Author Topic: Getting bike to the west coast and back-from England.  (Read 2343 times)

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Offline Philip Sesemann

Getting bike to the west coast and back-from England.
« on: April 30, 2012, 09:20:04 am »
Hi, am planning a touring trip from Portland Oregon to San Diego this summer from mid August to September, with my brother. Both aged 20, I currently own a specialized allez sport 09 size 56cm- which does have the capacity for panniers.

This is my first touring trip. I am currently struggling to work out the best option of getting my bike over to Portland. Prior to the tour I will be working at a summer camp for two months in New York state. Would my best option be to ship the bike over to portland so that it arrives when I do there, or would it be to carry the bike with me to New York and then on to Portland(four serperate flights altogether including return journey).
Looking for cheapest/easiest options.
My brother does not currently own a worthy bike, is his best option purchasing a bike in the UK and shipping/traveling with the bike or would it be to pre order the bike from a shop in Portland and pick it up at the begining of our trip?
Would my best option also be to buy a bike in this way rather than deal with shipping costs?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Getting bike to the west coast and back-from England.
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 09:31:33 am »
For domestic US flights Southwest and Frontier seem to be the most bike friendly airlines.  Depending on what kind of ticket you buy from Frontier it is either free or a regular bag fee of $20 with an economy ticket the second bag is also$20.  For Southwest the only baggage fee is $50 for the bike and the second bag is free.  Just keep all bags or boxes under 50 pounds.  I usually do that to get to my tour, that way I can ride out of the airport.

Also most bike shops will box and ship a bike.  It has usually cost me about $100 for a coast to coast shipping including the bike shop's packing charges ($40-60 for packing and $40-60 for shipping).  I usually do that for the trip home after the tour, because I am usually anxious to unload the logistics of packing/shipping the bike and just worry about getting me home.

Buying the bike at the start of the tour might be OK, but be sure you have rack and pannier issues figured out.  Don't assume they will have all of that and that it will fit and be suitable unless you arrange it all ahead of time with a shop that has a clue about touring.  Also allow some time to get it all sorted out.  I figure maybe you might need to allow a whole day in the city with the bike shop if buying a bike.

Offline carolbergson

Re: Getting bike to the west coast and back-from England.
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 01:03:41 pm »
Check the airlines.  They all vary with prices for taking a bike with you.  That's the best option and usually the least expensive.  Portland has fabulous bike shops.  Check them out for your brother.  Ask about used bike shops, too.  Not sure if there is one in Portland, but would not be surprised.  Have a blast.  Consider some inland routes, as well as the coastal route.  The Trinity Alps are great for riding, if you like climbing and running into bears on the road.

Offline Mark Manley

Re: Getting bike to the west coast and back-from England.
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 09:23:53 am »
A tip for flying your bike is use a cardboard box from a bike shop and fly your bike in that, dispose of it and get another for the return. I saw a couple at Heathrow the other day struggling to get purpose made plastic boxes into the oversize luggage belt, it was too big whereas my box from the local bike shop fitted easily.

Offline webm8

Re: Getting bike to the west coast and back-from England.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 04:07:53 am »
Hey there, I'm flying out with BA this Thursday to Richmond with my BMC roadbike.  I had lots of dilemas about what to do too.  In the end I went with the clear CTC bag with lots of bubble wrap and the silver heating pipe insulation you get from B&Q to go around much of the frame.  The thinking behind the CTC clear back, (from many posts on many forums), is that the baggage handlers will see what it is, and hopefully treat it accordingly.  My first tour trip too, and first transporting a bike by plane!  I will be posting pics on my blog of how wrapped up the bike is later.  Enjoy your trip

Offline Galloper

Re: Getting bike to the west coast and back-from England.
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2012, 06:02:04 pm »
A few thoughts which might help.   I have an 06 Allez Sport and it's an excellent bike but perhaps a bit light and racy for what you have in mind.   The advantage of bringing it with you is that you'll have the use of it whilst working at the camp.   On the other hand, you have the additional expense of shipping.   It might be an idea to contact the camp organisers, you may find they have bikes available.

As for the tour, I wonder if there are any cycle recycle shops in Portland, perhaps someone on the forum may be able to advise and even keep an eye out for any suitable bikes for yourself and your brother.

And if you haven't already done so, I suggest you get hold of the excellent Adventure Cycling Pacific Coast maps.

Have a great trip!