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Messages - staehpj1

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I guess there was so much conversation about shipping via airplane and only one comment about FedX/UPS, it was starting to sound like the obvious choice is by air.

Maybe because the original poster specifically asked about shipping by plane.  They said:
My wife and I are planning to do some touring in the midwest (from California), and need to fly there with our bikes and equipment.

Also if flying to a tour IMO it does make sense to fly with the bike to the tour.  It is nice to be able to just ride out of the airport.  I do prefer to UPS the bike home after the tour though.  It is nice to just dump it on a bike shop and pay them to box and ship it home.  That has generally cost me about $100 including the shipping and the bike shop's fee.  It is so nice to not have to deal with boxing and schlepping the box to the airport in a strange town at the end of a tour.

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:32:14 pm »
It may not have changed. Nothing you learned is in conflict with what Pete reported. Pete didn't say that they didn't do it; he just said he didn't like the terms under which they did it.
Yes that is correct.  They were still willing to do it then.  The differences were as I recall them:
  • Where they used to use their distribution system they at that point said that it would go UPS and the full UPS costs would of course be payed by me.
  • Additionally they would insist on reassembling it at the receiving store for another iteration of the same fee.  A fee that in the past was the total cost of packing shipping and receiving.  So bottom line was twice as much, plus the full UPS charges.
  • I do not recall the exact dollar amounts, but it was not only way more than they used to charge, but also a lot more than I have ever been charged by a bike shop to pack and ship a bike to my home address.
I will not claim that is all completely accurate as I am going strictly from my sometimes faulty memory.  That said, I definitely found it worse than any of the numerous bike shops I have used for the same purpose and to no longer be a decent deal at all.

3
General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 17, 2014, 08:58:04 am »
And to think that was before the Great Corporate Takeover and Warranty Reduction of 2013.  Somehow, I doubt REI will have improved in the last couple of years.

Yeah the only reason I suggested verifying was because I had it only from one person in one store.  If he was correct, which seems likely, it is a slam dunk that their policy hasn't changed for the better.

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Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 17, 2014, 03:27:59 am »
It is a personal preference thing, but...  I wouldn't bother.  Your 22-32 is low enough and two teeth on the rear won't make all that much difference.  If it actually did make the difference between walking and not (unlikely), the steepest climbs on the TA are in the Appalachians and worst case they are short enough to walk in a reasonable amount of time.

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 16, 2014, 04:52:21 pm »
Wow.  Your update is important.   Thx.  * Nope .... my last was just before 2012.  At that time I did one of the Atlanta REIs to Spokane REI.
I'd suggest checking to be sure that what I was told was correct and that it applies across their system just to be sure, but the guy there in Denver said it was the new policy.

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 16, 2014, 04:00:51 pm »
Can't speak to how this approach would 'cost compare,' however, I have dealt to my satisfaction with both your stated matters (fenders, et.al., + empty fuel containers) by simply giving my entire rig (bike, panniers, & then some) to REI at one location and had them pack/ship from one REI location to another REI location close to my tour start point.  I have taken this approach at least 3 times and will continue to do so IF, of course, REI locations are  in proximity to my tour start and stop sites.  I saved more time on 1 or 2 of those occasions by paying REI to reassemble/test out my bicycle, as well.  Coming home I always had the option of having them pack/ship straight to my house.

Last time I tried that they said the policy had changed.  I forget the details but the price and logistics turned me off.  If I remember correctly they were charging to box it, using UPS to ship it at full cost, and charging me to unpack it and assemble it on the other end.  That last was mandatory.

That was in 2012 at the Denver store.  I said "no thanks", got a box from them (which they gave me for free), boxed it up myself, and used UPS to send it home.  Since I had a rental car at that point I dropped it off at a UPS store myself.

Have you shipped that way since then?

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 16, 2014, 01:39:21 pm »
Yep.  That is one reason why I use a home made alcohol stove when flying to a tour start.  Worst case I'd have to make a new one.  Never had them confiscate one though.  I use a bottled water bottle to carry alcohol fuel so I can pick that up at the destination if I don't already have one.

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 16, 2014, 04:03:09 am »
I use and like them, but, one negative thing about cardboard boxes is that the airline is likely to make you sign something saying they are responsible for loss but not damage.  I don't let that worry me, but signing such a waiver is something you should expect.  I have had to do that most of the time.

Not sure how heavy you pack, but for some the weight limit can be an issue.  They do sock you with huge fees for over weight.  Weigh things ahead of time and distribute weight between bags being sure none exceed 50 pounds.  I usually fly Southwest and with them you get two free checked bags, but your bike box counts as one of them and a bike fee is assessed.  If you need more space than that a carry on can take some of the overflow and you could even crams some stuff in a small bag taken as a "personal item".  If you need all of that you might consider trimming your packing list though.

I prefer to pack really light and have few enough bags that I can carry everything at once by myself.  I don't think to many folks manage that though.

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« on: April 15, 2014, 12:20:25 pm »
Will you be flying to and from the same location?  If not a hard shell case will be a hassle any way.

I have used a cardboard box numerous times with good luck.  I have also used a soft case a few times.  You may need to remove the racks and fenders.  If so they can usually fit in the box or case with careful packing.  Fenders can kind of spoon with the wheels.  If the racks don't fit in the box they can be in the bags with your other gear.

I pack light and have been able to fit everything in my soft case gear and all, with the exception of a few items in a carry on small enough to fit under the seat.  The heavier you pack the more difficult since bags are usually limited to 50 pounds each.

Do check the bicycle policy before buying plane tickets  since some airlines might charge as much as $200 per leg of the flight.  Southwest is the most bike friendly in my experience.  I highly recommend them if they fly where you want to go.  Delta is the worst of the airlines I have used wrt bikes as baggage.

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General Discussion / Re: no progress with Amtrak for GAP / C&O
« on: April 15, 2014, 11:54:34 am »
A bit off-track (pun intended) but does Greyhound/Trailways offer any reasonable bike transport as accompanying luggage for passengers?
Yes.  I haven't used them but have dropped off a buddy who did.  I don't have any details, but can at least acknowledge that the service exists.  I have also read that they will ship bikes as cargo.

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General Discussion / Re: Delta Cargo
« on: April 15, 2014, 06:44:59 am »
Unfortunately, Southwest is pulling out of my local market, so SW will no longer an option for me in a couple of months.
Too bad.  Still, when I last looked into airlines for flying with a bike Delta was the worst, so there is probably still a better choice in your local market than them.

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General Discussion / Re: Delta Cargo
« on: April 14, 2014, 09:54:32 am »
Has anybody ever used Delta Cargo shipping to ship a bike?  If so, how did the cost compare to shipping by Fedex?
I personally wouldn't consider Delta because of their generally bike unfriendly baggage policies.  Southwest is way more bike friendly so I'd be inclined to look into Southwest Cargo if going the airline cargo route.  Delta does not deserve to be rewarded with cyclist's business.

If you are going the same place as the bike, I'd just pick a bike friendly airline and take it as checked baggage (that would definitely NOT be Delta).  I have often flown with my bike on more bike friendly airlines and used FedEx or UPS when going the cargo route.

Amtrak Express Shipping might be another option.  I have not used them though so can't speak first hand on how well they do.

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General Discussion / Re: no progress with Amtrak for GAP / C&O
« on: April 11, 2014, 07:09:24 am »
I was under the impression that the desired roll on service didn't require baggage cars or additional personnel, but merely a bit of rack space for the hang the bikes in.  What did they do during the trial?  I can't imagine the had regular baggage service along the route.

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Routes / Re: From east to west starting June 2014
« on: April 10, 2014, 03:07:55 am »
We definitely want to go to Glacier NP and spend a few day there.
Missing Glacier NP was one of the few regrets of our 2007 Trans America.

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Routes / Re: From east to west starting June 2014
« on: April 08, 2014, 03:08:36 pm »
Yes, I knew my maps was not yet fitted for biking. I use it to map the big cities along our way.
Do you really want to hit those cities?  I typically avoid hitting many big cities and stick with mostly small towns.  If you aren't set on hitting big cities I'd recommend checking out some of the Adventure Cycling routes.  In particular the Trans America in the west.  Adventure Cycling picks nice roads through small towns.

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