Planning our trip on the Erie Canal – Transportation
We were biking in the mountains, and my daughter Kate said she wanted to bike where it is flat.
Yesterday, Kate planned out our route from Albany to Niagara Falls. I’m redesigning the maps for the Cycling the Erie Canal guide book, and I’m trying to figure out how to make the trip work this summer. There may be four of us going.
The challenge of a one way trip
The last time I biked from Buffalo to Albany, I took a train from Philadelphia to Buffalo’s Depew Station. I had to ship by bike the day before though, and it was a lot of effort.
I looked into shipping bikes back from Niagara or Buffalo and then taking Amtrak. The 448 Lakeshore Limited looks like it will cost about $75 for the ticket and checked bike fee and has space for a few bikes. According to Adventure Cycling’s spreadsheet, no box is needed because it is train-side checked. This really helps. So, that is about $225 for three of us and is very convenient. And the train ride is about 6 hours.
But what if the train only can accommodate 3 bikes and there are four or five of us? Then, I think we need to rent an SUV and buy a bike rack. The cost goes up to about $400 (but now we’d have a new bike rack). I’d probably have to ship the bike rack to a hotel.
Speaking of Adventure Cycling Association… When we bought Arkel Dolphin 48 bike panniers, Arkel offered a 6 month membership to Adventure Cycling. I’m a life member anyway. Adventure Cycling has an awesome magazine. And for people who want to do short overnight trips, you can get ideas at bikeovernights.org.