How To Pack A Bike

We're heading to Tucson for 10 days.  10 days in the sun - fueling my inner lizard as my friend Janet would say.  Of course we're bringing bikes and are going to use the time as a big training camp!  While it's definitely convenient to be able to bring our own bikes, packing a bike is not exactly a 5-minute task.

My first rule is to have Jason handy, as he's the one with the patience for the finicky jobs.  My second rule is to have a good bike box.  We've had several in the past, both hard shell and soft shell.  Our current ones are soft cases with a metal frame - nice and solid but can pack a lot of stuff in them if need be.

Humu would love to join us!

The bikes need to be prepped - remove saddle/seatpost, pedals, stem so the bars can be positioned in the box.  I also try to cover the entire frame with pipe insulation or bubble wrap.  The boxes are always opened by the TSA in US airports, so I want to make sure the frame is nicely protected when they're rooting around looking for whatever it is they're looking for.  Another super-important piece is removing the rear derailleur and using a travel skewer in between the rear drop-outs.  I suspect airports hire monsters to jump on bike boxes, so you want to make sure that any fragile areas are as protected as possible.

Removing the pedals. 
Marking the seat post - important so you don't have to fiddle with adjusting the
seat height over and over when you build the bike up again. 
Travel skewer in place. 
Our boxes hold a lot of stuff, but I don't like to completely stuff them unless necessary.  I try to add bulky but light items that would otherwise take a lot of room in my suitcase.  Airlines generally charge extra for bikes - we fly Alaska Air and they only charge $50 unless they're over 100 lbs.  Luckily I've never hit that, and I've had the box chock-full a few times!

Loaded up with gear. 
Last step - wheels!
We leave Sunday - I can't wait!  A spring break of cycling, swimming, and running in the sun! 

Ready to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment