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Planning for future travel

August 30, 2010

Just got back from a week in CA, had a lovely time on a borrowed bike poking around (Thanks again, WMS). But, my own bike would be even nicer. I looked into what the airlines charge to ship a bike, and it’s about $100 each way, for a boxed bike. No go.

HOWEVER, bikes can be shipped, too. Turns out, UPS will ship a bike box weighing up to 65 lbs across the country for about $75, with delivery in 8 days. I wandered down to the local bike shop, picked up an empty bike box, and did the pack/unpack experiment. With the removable (MKS) pedals, and quick release wheels, what remains is to pop the seat and post, and pop the handlebars, all doable with a 3-way Allen Wrench. Also, pop the quick-release skewers out of the wheels, and put some foam pipe insulation on the frame to protect it. But otherwise, packed in a flash, and the box and bike together weigh only 35lbs, so I can pack an additional 30lbs of “stuff” in there with it.

So, the new plan, if I want to travel with my bike, is to ship it ahead, along with 30lbs of what would otherwise be luggage (that might incur a $25 charge each way anyhow on the airplane). If I was packing luggage anyway, the net cost is $50 each way. Shorter trips cost less. This still costs more money than leaving the bike at home, but it is in the same ballpark as a week of bicycle rental, or 2 days of car rental.

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