Magazine article Sunset

Taking Your Bike on a Plane or Train

Magazine article Sunset

Taking Your Bike on a Plane or Train

Article excerpt

Planning to take your bicycle along when you travel by air or train this summer? Here's what you need to know for destinations in the US. (Rules and costs vary for international travel; call carriers ahead.)

By air. Carriers commonly charge $20 to $30 each way per bicycle. Most carriers require you to contain your bike first; boxes or bags are sometimes provided free by the carrier, though they may cost $5 to $15. Boxes offer more protection (especially for the derailleur), but it's much easier to get your bike into a bag, and easier to stow the bag for reuse on your return trip.

Reusable containers might make sense if you ship your bicycle frequently. Padded hard plastic ones offer the most protection but cost the most too: $300 to $500. Durable fabric carriers are more common and cost $150 to $300. Look for either type at a bicycle store or recreational outfitter; some bike stores rent them (you'll have to call around).

By rail. Amtrak carries bicycles for $5 each way (boxes are free). But it only allows bikes on trains that check baggage at both ends of the trip. Refer to the Amtrak schedule for stops where baggage is checked, or call (800) 872-7245. …

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