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Bikes and Airplanes(4 posts)

Bikes and Airplanesamerigooner
Mar 3, 2002 6:24 PM
So I'm going on vacation to New Mexico. The first thing I thought of was biking while there. Now how would I get my bike from here, Minnesota, down to New Mexico. How much does it cost to bring it on the plane? Is it worth it to take it apart and package it? How much does that cost? Should I just forget about bringing my bike and rent one down there? I haven't been able to train much up here in Minnesota with the weather, maybe I could bring some rollers and train on the flight down. That would take care of two problems, but probably create a few more. Let's have it.
re: Bikes and AirplanesScot_Gore
Mar 3, 2002 7:38 PM
Amerigooner (aka hostage of NWA ( : I'm in Minnesota too)
You can ship your bike as luggage. It will likely cost you $75.00 to $100.00 if the Northwest knows it's a bike. If you review the archives on this forum you'll find lots of creative suggestions about labeling the box as "Art" or "Camera Equipment" and avoiding the "Bike" surcharge, however in the current enviorment regarding airline safety, honesty is the best policy.

You've got a couple of options for packaging:
1) Buy a hard case. They'll run you about $250.00. If you've got more of these kind of trips in mind, probably worth it, if not, big waste of $. Also, you don't have to worry about heavy objects being dropped onto your bike and can sleep peacfully while in flight. The hard case will give you the most chance to avoid a bike surcharge.
2) Head on down to Penn or Erik's and ask for an old bike box. Be sure to get the little plastic spacer thingy for your front fork. Pack your bike into it. Now, stare at the ceiling for the entire flight wondering if the Dentist sitting next you is shipping his x-ray machine down and it's resting on your cardboard wrapped bike the whole flight. Many people check bikes this way all the time without problems and I'm sure some will chime in here to this post. It goes without saying that a big box labeled TREK or Specialized will likely catch the surcharge.

Either method will require varying degrees of disasembly. If your not up for doing it yourself, RENT A BIKE.

Also, check out
http://www.bikeleague.org/flyfree.htm
and after reading that, read this post:
js5280 "League of American Bicyclists -- "Bikes Fly Free"" 2/20/02 9:42am

Good Luck
Scot Gore
road bike rentals in AlbuquerqueLuis
Mar 3, 2002 10:22 PM
I go to Albuquerque at least once a year for a conference. A couple of years ago one of the shops rented me a surprisingly nice road bike (Marin Trevisio--a pleasant surprise and my first real experience with steel). I paid the list price on my credit card and they refunded most of it when I returned it.

Last year I went down with my helmet, shoes and pedals and struck out completely. The nice shop that I'd rented from had moved and were pleading "liability" as a reason for not renting. The other shops wouldn't rent. One shop owner said that I could use his spare bike but it was torn down and wouldn't be ready for a few days.

There is at least one shop in Old Town that rents some medium mountain bikes, and has a few road bikes, but aside for that--unless something has changed--rentals are not a great option.

On top of all that, Albuquerque has a fine crop of Goat Head thorns; it's a good place to use Slime tubes.

If you do get a bike, riding along Tramway up to the terminal is fun. As a sea-level guy it was interesting to ride at that altitude. If you find out something different about the rental situation, please post--otherwise I'll be taking my own bike in it's beat-up-but-still-tough Triall3sports case.
re: Bikes and AirplanesDagmar
Mar 4, 2002 8:43 AM
BTW, shipping a bike on an international flight is FREE. A friend of mine took his touring bike to Greece, for free, in a box he got from a bike shop.