Traveling by Bicycle Across America

Bicycle Travel on the Southwest Chief – Amtrak

Amtrak bicycle box

This is the box my Bianchi Volpe touring bicycle traveled in from Los Angeles to Chicago. I had to remove the handle bar from the stem. It was then taped to the frame. I also removed the pedals. Because the bracket for the handle bar bag was in the way, I removed it also. Then the bicycle just rolls in to the box. There was not much space left at the end. I was able to leave the saddle in place.

Amtrak charges $15.00 for the box plus a $10.00 check in fee. On my trip to Seattle, I used a box from a local bike shop. I had to remove the front rack and fender, the handle bars, seat post and saddle. It took a long time to dismantle and a long time to reassemble when I arrived. The Amtrak box is much easier to work with.

Rolling the bike out of the box

With the bicycle out of the box in Chicago, I just reassembled the handle bar to the stem and put the bracket for the handle bar bag back in place. Then I put the panniers on and I was ready to take the bike home.

Assemble touring bike

If you are at Union Station in Chicago in the afternoon, you will find that you cannot take a bicycle on a commuter train between 3pm and 7pm. That left me with a long wait for the 7:40pm train.

Traveling with your bicycle on Amtrak works well. It is likely to cost less than taking a bicycle on an airplane.


Day 38 – the Mexican Border


Riding the Southern Tier 2016


  1. Lily

    Hey, your story is really inspiring. I came upon this idea to bike from Aspen colorado, where i’m from to Carmel, California, where I have arrangements to wwoof on July 7th. I’m 20, i’m ambitious, and looking for some sort of risky adventure. I really don’t know what I’m getting myself into and what I should be prepared for. I’m a bit of a rookie, and 1,168 miles is daunting. Can I do it in a month? Should I forget about it? Or is it realistic? I’m in shape, I run and bike and swim just about every day, I’m just worried i’m in over my head.

  2. Bruce luthy

    We are Sweet peas ( former DQ) in Chester, il. We will become a seasonal ice cream shop in April 2016. We would like to invite bicycle riders to stop in, cool off, and sign our guest book. We used to have a lot of riders in the past, but closed a few years ago. We always enjoyed seeing the riders and would enjoy having them back. Bruce Luthy. 1-618-559-4152.

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