Customer starting a tour from New York up to Northeast Vermont

A customer wrote me with questions about starting a tour up to northeast Vermont on an HP Velotechnik StreetMachine Gte.

 

On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 9:19 AM, D–S– <d–s–@gmail.com> wrote:

Good morning Robert,
I want to mention a subject to cover when I pick up the bike in a few weeks (or before, if you are willing).  I’m planning a trip in June which will require shipping the bike at the very beginning.  I need to get myself, the bike, and all of the luggage to Amherst, Massachusetts.  From there I’ll ride to Northeast Vermont where I will stay for a month before biking back to New York.    My sense is that such a large pile of stuff is difficult if not impossible on Amtrak or Greyhound, but I’m looking into it.
I’ll need some advice about:
  1. whether it will be possible to save and reuse the original shipping box;
  2. how to safely pack the bike;
  3. how to ship it.
Looking forward to the end of May!
Dan

 

Hi Dan,

Sounds like a great trip.  Will you go through Craftsbury?  Are you using the ACA routes or something of your own?
A few ideas.
If it were me, because it’s simplest in terms of transporting the equipment, I’d seriously consider riding from the end of the Metro North in Waterbury, CT to Amherst, MA (or a hillier route from Amenia, NY).
I haven’t ridden this route but it would probably be an amazing ride.  It looks like a flat, one-day ride.  Note: this is just a rough Google route.  I haven’t optimized it in any way.

For shipping the bike, with or without you on board, you’re best bet may be one of the bus companies like Greyhound, which also has a shipping service.
If it’s with you on-board the bus, you may need to pay extra for “oversize” luggage.  For this, I’d wrap the bike in a cheap blue nylon tarp like this one.  It’s light but strong and you can either use it as a shelter (unless it gets holes during transit) or dispose it.  During shipping, brakes and derailers might get mashed a bit.  This will be a good test of the skills you’ll need to do road-side repairs.  I realize that sounds like a joke, but I mean it.
Unfortunately, the box the SMGte ships in from Germany isn’t suitable for re-packing because the bike arrives in pieces and the shipping box is smaller than the finished bike.
On Amtrak, the SMGte probably exceeds their current bikes-on-board size limits but their restrictions are evolving and the trains that newly allow you to reserve a bike space MIGHT work.  I haven’t personally seen how the bike racks work and, I believe that different trains have different loading options.  I tend to think I could make the bike fit if I have time for some disassembly.  If you end up using these, please let me know how it works.
Talk later,
Robert
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