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Shipping an empty S&S bike case

Old 12-12-19, 10:36 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I occasionally read that someone assembled their bike at the airport and rode from there, but every situation I recall reading about is using a non-coupled bike. Most of those situations I recall reading about were full size bikes, but occasionally were a folder.

I can see taking a bike out of a box, putting pedals on, the front fender on, handlebars and stem, setting the seatpost to the right height, then trying to find a place to dispose of a large box. My S&S bike just barely fits in the S&S case, the manufacturer in their literature says it can't be done. I have to pull off the crank arms & pedals, pull the fork out, saddle and seatpost, all three water bottle cages, both racks, etc. to fit my bike in the S&S case. None of it is difficult, but it is time consuming and tedious.

I can't fit the fenders in the case, so that is the only thing that speeds up the process since fenders were left at home. Assembling my S&S bike is best done at a hostel in the town near the airport, preferably not on a rainy day. On a positive note, it is much easier to get my luggage and S&S case to a hostel from the airport than a full size bike box which some shuttle buses can't take. My luggage shown in the photo above in post number 9 all fits in a Prius, which is fortunate since most of the taxis in my community are Priuses.
I have read a couple mentions of assembling coupled bikes at airports. Some bikes don't require removing the fork which would save some time. Neat thing would be a custom bike with short seat & head tubes,
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Old 12-13-19, 06:58 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
...
And while we're here...I'm hoping to take the train out of Indianapolis, to San Antonio, where I can catch a bus back home to Mexico. I have no idea what their baggage rules are on Amtrak
Amtrak has very generous size criteria for luggage sizes, both checked and carry on. A lot of luggage that airlines would require to be checked will work as carry on luggage with Amtrak. That said, the common airline weight limit of 50 pounds is also used by Amtrak.

But AND THIS IS IMPORTANT, if checking luggage, many Amtrak stops are not luggage stops, you can only load or unload carry on luggage at those stops. The exception is that if the bike is in a bike rack in a luggage car, they will open the luggage car for the bike but not for other checked luggage. Check Amtrak website for luggage criteria.

Each train route schedule shows which stops are luggage stops. I do not know which train you would be riding. I assume that large cities like Indianapolis and San Antonio are luggage stops, but you should double check.

Amtrak, most of the routes I have ridden were for long distances for over a day, I always bring a lot of my own food on board to eat.

Amtrak, some routes are often late, that could be a factor for your bus connection.
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Old 12-13-19, 06:03 PM
  #28  
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I'll send it to my sister. That part about carry on luggage made the whole thread. Thanks
I hope they are not as regularly late as Greyhound. At any rate, I have until next sumner to figure it out. It's great to get all this first hand info up front though.

Last edited by seedsbelize; 12-13-19 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 12-13-19, 08:06 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
I hope they are not as regularly late as Greyhound.
There is a useful status map you can see here: https://asm.transitdocs.com/map
Trains in RED are over an hour late, trains in YELLOW are less late and trains in GREEN are on time.
If you look at the site now, you'll get a sense of what it is like when you look.

In my experience over ~30 Amtrak long-haul trips, I'd say ~20% of the time I seem to have a train delayed by more than two hours. The rest of the time they are in the window. So while I have a few war stories of some more extreme delays, it also isn't the case that it happens a majority of the time. So I try not to schedule a tight connection - and leave myself open for an occasional "oops, we're a lot late" but in my experience a majority of the time seems like they are on time.

Also, my experience was that shorter routes like Cascades were more often on time - and the really long hauls could accumulate delays, particularly towards end of the route.

With all that said, I'm about a week away from a bike tour with two long haul train rides: train from Austin to Tucson, cycling to El Paso, train back from El Paso - and find it a convenient way to travel for a bike trip like this one with some one-way travels.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:10 PM
  #30  
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Amtrak, some routes are more likely to have late trains than other routes. Unfortunately, the only train that goes through the state I live in is the Empire Builder, they have been late more often than they were on time the times that I rode the train.

One time they parked the train in Shelby Montana and told us on the train that if we wanted to leave the train for a while, just make sure we were back within about six hours, as they were certain that the delay would be at least that long, but the delay might only be that long.

Several passengers found that there was a movie theater in town, went for a movie. I found the nearby tavern had Guinness on tap, on far right in the photo. I also hit the grocery store to stock up on food since that train often had very limited supply near the end of the route, with that extra delay I suspected the train inventory of food might be even more limited.

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Old 12-13-19, 11:24 PM
  #31  
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There is a site one can look up historic delays: https://juckins.net/amtrak_status/archive/html/home.php

As I recall, the Empire Builder is one of the trains with worse on-time records. It also seems to run in streaks of more on-time or less. As I recall, there was a particularly ugly period some years ago (summer 2011?) with lot of flooding in Dakotas and Upper Midwest. Some tracks were even closed for a while - and following when they 're-opened trains had to go slow for a while. I had a train back from Whitefish to Portland that was delayed ~5 hours (one of the ones I count in the ~20% estimate).

I've also had trains that caught up time. For example in 2018 returning from Little Rock to Austin, departed a few hours late, but caught up the schedule by time we reached Dallas.
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Old 12-13-19, 11:37 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
I'll send it to my sister. That part about carry on luggage made the whole thread. Thanks
I hope they are not as regularly late as Greyhound. At any rate, I have until next sumner to figure it out. It's great to get all this first hand info up front though.
More late. Do not plan a flight by the train schedule. Read that again. Sometimes half a day late.

In the fine print.
A bike can be apart and a carry on, with a few more inches than a regular bag. They count the number of bags. They do not measure them near as much as the airport does.

Some stations are friendly, others are jerks.



Last edited by chrisx; 12-13-19 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 12-14-19, 05:06 AM
  #33  
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I have traveled a fair amoumt, internationally, with full size bikes, and with the S&S. Surprisingly(to me), not once was size an issue. Weight yes, always.
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Well look what the cat dragged in. Such a fine addition to the thread





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Old 12-14-19, 07:01 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
I have traveled a fair amoumt, internationally, with full size bikes, and with the S&S. Surprisingly(to me), not once was size an issue. Weight yes, always.
Agree.

A couple years ago i was on a van supported ACA trip for a week. I brought my folding bike and two others brought Ritchey Break Away bikes. My case was the S&S Backpack, it met airline size criteria but the two Ritchey owners told me that the Ritchey case actually exceeded airline size criteria by several inches. One of the Ritchey owners said that only once had he been charged the oversize fee, the other had never been charged. I have never even seen a tape measure or any other measuring device where you check the luggage.

But when you put your luggage on the scale, I suspect that the scale automatically tells the ticketing agent if you need to pay for over-weight, weight is a lot easier to quantify automatically than odd shaped luggage.

You often see a little size thingy where they ask you to check the size of your carry on, but only once in all the flights I have taken did the airline actually make people test their luggage for size before boarding in that size tester. My 31 liter Ortieb Rack Pack (duffle) was overflowing and I was sure it would exceed, but it passed quite easily.
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Old 12-14-19, 02:26 PM
  #35  
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Amtrak schedules. For my upcoming trip, I looked up and plotted any delays for my arrival into Tucson. For all of 2018/2019, there were slightly less than 300 trains in the data.

The scheduled arrival time of westbound train is 7:45pm.(*). In 2018/2019:
- half the trains arrived by 9pm
- just over 3/4 arrived by 11pm (78%)
- a little less than 1/10 arrived after 1am (8%)

(*) Amtrak's schedule varied a little in this time, so I used "minutes late" arrival statistics to normalize everything for a 7:45pm arrival.

This will obvious vary some for other locations and trains, but I looked up the train I'll be taking.

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Old 12-14-19, 08:43 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
once airline actually make people test their luggage for size.
Varies from airline to airline.

I got asked to stuff my carry on in the tester half the time in South America. I have to put my coat on to make it fit.

Amtrak on the other hand, has a lot more space than a bus or plane. In the fine print. They allow extra inches for a bike that is disasembled and boxed or baged as a carry on. A box the size of a new bike, not a jumbo box.
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Old 12-15-19, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
...
Amtrak on the other hand, has a lot more space than a bus or plane. In the fine print. They allow extra inches for a bike that is disasembled and boxed or baged as a carry on. A box the size of a new bike, not a jumbo box.
Do you know where that fine print is regarding "baged as a carry on"? I would like to see it. The only exception i am aware of is for folding bikes, the Amtrak folding bike size limit for carry on is very generous, but the text I saw was clear that it was for folders only, not for full size bikes.
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