Cycling in Sydney Australia
So, my friend and I are booked into CountryLink from Sydney to arrive at a small station out in woop-woop. Seeing neither of us have a vehicle, we booked in our bikes. We were already grating at the extra $50 in transport fees, the hour-earlier departure, and the stupid business of having to box a bike for travel (it takes up much more room!), only to be told that since X is an unmanned station, no one will be there to hand over a box for the trip home.
So, the employee suggested either lug the boxes the 50km to the holiday destination and back (on a bicycle), or pay an extra $40 to ride the extra 20km to a manned station so the *#$*&#$*& twats can give me a box. My rule of not lashing out at an employee for their employer's lousy policy was seriously being tested.
Honestly, how can a long distance travel-service have such massive oversight? Airlines are more accommodating! And that's saying something. Not to mention there's only 3 bike spots on any XPT service. People can put prams on without charge or booking beforehand, so space can't be that hard-pressed. Some courtesy should be extended to cyclists too, as in many cases it can be a similarly essential item. Not all of us drive.
If anyone's ever been on the Bomaderry-Kiama service, or any Cityrail service, they'd know how easy it is to put a metal hook on the wall or roof. Is there any way to put forward this suggestion en masse? From looking at other's similar experiences it would make life so much easier for cyclists.
Alternatively, can anyone think of a loophole to get around this bullshite? I have a big padded carrying bag, though we both have rigid-frame bikes which only come down to 70cm length at the least.
It is so sad, we take out kids and bike everywhere we can on City Rail (Blue Mountains, Kiama) even using the Nihola Trike and Yuba Mundo. But the XPTs. Don't get me started. We have not been able to go anywhere in NSW when you have to use them and at one point travelled to Bali with our bikes as it was actually much easier than getting the train with bikes to Bathurst. And there is a very limited to the number of large boxes (which bikes are just one form of) that can be loaded on an XPT.
Very sad and it is going to be a real hindrance to the development of Rail Trails. Basically you have to have a car to use the rail trails. Absurd, we can fly to Melbourne and get on the VLines with bikes as easily as going to anywhere in NSW.
We love touring on bikes with our kids but our home state is very restrictive with rail access.
I've got the solution!
"Children 15 years and under can travel anywhere on the NSW TrainLink Regional network for just $1 each way."
Disguise your bike as a child under the age of 15, or just tell them it's your baby, and voila, put your bike on the seat next to you.