I'm considering getting an S&S coupled bike to make travel easier. However I was wondering how reasonable this is for a completely unpredictable trip - in other words, what if I have no idea where I will be at the end of my trip - since best laid plans always go completely haywire and I really love being able to go completely change your route if you wanted to.
So... the question of how to pack my potential future awesome transportable S&S bike comes up, obviously I can't lug a hard case with me and even the soft cases look pretty freakin' heavy if you have to lug it around for a few months - forget it. So I wonder if it's possible to cobble together some kind of disposable, temporary but really good box to get your bike one way and just throw it away at the other end of the flight. Something I could build from materials you can find at any typical town on the road. Maybe construct some kind of cardboard + duct tape + some kind of thin but strong material for a liner... mutiple layers of plastic siding I can cut to size or something. I'm thinking out loud here. Assume there's a hardware store, what kind of materials can I find to build something that will work really well starting with nothing but a credit card, a shopping list, and the typical stuff you'd have on a bike tour (knife, inner tubes, leftover oatmeal, dirty socks, etc.). Something I can check as luggage at the airport so it can't be too big or too heavy (whatever that means, exactly - depends on the airline I suppose) and survive the baggage handlers.
Even better yet would be materials I can buy at a hardware store then transport to the airport where I'd build the container - that might be asking a lot but building and boxing my bike at the hardware store 20 miles from the airport leaves another problem, getting to the airport, but I guess there's aways a taxi or shuttle. But I could in theory bungie cord a bunch of building materials to my bike and get myself to the airport eary and construct my transport container right there on the spot for the ultimate in self-supported touring and cheapness
However building it right at the hardware store kinda makes sense, I wouldn't want to be at the airport then realize I forgot a vital building component for my case
Now that I think about it if there was a way to build something cheap and sturdy that can be used once or twice, considering that if you only need to fly your bike once a year for your annual summer adventure, it might be more sensible than springing $400 for a hard case anyways.
What I could do is build one at home so that I can create a complete bill of materials, with accurate measurements, and then have a good idea of the time needed. Then I'd have one I can use for my next trip if I'm flying out of my home town.