Uni's on the Amtrak Bus to Seattle - nope!

So I decided to go down to the Seattle Juggling festival from Vancouver by the Amtrak train… but unfortunately the travel times sucked… so the next option was the Amtrak bus… better times and a decent price… ah, it will be so good to avoid sitting in a sweltering car amongst other drivers in overheated autos all stuck in hours of volume delayed traffic on the freeway… sweet… but wait! Better check on taking my uni as part of my luggage, don’t want any surprises when I am down at the bus terminal.

E-mail 'em, can I take a small (thinking of the 20 inch Trials uni here ) unicycle on as part of my luggage?

“Regretably this service is not available…” Is what I get back from the bus company.

Humm, that is puzzling so I ask pointedly, “are you saying that I can not take my unicycle as part of my luggage allowance?” “That’s right, you can not”, they reply.

(Good thing I didn’t mention that Gazz 3 inch tire that I am bringing down for Unibrier!)

Hummm, so I think this means I will have to take the uni apart and stuff it into my duffle bag. Hopefully that service will be available!

Well just be forewarned in case you too were considering travel with Amtrak motorcoach this summer and had intentions of having a unicycle or two accompany you.

Erin

Don’t try to confuse them with anything out of the ordinary. Just put it in a suitcase and hand it to them. They won’t know the difference.:smiley:

That’s right. Ask and ye shall be denied. So treat the bus (or whatever form of transportation) the same way we treat air travel. Pack the unicycles so they look like luggage, and then that’s what they are.

Only the largest sizes of suitcase hold a 20" wheel with the tire on. Duffel bags are good—except for no wheels—but they usually only fit up to a 24" wheel. My inexpensive, flat-bottomed, zipper-expanded bags hold up to three unis easily, and leave extra room for your tools, pump, or whatever. My helmet travels in the suitcase, so it doesn’t get crushed.

I need to take a picture of this bag, because I’ve searched on the Web and never previously been able to find an example of one. I get mine from one of the many vendors of inexpensive luggage at my local new-merchandise flea market.

Then I pad around the unicycles with pieces of foam rubber sheeting, or a blanket, so it’s not so obvious what’s in there. I also put foam between the wheels, so they don’t poke each other too much.

Pack your unis like that, and you can even ride the bus to the Twin Cities next month, for the big convention!

Good suggestions, John.

MEC has duffle bags on wheels, maybe it would be a worthwhile investment to pack a uni along on upcoing trips, see the bags here:

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_listing.jsp?FOLDER<>folder_id=587427&bmUID=1055520780846

I was thinking the one mentioned as having the 103 litre capacity might be the right size.

Erin

Those are good looking bags, but they don’t look very big. The site gives the bags’ size in litres. Everybody, raise your hands if you fill your luggage with liquid. Anybody? Anybody? Me neither. I’d much rather know the h-w-l dimensions of a piece of luggage, so I know what I can fit in there… :stuck_out_tongue:

The roller duffels I’ve seen in person would probably fit 20" wheels, but I doubt a 24" will go. The bags I was describing have a rounded rectangular base (with wheels), and stand pretty tall when the expansion zippers are opened. The base dimensions on the big ones I use are something like 18" x 24". This leaves enough “give” in the soft sides to get at least one 26" wheel in there. I brought two 26 inchers to Moab in March, though one was technically a 24x3".

Erin–
Traveling the Greyhound to a Unatics meeting with two unis and one other unicyclist:

At Home:
Place one uni in a duffle bag.
Place other uni in another duffle bag.
Place second uni/duffle into first duffle.

Place backpack with pads, clothing, etc. on back.

Duffle goes under bus.
Backpack goes on bus with me.

At NYC:
Carry backpack and duffle to traffic eddy.
Unpack unis.
Put on pads and helmet.
Place duffles into backpack.
Ride off!

This method has worked great many times now. It’s convenient and protects the unis without excessive trouble and bulk. The nice thing about the no-wheels approach is that the duffles go easily into the backpack.

For a longer trip than the 3 hours, I’d try to pack a little more padding around the unis. But they are tough; really all you are doing is protecting the spokes from objects that would wedge between them.

And, like above, don’t ask; just do.

On Metro North since we get on the first stop there is plenty of room, as you can see below where we have brought many unis, including the massive two-wheeler. That was a [I]cold [/I] day!

I assume that the Amtrak bus is actually operated by Greyhound.

Greyhound has generous luggage allowances compared to the airlines. Here is their FAQ about luggage
<http://www.greyhound.com/faq/baggage.shtml>

Tony Melton took Greyhound from Vancouver down to Seattle after UNICON and he had his muni in the luggage compartment under the bus. He didn’t do anything to pack it. It was whole. It wasn’t in a duffel or any other container.

If you’re concerned you can get a duffel bag that is big enough to fit the unicycle in whole. Their luggage size restrictions are generous so it will be fine. If it’s in a duffel you’re much more likely to avoid the “bike charge”. The less that they think it’s a bike the better.

Erin-

Keep in mind that John, Steve, the two Toms and I have about 30 unicycles between us. Tell us what you’re looking for. You may be able to just bring a seat and seatpost. Wouldn’t that be easy?

Thanks for all the suggestions guys… I’m sure these ideas will come in handy for other uni travelers soon with summer and the Nationals coming up!

Harper, nice offer…

don’t tempt me…

…ahhhhhhh,

lets see …

…what kind of seat and post would be best for Blue Shift,

I wonder…

hummm…

…just fantasizing, of course! :smiley:

Erin:p

Air seat or KH, tiltable, on a 27.2mm diameter post. I don’t know if I can cut the one I have down short enough and still have it be useable by me. But I do have a rail adapter that will fit a KH.

That would also ensure you actually get some riding time, versus having us constantly pestering you to borrow that fancy Bedford of yours… :sunglasses: