This post will show you how I went from this:
But first: the most important part of traveling with your road bike? Decide if youâ€™re going to check it on as luggage or ship it via FedEx or UPS. Check-in fees vary WIDELY according to the airline youâ€™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 canâ€™t lose one.
Step 3: Remove your seat post, screwing the bolts back when youâ€™re done so you donâ€™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 youâ€™re doing. Figure out you donâ€™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 itâ€™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 didnâ€™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 benefitâ€¦. plus, Iâ€™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 donâ€™t consider myself very handy. I canâ€™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?