station in Norwalk (8 miles) but the choice of
departure times or destinations is very limited.

According to
http://www.metrolinktrains.com/ticketspricing/

they still have a weekend day pass. OK - but it is different since it is for Sat. or Sunday, but not both.

Last edited by marquhar; 08-12-13 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 08-27-13, 09:08 AM
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I was going to make a separate post but this seems to be more or less on topic.

I need to join the family at Disneyland on Saturday and was thinking of making a bike reservation on the Amtrak surfliner from either Simi Valley or Camarillo stations to the Big the A station. I have a couple of questions, first when you have a bike reservation are you seated next to the bike to keep an eye on it or do you need a lock? Second how's the ride from the big A station to the Hilton Anaheim (Harbor)? I'm I better off just having the wife run over and pick me up?

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-27-13, 09:44 AM
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I've never done the Amtrak, but I've done the Metrolink from Burbank to Anaheim to meet my family at D-land on a Friday night. Saved me HOURS on the freeway. Take one train to Union Station, and every time I did it, I got off the first train, walked directly across the platform and got on the next train, waited about 10 minutes and we were off. Only way it could have been any easier is to not have to change trains. Put your bike in the rack (every Metrolink car I've ever been on has a couple racks on one end of the car), grab a seat nearby and enjoy the ride.
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Old 08-27-13, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rlp View Post
I was going to make a separate post but this seems to be more or less on topic.

I need to join the family at Disneyland on Saturday and was thinking of making a bike reservation on the Amtrak surfliner from either Simi Valley or Camarillo stations to the Big the A station. I have a couple of questions, first when you have a bike reservation are you seated next to the bike to keep an eye on it or do you need a lock? Second how's the ride from the big A station to the Hilton Anaheim (Harbor)? I'm I better off just having the wife run over and pick me up?

Thanks in advance
Some things to consider. First, the Amtrak ticket will cost twice what the Metrolink ticket does. They both will have an extended stop over at LA Union Station, like fifteen minutes or so-check schedules.

About locking bikes on the trains, I never do, and I have ridden daily for years. On the Metrolink sitting near the bike is usually not a problem. On the Amtrak the bike storage is shared with ADA (handicapped) seating. Conductors sometimes let me sit there, but boot me if a DP gets on, others are strictly by the book. I don't lock on the Amtrak either.

First, someone waiting on the platform to get on a train, get your bike, and get back off is incredibly unlikely. The stops are short. How would someone like that even know that a bike was on the train? As far as someone on the train stealing your bike, also unlikely. They have tickets, and unlike Metrolink, have to show ID to get those tickets. I can think of no reason any sane thief would buy tickets to cruise on the Amtrak for the odd chance of stealing a nice bike.

I did witness an incident where a young kid had locked his fixie after placing it over another bike, then going upstairs. I was sitting in the a DP seat and stopped him from locking it on top of mine, so he put it on the other side and locked it. I tried to warn him, but he was rude, called me names and went up stairs. At the stop were the guy who's bike was trapped got off, there was a panic, as he found his bike locked to the train. He was able to get the conductor to find knucklehead. It caused a five minute delay of departure, and got Freddie Fixie cited by the conductor.

EDIT- What Simulposter PhotoJoe said-Ten minutes. I said fifteen but it has been years since I've been through Union Station.

EDITEDIT-Your last question. Disneyland is the "Friendliest Place on Earth", but sadly, for bikes, the streets around it are not. Go slow and stick to sidewalks. Or, just walk. I don't think its that far, maybe a mile.

Last edited by CommuteCommando; 08-27-13 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 08-27-13, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
EDIT- What Simulposter PhotoJoe said-Ten minutes. I said fifteen but it has been years since I've been through Union Station.
I think it was 12.5 minutes. I just rounded down!
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Old 08-27-13, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the quick responses.

Amtrak is the only option, Metrolink apparently doesn't come up to Ventura county on the weekends but for $30 it is still a nice option. The train number does not change for the trip so I am guessing that means there will not be a train change which makes it more attractive. I could drive to the station and leave a car but this way I'll get a Saturday morning ride in. I think the entire trip is listed as about 2 hours and it takes me about 75-80min by car so there must not be too long of a lay-over at any one station.
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Old 08-29-13, 06:21 AM
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BOY DO I HAVE EGG ON MY FACE.

Yesterday on train 602 southbound some prick stole a carbon Scattante w/Ultegra components off the bike car with a half dozen people (including the moron posting this) watching. Here is how it went down. I was talking to someone when I heard a noise, looked down to the other side of the car to see that a bike had fallen over. The guy who owned the bike was sitting next to it and went to pick it up when some other guy pulled the Scattante that was under it and walked right off the train. The guy I was talking to said "hey. I think that guy just stole that bike".

Here is what we pieced together. A$$wipe knocked over the first bike-a Cannondale Evo-to see if the owner was near by. When that bikes owner revealed himself, the thief went for the bike under it. This was all timed to coincide with the train pulling into the station (Laguna Niguel).

Keep watching this post as I will add more later.

Last edited by CbadRider; 08-29-13 at 02:11 PM. Reason: removed unnecessary comment
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Old 08-29-13, 07:22 AM
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That sux. Anxious to hear the rest of the story.
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Old 08-29-13, 08:12 AM
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Overall, it sounds like cyclists that ride the Amtrak and Metro-Link have a much better time of it then those of us who ride Los Angeles Metro (Green Line in my case)! We have one "bike-space" (where they essentially took out three sets of seats) which is also (potentially) shared with luggage and/or baby strollers.

And that is one "bike space" (two bikes can actually fit there) in the typical Metro 3 or 4 car train. No hooks, no rack . . . nothing. Just a "space." Plus, other folks can (and do) stand in the bike space, even if they don't have a bike, when the train gets crowded.

On the other side of the coin (or TAP card) one way fare is $1.50, so I can't complain (but somtimes I still do).

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Old 08-29-13, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
I've ridden the Amtrak and the Metrolink a few times, but I've never taken my bike on either one. The other day I was on the Metrolink and noticed some cars are designated bicycle cars.

It got me thinking: where could I go on the Metrolink (from Fullerton station) to ride?

I ride with a group fairly often, and I would say folks in the group would be up for something which was < 50 miles and < 2000 feet of climbing, total.
The OC Metrolink ends at Oceanside so you can ride down the coast and take the train home. I'm not very familiar with Orange County but there should be plenty of good rides along the train route.

It's probably too much time for you to take the train to Union Station but last week I took Metrolink to Covina, rode GMR to GRR and then up Mt. Baldy. Came down to Claremont and took the train back to LA.
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Old 08-29-13, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rlp View Post
I was going to make a separate post but this seems to be more or less on topic.

I need to join the family at Disneyland on Saturday and was thinking of making a bike reservation on the Amtrak surfliner from either Simi Valley or Camarillo stations to the Big the A station. I have a couple of questions, first when you have a bike reservation are you seated next to the bike to keep an eye on it or do you need a lock? Second how's the ride from the big A station to the Hilton Anaheim (Harbor)? I'm I better off just having the wife run over and pick me up?

Thanks in advance
If the hotel is the Hilton at the Convention Center it looks like you can go straight from the train station down Katella to get to your hotel. Katella doesn't have any bike lanes but it does have a sidewalk. Google Maps says the distance between the two is less than 3 miles.
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Old 08-29-13, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
If the hotel is the Hilton at the Convention Center it looks like you can go straight from the train station down Katella to get to your hotel. Katella doesn't have any bike lanes but it does have a sidewalk. Google Maps says the distance between the two is less than 3 miles.
Or you can drop down half a mile to Orangewood for a slightly longer but much less nerve-wracking ride.
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