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Thread: bike train?

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  1. #1
    traderbri
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    bike train?

    Has anyone heard of a bike train being organized for us east coasters? It would be nice to ride the train, with my bike safely tied down, for at least part of the trip. This would cut down what otherwise might be a 2 week trip into something more time-affordable.

  2. #2
    Chromehead bobs98's Avatar
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    Rev Willie?

    Calling previous conductor with experience....

  3. #3
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great idea.

    East Coast to Denver?

  4. #4
    RK Ryder
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    When my wife and I were touring Europe in '71, a couple of times we just walked into a train station and bought two passenger tickets and paid freight for the bikes, which rode in the freight car behind us. Of course after thinking about this, I don't think our N Am. passenger trains have a freight car attached. Call the railroads and see what they have to say. It sure came in handy for us when the Pyrenees mountain passes that we had recently rode were impassable with snow on our return trip.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  5. #5
    sled guy
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    Lightbulb I like the idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    Sounds like a great idea.

    East Coast to Denver?
    I want to go to Wyoming but I cannot do 2 weeks, if this can be made to happen in a 1 week time frame count me in.
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Amtrak did this several years ago for East Coast and Midwest bikers wanting to go to Sturgis. But, since Amtrak made a decision to get out of the "freight" business, I don't believe they have the equipment to run this operation today.

  7. #7
    CO_G30
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    I'll never use Amtrak again....

    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    Amtrak did this several years ago for East Coast and Midwest bikers wanting to go to Sturgis. But, since Amtrak made a decision to get out of the "freight" business, I don't believe they have the equipment to run this operation today.
    IMHO, they also got out of the "good customer service" business too. The family and I thought it'd be fun to take the train from Denver to Oakland, CA instead of the usual flight to see my folks.

    24hrs later, after many many stops for no apparent reason, surly/nasty service in the diner, lousy food and did I mention surly service from diner personnel; my family and I ditched the return trip tickets and flew home after seeing my folks. That's how bad the train trip was. Really sad part was I paid for sleeper accomodations, can't imagine the conditions in the cheap seats!

    I miss the days of great train service when stationed in Germany back in the 80s with the Army. I would not recommend Amtrak to anyone, much less let them touch my motorcycle.

  8. #8
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rpstk53 View Post
    I want to go to Wyoming but I cannot do 2 weeks, if this can be made to happen in a 1 week time frame count me in.
    Bob
    Read this old thread
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...ghlight=amtrak

    If you do not have the time to ride your bike you may want to ship it by truck.

  9. #9
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    huh?

    I want to go to Wyoming but I cannot do 2 weeks, if this can be made to happen in a 1 week time frame count me in.



    Forgive please, but Rochester to Gillette, is around 1672 miles, a 26 hour ride. 2 days each way. A day and a half if your hard core. Why do you feel the need to "train/ship" your bike?
    max

  10. #10
    sled guy
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by maxscycle View Post
    I want to go to Wyoming but I cannot do 2 weeks, if this can be made to happen in a 1 week time frame count me in.



    Forgive please, but Rochester to Gillette, is around 1672 miles, a 26 hour ride. 2 days each way. A day and a half if your hard core. Why do you feel the need to "train/ship" your bike?
    max
    Maybe I'm a softie, I usually ride 350 miles per day and then look to get off the road, I like a casual pace with a few stops to make it fun.
    Maybe I will try a few long distance runs this fall to see if I can do 800 miles a day but I don't usually enjoy driving a car that far, I want to have fun, not just put miles on the odometer, I guess you can count me out of the Iron Butt rally .
    Bob

  11. #11
    brez DMR's Avatar
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    not many

    Quote Originally Posted by maxscycle View Post
    I want to go to Wyoming but I cannot do 2 weeks, if this can be made to happen in a 1 week time frame count me in.



    Forgive please, but Rochester to Gillette, is around 1672 miles, a 26 hour ride. 2 days each way. A day and a half if your hard core. Why do you feel the need to "train/ship" your bike?
    max
    According to my math, that's averaging 64 mph for the distance. Not many can do that, even if the conditions are ideal. I figure if I average 50 mph I'm making good time. Maybe once I averaged 60 on a sprint from CO to IL for 900 mi, but I cheated with the time zone change. Then, again, I'm not much of a distance rider.

  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool Hard Core?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxscycle View Post
    I want to go to Wyoming but I cannot do 2 weeks, if this can be made to happen in a 1 week time frame count me in.



    Forgive please, but Rochester to Gillette, is around 1672 miles, a 26 hour ride. 2 days each way. A day and a half if your hard core. Why do you feel the need to "train/ship" your bike?
    max
    I too agree with dmr and others - both I and AAA find the "50 miles covered for every hour on the road over the course of a day" to be a pretty accurate formula. This has nothing to do with my speed, which I shamefully admit is almost always 5 MPH over posted limits. It embraces rest stops, pit stops, lunch, fuel, detours, weather, etc.

    But then 1,672 miles would come out to about 33+ hours in the saddle - 3 days of 11+ hours of riding per day, which is a fair challenge for most of us, especially when you consider our demographics. So, that's 3 long days there and 3 long days back - 1 day left to take in the entire rally?! Hardly seems worth it, if a week is all you have to work with. Ten days would be more like it, with three spent at the rally.

    My son and I recently covered 7 midwestern states in a single day (August 31st), traveling 754 miles in 17 hours, and collecting a dated gas receipt from each state. Though proud of our accomplishment (and truly tired by day's end), that still computes to only 44 miles covered per hour of traveling.

    So, my point is this - the 'bike train' is a neat idea for east coast riders with limited time. Sounds to me from other contributions to this thread that it probably won't happen though, which is too bad. Hope other 'solutions' for those with time constraints are found, i.e. truck shipping, trailering, etc.

    I realize rallies cannot always be centrally located (too many neat locations out west and in the southeast to ignore), but I sympathize with riders bordering the Atlantic - Gillette is a LONG haul!

    Good Luck, and Ride Alert!
    Last edited by Greenwald; 09-26-2007 at 11:48 AM.

  13. #13
    On the Blue Roads RevWillie's Avatar
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    Rev Willie?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobs98 View Post
    Calling previous conductor with experience....
    Yes, that would be me. I was the Head Conductor of the 2001 RallyTrain. It ran from Washington,DC to Chicago, and from Chicago to Portland,OR and back to Chicago and DC. It was a 3-day run each way, but we had our bikes strapped onto freight pallets in Express Freight cars behind our own coach car while we looked out huge windows watching the countryside pass by. We had food and drink supplies stashed in the coach and it resembled a rolling beer tent generally for three days each way. We left DC on Sunday, arrived/departed Chicago on Monday, and arrived Wednesday AM in Portland. The return train departed Wednesday afternoon, a week later. Lots of miles driven by rested riders.
    The cost was a little over $1000 for round trip coach for the rider and round trip shipping for the bike. The Chicago station was a pain in the @#@ $, but the Portland station and the DC loading docks were a pleasure to work with. My fuzzy memory thinks about 64 or so folks went on the RallyTrain,and from my conversations with many of them at MOA Nationals later on, nearly all of the riders on the RallyTrain would do it again.

    Unfortunately, AMTRAK has discontinued using Express Freight cars and has refused all requests for another RallyTrain. They shut down the trains to Sturgis, Daytona, and Laconia for the HD riders and those were large trains. We enlisted some powerful Senators to question AMTRAK and request that they would offer the RallyTrain again, but they refused. Check out the link mentioned in a earlier posting on this string about the train, or find my story in BMWON that was published a few years ago. Lots of dead ends and frustraitions, but I would do it again to Gillette if AMTRAK would do it again.

    Rev. Willie
    Onward, through the fog!

  14. #14
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    Time vs money

    There is a conundrum in life that says "If you don't have time you have money and if you have money you don't have time". Therefore I assume that you guys must have money. The solution to the time problem is the solution that the Stugis gang uses, Truck the bike to Rapid City and then fly into Rapid City in your private or chartered jet. Those that have done the Sturgis know that it is done that way. My little bit of research says trucking on a pallet from the east coast will be $6-800 by a dedicated cycle hauler. If you had a full load it probably could be less. The flight would be another problem but 20 bikes could be 30 people and that might get you a charter plane or for the po-folk a bus.

    RC is 150 miles from Gillette. That would be a nice morning ride and I would never tell. I will be in RC any way. Harold "It wasn't my Idea" Short

  15. #15
    X-Mileage tabulator R1100rtp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.Willie View Post
    Lots of dead ends and frustraitions, but I would do it again to Gillette if AMTRAK would do it again.

    Rev. Willie
    Don't know anything about these guys, but they list shipping M/C and tours. I've seen some companies at the IMS shows that will take groups of bikes, but don't personally know anything about them.

    If someone is inclined to check them out....here's one that transports H-Ds
    http://www.rigsandrides.com/tours.htm

    Here's one more: http://www.haulbikes.com/images/at_a_glance4.jpg

    Just some thoughts if you don't have time to ride, someone may be able to arrange from an eastern major city to Rapid City. Riders would be on their own to arrange transportation to and from their bike.
    Not as much fun as a "rally train", but an option.
    Ride Hard, go far, and keep smilin...

    Karol Patzer, Ambassador, 2014 BMW MOA Rally Chair
    Visit St. Paul July 24-27, 2014

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