All Aboard Amtrak Express!

The other day at City Bikes I mentioned I was shipping bikes and the really affable long hair redhead guy with black goggles alerted me of Amtrak Express. I’m so glad he mentioned it!

Just having gotten back from the gorgeous Portland train station (aren’t all American train stations fairly well-kept quaint relics of rail travel?) I can say: so far so good. I’m a bit nervous, but I did take out $5500 of insurance (ha). At $180 for two bikes and a 45lb. Bob Ibex manufacturer’s box packed with touring gear, with all that insurance, it’s an affordable alternative to FedEx and UPS for shipping bicycles, and having said it will take 5-7 days (days, not business days), it’s quicker, too. The boxes are huge. One just loosens the stem at the handlebars, the star nut, takes off the pedals, and wheels in the bike (and in my case, the panniers with some bike clothing, helmet, and shoes). Boxes cost $15 to rent, $10 if used, and are free if you’re lucky enough to come across a cute couple unpacking their bikes getting ready for their own tour. According to one of the Amtrak shippers, they moved about 1000 bikes over the past weekend for the Seattle to Portland bike ride. They said most bikes come through fine, but the boxes sometimes get pretty roughed up.

Now that the bikes are on their way to Miami, I suppose we should head down. Cross your fingers all that stuff makes it. Otherwise it will just be Miami beach time and no bikes. Sigh.