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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« Last post by indyfabz on April 16, 2014, 08:08:31 am »
The two TSA agents I have spoken to about stoves both told me that if they are detected they will be confiscated because of fuel and/or ash residue. I have an MSR Dragonfly. No way am I willing to risk that getting confiscated.

The two times I have flown domestically for unsupported tours, I have shipped my bike via UPS in a plastic case from Crateworks:

http://www.crateworks.com/

The boxes are big but still "airline legal." Their depth allows me to fit both my large racks in the case along with my 60cm LHT. I remove them and "weave" them around the frame. I also put my stove and empty fuel bottle in the crate. I ship the package to a local bike shop at the start and have them assemble and tune the bike. The shop stores my box and the duffle bag I flew with. When I return, I take the bike to the shop and go have a beer. The shop packs and ships the bike back to the address of my choosing. The shop labor costs money, but if your airline charges a lot for a bike, youi might save money or at least break even. Plus, you don't have to worry about ground transportation with your bike if you don't plan to ride straight from the airport.

I am booked to Missoula in June on United. I think United charges $175 for a bike each way. I will be going the shipping route again. If you choose to ship, you should leave about 10 days for UPS ground shipping just to be on the safe side. I have shipped from Philly to Montana twice. It's never taken more than about 7 days, but I like to play it safe. Also, you should make arrangmentas with the shop well ahead of time so you will be on the schedule. A few years ago, the Missoula bike shop we used forgot to put us on the schedule for packing and shipping back home even though we had made it clear when we would be dropping our bikes off. That resulted in about a 4 day delay in getting our bikes back.
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Classifieds / WTB: Rackless touring gear
« Last post by nominus on April 16, 2014, 06:29:42 am »
I'm in search of rackless touring bags such as Revelate Designs, Carousel Design Works, Porcelain Rocket, etc. My bike can't accommodate normal racks so I'm in need of alternatives. If you have some nice high-capacity frame bags for sale, let me know!

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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« Last post by staehpj1 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
« Last post by Patco on April 15, 2014, 05:36:54 pm »
Another thought for your consideration. I have generally packed my bikes in cardboard boxes built for shipping bikes (as has been suggested, a box for the bike and a box for gear, although I generally have three boxes since I ship my wheels in a separate box) and then I use UPS and have them delivered to my first night destination (generally a hotel near the airport of my start point), where I put the bike together, take a test ride, and leave the following morning. I have never had a problem with a hotel accepting the boxes for a future guest. I generally ship so that the boxes will arrive two days before I arrive. I want a cushion. I have found the cost to be less, and the hassle to be less.
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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« Last post by John Nelson on April 15, 2014, 02:56:58 pm »
In my opinion, the humble cardboard box is your friend. You can pack your bike in one. You can pack your gear in one. You can pack anything in a cardboard box. Just remember to pay close attention to the airline or carrier limitations on size and weight, and any price jumps at certain points.
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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« Last post by DaveB on April 15, 2014, 02:37:51 pm »
Also pay attention to the weight limit of checked baggage which, these days, is 50 pounds/item. The overweight charges are appalling so be careful of packing too much extra gear in with your bike.  If you can ship your bikes via Fed Ex or UPS to the first night's motel or a local bike shop prior to the trip the cost may be much less.
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General Discussion / Re: Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« Last post by staehpj1 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
« Last post by staehpj1 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 / Logistics of shipping equipment for touring
« Last post by xenomera on April 15, 2014, 11:22:21 am »
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.

Here are a few logistical questions I'm curious about to those who have travelled with bikes.

1) Our bikes have fenders and Tubus racks on them (Tubus Carry on back, and Tubus Nova on the front). It doesn't look like the hard shell cases that I have seen are big enough to carry the bikes and the fenders/racks. What's the best carrying method for bikes with these accessories?

2) Our camping equipment includes a small whitegas stove (MSR Firefly) and a couple of white gas containers (empty of course). Can I just put these in my checked panniers?

Thanks.
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General Discussion / Re: no progress with Amtrak for GAP / C&O
« Last post by DaveB on April 15, 2014, 11:07:39 am »
A bit off-track (pun intended) but does Greyhound/Trailways offer any reasonable bike transport as accompanying luggage for passengers?
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