This post will show you how I went from this:
But first: the most important part of traveling with your road bike? Decide if you’re going to check it on as luggage or ship it via FedEx or UPS. Check-in fees vary WIDELY according to the airline you’re flying with. Based on this article, I decided to go with Southwest for my upcoming flight to California. Southwest charges $50 to fly a bike; Delta and United charge $175.
Step 1: Purchase or borrow a bike box, or stop by your local bike shop and snag a free cardboard box. I got mine on loan from a member of a local bike club.
Step 2: Remove your pedals. This gave me some difficulty because I thought I needed a wrench when I really needed an allen key. Tie your pedals together so you can’t lose one.
Step 3: Remove your seat post, screwing the bolts back when you’re done so you don’t lose them.
Step 4: Try to remove the handlebars from the stem. Skype your father and hold up the bike because you have no idea what the heck you’re doing. Figure out you don’t need to detach the gears, you can just let the handlebars dangle.
Step 5: Remove the front wheel and the back wheel. Looking good! Deflate the tires and place the wheels side-by-side in the box OVER a layer of foam (I changed it after taking that picture).
Step 6: Cover the tires with a layer of plastic and settle the bike into the box. Remove your aerobars if you have them (duh, Caitlin) and then position the handlebars among the frame so it’s as tight as possible.
Step 7: Wrap your chain and derailleur in old washclothes to protect them and the rest of your bike.
Step 8: Put all your gear + tools + pedals in a bag so you can put the darn thing back together when you get to your destination.
Step 9: Position your bag, seat, aerobars, and other odds and ends around the bike (but away from the chain), add another layer of foam, and close the box!
Step 10: Double check your workspace to make sure you didn’t leave behind any important screws or tools!
An article on Bicycling.com said it would take 15 minutes to pack a bike, but it took me more than 56 minutes (yes, I timed the process). You can also take your bike to a shop and pay a fee to get it packed, but I really wanted to know how it worked for my own benefit…. plus, I’ll have to repack it in California to get it back to Florida!
Pre-bike packing Chocolate Cherry Bomb Green Monster:
My smoothie contained:
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1/2 banana
- 15 frozen cherries
- 2 cups spinach
- Drop of Stevia
- Cocoa powder
And lunch was Israeli cous cous (a pre-made kind) on a spinach bed with crackers.
So, I am pretty proud of myself for packing my bike! I don’t consider myself very handy. I can’t change a tire or fix a toilet to save my life. I feel like I learned a new skill today, which always makes me feel confident and self-sufficient.
Are you handy?