TransAM & USA generally.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Arthur Spurr, May 30, 2003.

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  1. Arthur Spurr

    Arthur Spurr Guest

    Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the USA? Any advice?

    Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by air or otherwise and back? How
    did they do it? How did it work out?

    AS
     
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  2. I transported my bicycle from Montreal,Canada to Athens Greece and back a couple of years ago.

    I bought an Air travel case, similar to those advertised here:
    http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=7&major=9&minor=1 took out the my bike wheels and bars,
    packed it up and just declared it as a luggage in the airport.

    "Arthur Spurr" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the USA? Any advice?
    >
    > Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by air or otherwise and back? How
    > did they do it? How did it work out?
    >
    > AS
     
  3. Neil

    Neil Guest

    I brought my bike from LAX to LHR using one of the cardboard packing boxes that the bikes are
    delivered to the shops in - got it free from a local bike shop. I did wrap the edges well with duct
    tape though. No problems... hth Neil "George Karabotsos" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I transported my bicycle from Montreal,Canada to Athens Greece and back a couple of years ago.
    >
    > I bought an Air travel case, similar to those advertised here:
    > http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=7&major=9&minor=1 took out the my bike wheels and bars,
    > packed it up and just declared it as
    a
    > luggage in the airport.
    >
    > "Arthur Spurr" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the
    USA?
    > > Any advice?
    > >
    > > Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by air
    or
    > > otherwise and back? How did they do it? How did it work out?
    > >
    > > AS
    > >
    >
     
  4. Yup, thats the cheaper alternative :) However, I do not want my LiteSpeed Tuscany to be damaged in
    any way, so I prefer the hard-cover case I bought with lots of padding :))

    "Neil" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > I brought my bike from LAX to LHR using one of the cardboard packing boxes that the bikes are
    > delivered to the shops in - got it free from a local
    bike
    > shop. I did wrap the edges well with duct tape though. No problems... hth Neil "George Karabotsos"
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > I transported my bicycle from Montreal,Canada to Athens Greece and back
    a
    > > couple of years ago.
    > >
    > > I bought an Air travel case, similar to those advertised here:
    > > http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=7&major=9&minor=1 took out the my bike wheels and bars,
    > > packed it up and just declared it
    as
    > a
    > > luggage in the airport.
    > >
    > > "Arthur Spurr" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the
    > USA?
    > > > Any advice?
    > > >
    > > > Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by
    air
    > or
    > > > otherwise and back? How did they do it? How did it work out?
    > > >
    > > > AS
    > > >
    > > >
    > >
    >
     
  5. Neil <[email protected]> wrote ...
    > I brought my bike from LAX to LHR using one of the cardboard packing boxes that the bikes are
    > delivered to the shops in - got it free from a local
    bike
    > shop. I did wrap the edges well with duct tape though. No problems...

    I also used a bike-shop box to Denver last year, and a cardboard box supplied by the airline (AA,
    $15) for the return from Albuquerque (Continental Divide Trail). No problems with damage to the bike
    or anything - you can even leave the tyres inflated when in a box. For the return journey, it's
    quite likely that the check-in staff will try to charge you for bike carriage (normal on domestic
    flights), so get the fact that the bike is included in your luggage allowance in writing before you
    leave the UK, and allow for a bit of arguing time when checking in.

    Most American campsites are designed for RVs (motorhomes), and are pretty basic on facilities. The
    norm was toilet block(s) and taps, no showers. Some just had a pit loo rather than a toilet block,
    and a couple didn't even have any water supply. The pitch for your tent is also often a gravel pad.
    The couple of private campgrounds that we used were much more like UK sites, the others being run by
    various official bodies (National Parks, Forestry, etc). Allow for the fact that places are much
    further apart, and you can't rely on dropping into an eatery for lunch, or even finding anywhere to
    stock up on supplies.

    Andrew
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Guest

    "Arthur Spurr" wrote ...
    > Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the USA? Any advice?
    >
    > Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by air or otherwise and back? How
    > did they do it? How did it work out?
    >
    > AS

    Any particular part of the USA? This country is a bit larger than (and at least as varied as) the
    UK. A few generalities- drivers exhibit the same range of attitudes towards cyclists that I saw in
    the UK, from extreme courtesy to extreme hostility. Big difference is that they tend to be less
    aggressive (except, as in the UK, BMW drivers) and less attentive. Commercial campsites (KOA, etc.)
    tend to be truly wretched places catering almost exclusively to huge motorhomes, and many have never
    had anyone pitch a tent on the premises. State park campgrounds are very similar, but will
    frequently have a section for people who think camping involves tents. National Forest (US Forest
    Service) campgrounds tend to be more acommodating of tent campers, but with, as another poster said,
    fairly primitive facilities. I've stayed in remote National Forest campgrounds that were truly
    idyllic, but the facilities were quite rudimentary. National Park (Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc.)
    campgrounds can be quite crowded and, again, overrun with gigantic motorhomes, but nearly all
    National Parks have at least one "walk-in" campground where one parks one's car in a central parking
    lot (sorry, car park) and carries one's camping gear to a campsite. These do not require
    reservations, and can be quite congenial as they tend to be frequented by backpackers, climbers,
    cyclotourists, and European travellers on a budget. The walk-in campgrounds in the more popular
    parks tend to fill up early in the day, especially on weekends. Hostels are, as another poster
    mentioned, quite thin on the ground.

    I took a bike from Denver to Gatwick with BA in 2000 and had no trouble- boxed it up at home, no
    charge to take the bike on the plane, unboxed and assembled it on the sidewalk and rode away. For
    the return trip I bought a box in Gatwick, boxed the bike up, and handed it over to BA. No problems
    either way. A round trip from Philadelphia to Paris went just as well. Other people tell me that
    sending a bike unboxed is just as safe or safer- baggage handlers can see that they are handling a
    vulnerable object and will treat it more carefully, instead of just slinging a box with unknown
    contents around. Flying within the US is a different, less pleasant story. Standard charge to take a
    bicycle on a flight within the US is now around US $80 (GBP 50 -55) each way, and airline ticket
    agents are quite aggressive about applying the charge no matter how the bike is packed.

    Try these links: www.bikeaccess.net www.hiayh.org www.hostels.com

    HTH,
    --
    mark
     
  7. M Series

    M Series Guest

    I took my bike to JFK in a large cardboard box which was originally used t supply a bike to a LBS.
    We were not charged for carriage of the bike but sometimes had to take the checkin staff out of it.
    I cycled through NYC and on to LA. I camped most of the time in KOA campgrounds. We used these
    becuase the standard was pretty high, they had a brochure with maps, usually laundries, pool and
    shop and were sign posted. As some of the other posters have said the pitches were often gravelly
    for tents but we didn't find it too bad. State Park campgrounds were usually much cheaper but often
    off the ideal route.

    "Arthur Spurr" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the USA? Any advice?
    >
    > Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by air or otherwise and back? How
    > did they do it? How did it work out?
    >
    > AS
     
  8. In message <[email protected]>, Arthur Spurr <[email protected]> writes
    >Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the USA? Any advice?
    >
    >Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by air or otherwise and back? How
    >did they do it? How did it work out?
    >
    >AS
    >
    >
    My reading of various postings about touring in the US (see rec.bicycles.rides) suggests that many
    people resort to wild camping in quiet places just off the road. It also seems to be the case that
    cafes etc. will sometimes let you set up a tent in the yard. I met a C2C rider in Lancaster, PA a
    couple of weeks ago and he told me that he had relied on motels most of the time.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  9. Bob Flemming

    Bob Flemming Guest

    On Fri, 30 May 2003 21:23:54 +0100, "Arthur Spurr" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Has anyone any experience of cycletouring & camping/hostelling in the USA? Any advice?
    >
    >Has anyone transported their bike and all their gear over to USA by air or otherwise and back? How
    >did they do it? How did it work out?

    I've taken a bike <and back> to the USA on four seperate occasions now
    - three times with United Airlines and once with Virgin. On all four occasions, I've turned up to
    Heathrow, climbed off the bike, deflated tyres, removed pedals, turned handles in, and gone onto
    check-in and asked for the bike to be loaded unpacked. On each occasion they've obliged no
    problem, and I've never had a problem with damage aat the end of the journey etc.

    If you don't exceed your luggage allowance, you should find that a bike will go free of charge on
    International flights. Internal flights are a different story. I've heard that such a policy might
    be changing, but It hadn't done as recent as three weeks ago with United Airlines(that was LHR to
    Sacramento) - that much I do know.

    Have a great trip.

    bob
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Guest

    "Michael MacClancy" wrote
    > My reading of various postings about touring in the US (see rec.bicycles.rides) suggests that many
    > people resort to wild camping in quiet places just off the road. It also seems to be the case that
    > cafes etc. will sometimes let you set up a tent in the yard. I met a C2C rider in Lancaster, PA a
    > couple of weeks ago and he told me that he had relied on motels most of the time.
    > --
    > Michael MacClancy

    A lot of small towns along the BikeCentennial route (original coast to coast route mapped out by
    BikeCentennial in 1970s, now known as Adventure Cycling) provide a designated area in a town park,
    etc., for cyclists to camp, cook, etc. I would expect wild camping to be a lot more feasible in the
    Western US than in the more crowded East, and even then I would be careful about doing it to close
    to any sizable towns. The State of California used to allow (they may still) cyclists and hikers to
    camp overnight for free in picnic areas along the Pacific Coast Highway. No cars after sunset, just
    cyclists and hikers.
    --
    mark
     
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