Mexico to Canada Natl Park eBike Excursions with Amtrack

Marko

Active Member
Just browsing thru some Amtrak pages. Indeed they quite bluntly say "Motorized bicycles are prohibited." The customer could try to interpret "motorized" as gas motor only (which would be logical because of fire hazard) and try his luck checking an ebike in. I doubt no one will even notice some of the stealthiest bikes especially if battery is taken out. Funnily enough (at least for a nonamerican) Amtrak goes to great lengths to allow carriage of firearms. Real western style. Ok, I dont think assault rifles or MGs were allowed.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Just browsing thru some Amtrak pages. Indeed they quite bluntly say "Motorized bicycles are prohibited." The customer could try to interpret "motorized" as gas motor only (which would be logical because of fire hazard) and try his luck checking an ebike in. I doubt no one will even notice some of the stealthiest bikes especially if battery is taken out. Funnily enough (at least for a nonamerican) Amtrak goes to great lengths to allow carriage of firearms. Real western style. Ok, I dont think assault rifles or MGs were allowed.
Amtrak is desperate for customers. You should see the commuter train that runs from San Jose to San Francisco, CA. CalTrains turns away cyclists because it is so popular. Go figure. The national railroad closes lines because they are unprofitable. Cyclists have a symbiotic relationship with trains. So, you discourage your best ally?

I spent a great deal of time clarifying the Amtrak web page error over the phone. No one at Amtrak had heard of an electric bike. I had to spend 5 to 10 minutes explaining what an eBike is. They need help to clear their own way to profitability.

A Comedy of Errors.
 
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Marko

Active Member
Amtrak is desperate for customers. You should see the commuter train that runs from San Jose to San Francisco, CA. CalTrains turns away cyclists because it is so popular. Go figure. The national railroad closes lines because they are unprofitable. Cyclists have a symbiotic relationship with trains. So, you discourage your best ally?
The Danes have a different strategy with bikes and trains.
 

Marko

Active Member
Looks like an interesting read. First time I heard of this hike, beautiful scenery. Would be interesting to do this 2600 mile hike, but I read it requires about 5 months and visas are only for 3 months. I dont know if a mountain bike would be feasible even if they were allowed but apparently some ride it with horses. With a horse the problem will be finding enough water and pasture. Snow can be an issue if timing is not optimal.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Looks like an interesting read. First time I heard of this hike, beautiful scenery. Would be interesting to do this 2600 mile hike, but I read it requires about 5 months and visas are only for 3 months. I dont know if a mountain bike would be feasible even if they were allowed but apparently some ride it with horses. With a horse the problem will be finding enough water and pasture. Snow can be an issue if timing is not optimal.
The book provides exactly those details. Many other people have written about PCT logistics. Snow has not been an issue. We are having a once in 100 year drought.

To me the most sensible approach is to break the trip up into seasonal sections in the most suitable years. The entire PCT is overwhelmingly beautiful . Take your time and enjoy nature. Like buying fresh groceries in season. For example, I could easily spent a month camping in this one location along the train route.

My solution is use the train to access different sections. I love hiking. Last weekend, I hiked the mountains in my area. I prefer the comfort of day trips. As soon as I get an eBike, I will do the Oregon bike rides. I will update this post.

The bike I will buy is designed specifically to take advantage of Amtrak. Please see
http://electricbikereview.com/commu...otive-grade-electric-bike-motor-magnets.1811/

And

http://electricbikereview.com/commu...n-for-electric-bikes-ca-motorized-cycle.1805/
 
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Marko

Active Member
Isn't that HPC suboptimal for touring; at least I dont see a way to put a rack on it. Why dont you get an ST2; that will be speedy, although not 45 mph, and it has a lot of range and a rack. Also, you dont have to register it. I bet you can even get it on Amtrak without a hassle because it does not look motorized.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Isn't that HPC suboptimal for touring; at least I dont see a way to put a rack on it. Why dont you get an ST2; that will be speedy, although not 45 mph, and it has a lot of range and a rack. Also, you dont have to register it. I bet you can even get it on Amtrak without a hassle because it does not look motorized.
I could support 40 pounds on a seat post rack. I plan to take extended weekend trips that are more akin to day hikes. I do not know if "touring" is the most apt word. Perhaps, "cross country" is closer. I am thinking more of century-like race loops centered around a train station, or between two stations. I run to my grocery store and carry 35 pounds of food back up a 10-18% grade. Pretty much a marine-like workout. I run up a 10% grade and pass cyclists. I am six feet tall. My weight fluctuates between 165 and 185. I now weigh 175 pounds.

One does not need to register a 1000W bike in California (CA) or Oregon (OR). I believe Washington (WA) also has a 1000 watt "motorized bicycle" limit. The USA federal limit is 750 watts, but state law supercedes federal law. I believe Canada is 500 watt limit. I could set power level from the Cycle Analyst display. I love biking around Vancouver, Canada.

I will work with CalTrains and Amtrack to make the issues absolutely clear. EBikes are entirely new to Amtrack. I had the same problem explaining just the concept of an electric bike to CalTrains. The last thing I want is to get kicked off the train 1,000 miles from home. I will insist both trains clarify their confusing web pages.

My goal is one frame that supports two eBike types: both "cross country" and "downhill", for lack of more descriptive terms. I intend to swap rear wheels with different hub motors to achieve my aims. The weight and power details are outlined in his post. The entire plan hinges on the frame. I know of no other frame that affords such flexibility. The best set of compromises. Especially important is the swingarm suspension, rather than traditional four point suspensions.

The second most important issue is battery. The HPC Revo battery tank has capacity for two 13 Amp-hour batteries connected in parallel. The batteries are NMC chemistry which is the only chemistry targeting either power(Nickel) or range(Mangenese) by altering the chemical ratios. NMC is low weight; the 26 Amp-hour, 52V battery weighs 16 pounds.

The frame weighs 19 pounds, so the minimum weight is 35 pounds. Other weights need to be added. I am targeting 50 pounds.
 
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Mike leroy

Active Member
Most state run rail (light rail) allow ebikes on board in the passenger area.
True. CalTrains runs from SF to SJ. I tested the train bike car. I had a very long discussion with the train conductor. Bikes are confusing to CalTrains because eBikes are so new. It will take some time and effort to clear a path