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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Amtrack Cascades?

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    Does anyone have experience taking loaded touring bikes on the train from Seattle area to Vancouver BC? (Or vice versa). I was wondering if we are going to have to remove our panniers after we board the train. We are supposedly allowed two pieces of luggage and one of those is the bike? I don't know how that is going to work.

    Anyway, we are biking back south from Vancouver through Blaine, Bellingham and LaConner.
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    6,982
    Always check with Amtrak directly for latest policy.

    Within the last 5 years, we have taken that train with our bikes and 2 panniers each bike on several trips in both directions via train. (It's wonderful by the way, the train hugs the coastline. There' s a lunch dining car too.) You reserve a bike and pay for bike in bike car which has racks. It's very painless. I think it was around $5.00 US per trip per bike.

    I would strongly recommend it. When you are going? I'll be in downtown Vancouver in a few wks.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    pacific NW
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    That sounds like so much fun! Let us know how it goes!

    Rodriguez Adventure
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    Custom Rodriguez Tandem
    2009 Specialized Tricross
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    543
    Quote Originally Posted by lauraelmore1033 View Post
    That sounds like so much fun! Let us know how it goes!
    I will Laura! We are really excited about this trip. We've been wanting to do this for a long time!

    We have all our reservations made, including the reservations for two bicycles. I was just wondering if they made you take off the panniers when you boarded? Did you have to remove panniers shootingstar? We are leaving next Thursday, actually staying just outside Vancouver proper I think, at the Abercorn Inn in Richmond. I am not familiar with the geography up that way, so I am guessing that is a suburb in close proximity. We'll only be there for one afternoon and then leaving the next morning. Hopefully biking through the area AFTER the morning rush hour.

    I've only biked through Vancouver once and that was on RSVP...it was quite the experience to say the least, but this inn is just off the bike path somewhere my DH tells me, so I'm not too terribly worried about it.

    Thanks for the info!
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Richmond is the city butt against VAncovuer where the airport is located and where there is a huge modern Chinatown area. I am not familiar with the Inn.

    I would suggest that you enjoy downtown Vancouver when you get out of the train station and if so, don't feel like cycling out to Richmond which is not far but certain areas might be complicated because parts of Richmond are more car-centric, is to take the Canada Line commuter train and get off at a stop in Richmond close to hotel, in the evening. Don't be embarrassed, VAncovuerites use their bus bike racks (all buses have bike racks on all their bus lines) and get onto the Canada Line with bikes --even if it's not raining.

    I removed my panniers. But it might be possible to leave 1 pannier on.

    The train station is near many bike routes. Our place is just 2 km. away from train station.

    If you cycle up Ontario St. (a long, quiet residential street. It's parallel to Quebec St. near the train station) from the train station (about 1 km. away) towards Richmond which is about 10 km. away, you could drop by Olympic Village, Science World, Granville Market and the Queen Elizabeth Botanical Gardens. At 37th St., latter is lovely and free.

    Hope you have great weather.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 06-15-2014 at 11:28 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    543
    We should have pretty good weather, at least the forecast looks decent. I hope we will have time to enjoy some of the sights you mention, especially the gardens.

    Thanks for the great info shootingstar!
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    543
    We had a great tour overall, and the train ended up being much easier than I thought, although a little more complicated at first. We ended up getting lightweight duffle bags we could put our two back panniers into and check as luggage, then carried on my trunk bag and my husbands two small front panniers as carry ons. They put our bikes onboard, which was great. We loved that train ride going north, it was awesome!

    The first few miles from the train station in Vancouver were lovely, right along the waterfront, past the marina and high end condos, it was mostly brick and stone pathways. After that first stretch it wasn't so great, and the next day out of Richmond was not so pleasant at all. This was an Adventure Cycling recommended route, and like shootingstar said, not only through a very car-centric area but a heavily truck traffic industrial area (NO shoulder for miles and miles...we were just a foot or two from these huge trucks) We will NEVER do that again. And several gruesome bridges and hills...long, long, long bridges oh my gosh. And of course we took several wrong turns on the way, which didn't help matters. Oh well.

    From Blaine south, it was just incredibly beautiful... loved it and could have ridden all day long. Especially enjoyed taking Chuckanut Drive going south, as this seemed so much easier and less hilly than the RSVP route going north. It was most or all wide shoulder, or at least some shoulder, you weren't up against the rocky cliff in places AND you were on the waterfront side of the road, so it made it easier to stop at the scenic turnouts and take pictures, rest, enjoy the view. Lovely.
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    pacific NW
    Posts
    1,043
    What an adventure! Sounds like you had a great time with a few dodgy spots. Can't seem to get away from those, though... Thanks for sharing that.

    Rodriguez Adventure
    Bacchetta Bellandare
    HPV Gekko fx
    Custom Rodriguez Tandem
    2009 Specialized Tricross
    2012 Trek Mamba

 

 

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