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Michael R from Libertyville on 3/25/2021 8:22:13 PM:
I am planning a trip for two of us to bike Buffalo to Albany. We will be flying into Buffalo to begin our journey. We will be doing about 50 miles per day and will be staying at hotel/motel/B&B. Is there bike rentals in Buffalo, that I can rent for 8 days? Is there a service or how would I have our carry on luggage transported daily to the next overnight stay? Is there transportation from Albany back to Buffalo with the bikes? Thank you

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 3/26/2021 10:38:53 AM:
Michael R: No offense, but you have a lot of research to do regarding riding the Erie Canalway. IMO, the easy answer here is (1) Look into Parks & Trails NY (PTNY.org) regarding their annual organized ride across the Canalway. You can buy in at various levels (food, accommodations, support, etc.) and this may very well be your best option. (2) If you want to plan your own tour, know that most riders carry their own gear. Then, you have your choice of how you overnight -- camp, B&B, or motels. The PTNY website interactive map (as well as the one on this website) offer information about lodging and logistics. PTNY also offers a newly edited Guide that you can purchase (and I would highly recommend it for planning purposes). Regarding bike rentals -- I do not know if such is available, but some conversation with local (Buffalo) based shops may find the answer. Here are a few of the top shops: Tom's Pro Bike, Campus WheelWorks and Bert's Bikes. PTNY may offer some advise on this topic as well. Good luck planning out your adventure.

 
Michael R from Libertyville on 3/28/2021 9:08:55 AM:
Yes I do have to do a lot of research and that is why I submitted a post on this site. Having never bicycled in New York I am just now putting pieces together. Figuring out options. Thank you for your information. I appreciate it.

 
wanderingsoul from St. Mary's City, MD on 3/28/2021 11:57:21 AM:
Michael T: Good luck with your planning. I'm new to this forum and am also planning to ride Bflo-Abny in early June. On the question of bike rental in Bflo, I have no knowledge to share. On the second question of transporting your luggage from stop to stop, I have a suggestion based on my hiking 4 caminos (France, Portugal & Spain) and 4 biking trips (1 each along the Moselle, Rhine and Danube rivers and 1 from Pittsburgh to DC on the GAP and C&O canal.) I did all of these trips independently, i.e. without using any oufitter or travel agency. I carried everything in my backpack (hiking) or my panier (biking). This solves the logistical issue of transporting luggage from place to place. It's a really liberating experience to take only the absolute bare minimum, and only the lightest and least bulky items that are quick dry (so they can be washed by hand and dried in a few hours.) I should say that my hiking and biking trips had been either in the spring or autumn which translate into no need for bulky and heavy winter garment, boots and gloves. The total weight of my panier/backpack was always kept to 11-12 pounds, including the pach/oanier, tools and spare inner tube... The Danube river trip covered 5 countries in about 5 weeks. Even if you have carry-on luggage, you can always leave these at your hotel in Bflo and only take what you really need for your 8-day biking trip. I'm interested in the solution to your question number 3. Please share it as I'm facing a similar issue: how to get my bike back from Albany (to Rochester where my son can pick me up.)

 
wnybubba from Bflo/ROC on 3/28/2021 11:51:42 PM:
Michael R: Hey, I realized I missed your last question about getting back to Bflo. Not an issue, but takes advance planning. Outside of renting a van or other rental options, to the best of my knowledge there is not a shuttle service operating. Most opt to take the Amtrak train back. The issue is that there are only a limited number of bike "racks" available on any train (like 6 or 8), and they sell out fast. Online, when you purchase a fare, a second screen displays where you can Add On -- here is where you purchase a spot for your bike ($20). If a rack is available it will say how many are available, if not it says SOLD OUT. Also, roll-on bicycle service is only available at manned stations, so coming back to Bflo you use the Buffalo/Depew station as the Exchange Street station is not manned. Another completely different option mentioned on this forum quite some time ago was to purchase bikes in Bflo and sell them in Albany. Not kidding, evidently it has been done. Solves the problem of transporting bikes. Post if you need more info or how things go with your plans.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh, PA on 3/29/2021 9:07:43 AM:
WNYBubba, If the bike racks sell out, will Amtrak sell you a bike box at the station, which forces you to do the removal of pedals and the twisting of handlebars? Do they accept bike boxes at Albany? I did this at Union Station in DC after a GAP ride and it was all pretty smooth (putting a bike back together at midnight in downtown Pittsburgh wasn’t that fun after exiting the train but that’s another story). This was before roll-on, roll-off service was implemented. Will they unload my bike BOX at Exchange St. or do I still need to get off at Depew? Thanks, John

 
wnybubba from Bflo - Roc on 3/29/2021 5:41:15 PM:
John W: I believe that your experience in DC is the same in any "manned" station. AMTRAK does sell the boxes and, as you said, you need tools to accomplish the task. I know some have posted about not wanting the additional weight of tools to carry, but I don't see any other option. Regarding loading/unloading... not sure. If the bike box is a "checked item" then yes, you would have to be at a manned station. However, if it is treated as carry-on luggage, then you'd be fine at any station. I'm just not sure how they handle the boxed bike whether there is an option of taking it aboard or not. The AMTRAK website says that there is not "checked service" available on the Empire Service train, so who knows what that means! It does say that you can have a boxed bike in lieu of a piece of baggage, but do they consider luggage as something that is checked rather than carry-on. It's all a bit confusing, huh? I'm sure a phone call to AMTRAK [800-USA-TRAIN] will provide some clarification. It would be nice to be able to finally sort these things out!

 
Yankee John from Vermont/Rexford on 3/29/2021 9:17:33 PM:
Exchange is a spot on the track with no facilities, definitely 'unmanned.' The Lakeshore train doesn't stop there.

 
John W. from Pittsburgh,PA on 3/30/2021 3:07:30 PM:
Thanks WNYBubba and Yankee John. I can deal with the box option is that’s all that can be purchased. Now I have to pick a week to go!