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I'm considering an end-run around my wife's no new bike . .(16 posts)

I'm considering an end-run around my wife's no new bike . .morrison
Mar 4, 2002 8:13 AM
policy. (In all fairness to her, I have been rather naughty these past 2 years, but what the hell, all's fair in love and cycling.)

My wife wants me to go with her to Spain next Summer. I told her that was a great idea, and that I would bring my bike. She nixed that, saying she wanted to travel light, didn't want me lugging the thing around, and didn't want me to spend the entire trip on the bike.

Fair enough. I suggested that we go for two weeks, and I would only ride on the last three days. She liked that, but still didn't want me to bring my bike. No problem said I; I can probably pick something up to suit my needs on the continent. (Hee hee hee) So now, I am considering a Colnago. I am curious, though, if I can avoid duty on it by riding it in Spain, and bringing it back 'used.' I had a friend who did that with a German car. He drove all around Europe, and paid no import taxes when he brought it back b/c it wasn't a new car any more.

Any thoughts?

Oh . . . one last thing . . . I don't know how it happened, but our trip seems to coincide with the Vuelta. I guess I'll miss the coverage on OLN.


p.s. I think when we get back I'll need a referal to a good family law practitioner.
re: nice going..cyclopathic
Mar 4, 2002 9:08 AM
do you really think she is soo dumb? (if she is.. can I borrow her? ;-P)

Anyways I've taken my bike to Spain and noone cared at customs how new it was and what it was as long as it hasn't been packed with hash. It was before Sept 11 though.

I haven't had much time to go around and check the shops but I don't think you'd get really good deal in first shop you drop in. As the matter of fact I think it'll be cheaper to buy something here and carry it with you.

The smartest thing I've done was to put my wife on a plane and then take extra time to ride.

If you're looking for least trouble I'd suggest to go with pre-paid tour. Most of them have bikes for hire or you can arrange bike storage with them before your wife takes off here a couple links

PS if you fly SpainAir don't tell your wife how pretty the flight attendants are, it'll get you in trouble 8-(
Mar 4, 2002 10:51 AM
btw I've used Let's GO it is probably the best Spain touring guide.
re: I'm considering an end-run around my wife's no new bike . .mhinman
Mar 4, 2002 9:31 AM
Line you can use.

At least I am having an affair with my bike instead of another woman. (I tried this and my wife told me "Are you eventually going to treat me like your old bikes").

Your are problably look at no sex for a month, or worst case a divorce lawyer.

Good luck
re: I'm considering an end-run around my wife's no new bike . .Ray
Mar 4, 2002 9:56 AM
Why not take the bike and store it somewhere in your first stop, travel with her the way she wants you to for however long she's looking to travel, then stay an extra week after she heads home and ride your butt off. I did this last summer - spent two weeks travelling with my wife and kids in Britain and Scandanavia, then stayed a week longer and biked around Wales with a tour group.

That way it was a great trip for everyone involved.

I am not looking for a PRACTICAL solution! I'm looking . . .morrison
Mar 4, 2002 10:02 AM
to get a new bike! ;-)
I am not looking for a PRACTICAL solution! I'm looking . . .Ray
Mar 4, 2002 11:51 AM
OK, spend the solo week shopping for a bike then :)

Might need SEVERAL test rides.

you were my idol.....Spirito di Finocchio
Mar 4, 2002 10:09 AM
i always thought of you as self-determining and masterly. always balanced in comment and at ease with the world doing as you please. also someone who is so well versed in legal matters that you could open your own practice.

but now you are merely a man who has to resort to sniffling around and begging the better half like the rest of us. LOL.... good to see.

so.. spain huh? i can see it now 11 days of shopping around for the best deal on a 'nago whilst trying to catch highlights of the giro which will be on at every taverna youll probably visit and then 3 days of you running off to ride it it. does your wife know the monster she is about to unleash. just kidding... youll be fine and as you know a bit of spanish youll find it easy and fall in love with the country.

personally i wouldnt worry about taxes/import duties.... but thats me and you have recently got stung from your canadian frame purchase. i dont know what the legal requirements for declarations are but im sure you can find out. if really worried and you have the gumption the following will help bamboozle customs.

- make sure you and your wife get your stories straight in case they ask. your an avid cyclist, you wanted to follow the vuelta, you always travel with your bike on holdiays, you can confirm that you purchased it america blah, blah, blah, blah

- slather some grease over some bits (its nothing you wont be able to clean up anyway) as the customs people are none too in the know for bike stuff. if it looks used it looks used to them.

- send any receipts for the bike as well as any pamphlets or instructions that came with the bike beck home before boarding - be thorough, throw away and discard bike store numbers and adresses and details.

- if you already have a bike case fine - but if not use a bike box from another manufacturer or if you buy a special bike case rough it up a little, bit of dirt, few stickers and if you can peel or steam off any flight or luggage tags that may be on your luggage and add it to the bike case or box it will look good and well travelled (especially U.S. domestic flight carrier tags prior to leaving home soil)

- sounds extreme but unless they can prove you purchased it they cant really do much. leave the summ of money for the cost of the bike with a good friend back home and when you are ready to purchase it have them make the transaction with their credit card (you may also get around euro tax - worth a try)

- and finally, when returning to the states - declare nothing!

sounds a little elaborate but if you are worried then you know if its worth it. and ive never seen the point of import duties anyway so i refuse to pay them.

oh... and buy cuban cigars and ask if they have give you any peurto rican bands that you can replace for the cuban ones. mail the cuban bands home and fit them on again when back home. then post a note here with your email adress and ill contact you to pick them up ;-)

you seem smart enough to lie and if you cant you should learn soon as your a father and when them kids of yours are older your gonna need every trick in the book. just kidding.. whos looking after the kids anyway? failing that i will tattoo your name on my calf if you can find me a red campy electa saddle cheap in some fogotten provincial bike store. ill pay but i cant afford to pay for them as per ebay prices - ridiculous.

and this sounds a little harsh and drastic but from memory you already have a road bike and a fixed...right? if your wife is cool with your new purchase then she will be even more likely to ok future bike foolery if you let your old road bike go to make way and partly fund the colnago. major points here - trust me ive been there, done that and your wife sounds like one to measure good with good! thats fair if you ask me.

pack your bike well as we dont need another broken c-40 on ebay and ride it as much as you can before you leave as if there is anything wrong with the bike it will be easier to deal with warranty whilst there.

have fun - start planning now.
Excellent advice! I actually (now that the . . .morrison
Mar 4, 2002 10:44 AM
statute of limitations has passed, I can say this) did the cigar switcheroo on my last trip to London. Brought a box of Te Amos (Mexican dirt sticks) and swapped 'em out for some identically sized Romeo y Julietas. Of course, Customs didn't even look at me when I walked through, so I probably could have left them in their original box and rings.

My mother and my wife's mother live (separately) within 10 minutes of me, and they love to watch the kids when we go out of town.

Question . . . how do you get rid of a bike????????? I can't bear to part with them! I had no problem disposing of the kittens, the puppies, cars, etc., but a BIKE? No can do.

BTW, this will be my third trip to Spain; I love the country, and my wife is dying to see it. I figure I can drop her on the Ramblas in Barcelona and head for the hills!

i know its very hard...Spirito di Finocchio
Mar 4, 2002 11:55 AM
but just think of how impressed the missus will be and how she'll value the sacrifices you have made.

this could set a precedent for a lifetime of guilt free whimsical bike purchases and still have you looking as if you are with reason and modest.

looking like your collecting gets a little tricky sometimes and can be used against you with not unreasonable rational.

in similar vain i decided to openly sell off my much loved and treasured porn collection when i met my girlfriend as it seemed natural and the right thing to do. she has more than compensated by spending at least three times the value in sex toys, bedroom apparatus and lingerie to reward my sacrifice. i would do anything for her and all i get is more in return. ;-)

but more seriously, i sold off one of my bikes and bought and built up a bike for her along with all the outfit and stuff... alas after 4 rides she had to be honest with me and admit that though she loved the surprise and the effort i went to she really wasnt that keen on cycling. sold it all off and managed to recoup most of what i had spent and since then she has showered me with bike gifts and always encouraged me to ride as much as i like and obsess about bikes till i puke with no ill feelings on her behalf. such is love.

give a little get a lot. or perhaps make room for a tandem for you to use with either her or the little ones as the stokers like you were thinking a little while ago - now theres an idea.......

if you haven't yet been to seville perhaps going there with your wife would be a good idea - stunning city and very easy to throw headlong in the romance that it inspires. i was on my own and really longed to be part of a passionate twosome as it seemed so idyllic.

If you pull that off you will be my new hero.firstrax
Mar 4, 2002 11:16 AM
re: I'm considering an end-run around my wife's no new bike . .harlett
Mar 4, 2002 6:48 PM
geoff...if memory serves me correctly haven't you posted in the past that you're the "devoted spouse of a professional woman" ?
i'm sure your wife will see through any of these ruse's-- i think it only fair that when in barcelona you take her to armani collezioni barcelona at porta de gracia 68-- she deserves a new suit and maybe a few blouses for all this stratagem you're doing-- this act of unselfish love (and contrition) will surely make her more receptive to your new bike purchase as a bonus-- *S*

Indeed I am. Of course, much of what I wrote was . . .morrison
Mar 5, 2002 7:01 AM
tongue in cheek. She knows exactly what I'm up to. If she didn't want me to do it, she'd tell me. The point was not that I am trying to fool my wife, but rather, that I am trying to find a way to combine a great vacation with a little bit of riding, and pick up a new bike in the process. I don't know why, but the idea of bringing home a bike from Europe intrigues me more than buying one state-side and lugging it with me.
indeed you areharlett
Mar 5, 2002 8:28 AM
my tongue was firmly in cheek as well-- now we have moved past "family law practitioners" and "acts of contrition" *S*-- it would be nice to be riding a bike that had memories of a wonderful vacation attached to it-- the most i've ever paid on duty for things i have had shipped back from europe is 6%-- that should be the upside of any duty cost to you-- i don't avoid duty costs on shipped items--

to ship from spain i would either contact a dhl shipping agent in barcelona and have them box and ship it from the city your coming back from, if your coming back from the city you purchased the bike in talk to the bike store about shipping it (they will probably use dhl), finally buy a carrier and take it as baggage-- with baggage i find that custom officials usually don't want to be bothered by people declaring lots of things-- so i don't-- remember to get your vat tax on the bike purchase back before you leave spain--

the logistics of a bike and vacation travel is awkward-- if my companion on a trip didn't bicycle i would see their point of view on this-- (this may be where that armani suit comes in)-- i would probably rent a van and just keep the bike in it-- otherwise to minimize the hassle i would either buy it and ride it at my last destination or buy it and travel the least possible with it-- trains are bike friendly in europe so that helps--

dhl offices in spain--
Thanks for the infomorrison
Mar 5, 2002 1:11 PM
just do ithern
Mar 4, 2002 7:52 PM
ya puss