Traveling by Bicycle Across America

Bicycle Travel on the Southwest Chief – Amtrak

Amtrak bicycle box

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

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

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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