We want you to use your bicycle! CyclingSavvy strategies will get you around town in good form on your bicycle, but traveling with your bicycle by bus, rail or air can increase your range.
We traveled to Philadelphia with our bicycles
Last October, CyclingSavvy instructors gathered to give seminars and to staff a booth at the Philadelphia Bicycle Expo. (We’ll be back for the next Expo, March 16 and 17, 2024!) Pam Murray flew from Charlotte, North Carolina and back with her bicycle. I rode Amtrak from Boston with mine.
Here’s a video showing how Pam boxed her bicycle for the return trip. Boxing a bicycle does require some mechanical skill and experience. The highlight here is how Pam manages to carry three items to the ticket counter with only two hands…
Policies and prices differ, so you should check in advance each time you travel with your bicycle by bus, rail or air. You may or may not need to box your bicycle. Space is limited on some carriers, notably Amtrak’s Northeast Regional roll-on service.
Make reservations by phone, talking with a real person, so you know about policies, and whether space is available, before buying a ticket! Pam suggests saving a screenshot of the baggage policy on your cell phone. We’ll have more details in another post.
Ebike options are more limited due to greater weight and the risk of a battery fire. On the other hand, a folding or take-apart bicycle which fits into a suitcase or bag is ordinary luggage, and can go on any train, intercity bus, or flight.
Local travel options
When traveling with your bicycle on local transportation, you can usually just ride to the bus stop or station. Most urban public transit systems transport bicycles. Check policies in advance. For example, there may be restrictions at peak hours. Local transit authorities have this information on their Web sites. You need to learn to use the bike rack on the front of a bus, and make sure your bicycle will fit. Sit near the front to keep your bicycle in view. Locking your bike to the rack would take too long, but you can lock a wheel to the frame while waiting at the bus stop.