Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

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ricka
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Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby ricka » 22 Jan 2019, 8:37pm

Last year I packed my bike in a padded bag and flew to France with it. The problem was what to do with the empty bag. Luckily I was staying with a friend who collected me and the still packed bike up at the airport in a SUV. I intend to cycle in Switzerland this summer but the problem is what to do with the bag while I'm riding, there don't appear to be left luggage facilities at airports these days. Have any of you got experience of overcoming this problem? Is there a reasonably priced option of sending the bike in advance by carrier to my first night's hotel?

MrsHJ
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby MrsHJ » 22 Jan 2019, 9:14pm

Assuming that you are flying back from the same airport most people make arrangements with the place they sleep the first night eg hotel or warm showers. Good to check before you book- rural places with big outhouses better than tiny lofts etc.

iandriver
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby iandriver » 22 Jan 2019, 9:28pm

The cycling UK guide is here. https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-libr ... /bikes-air

The most notable missing option is getting a cardboard box from a bike shop ( take chocolate digestives as a bargaining tool) and discarding it at the destination airport recycling bins. Repeat at destination for way home. Some airports and railway stations have storage facilities, for a charge, so this is another option.
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foxyrider
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby foxyrider » 22 Jan 2019, 9:29pm

Most airports do have left luggage facilities, finding the info however can be quite a job! Sometimes it's easier to find it with a Google search than the airport websites.

I've done all sorts of things over the years, left stuff with friends, used left luggage (most big railway stations have the possibility too), thrown it away (bought supplies at end of trip to repack), carried it with me, posted it ahead and not used any at all (although I think Lufthansa have now changed their regulations).
Convention? what's that then?
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simonhill
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby simonhill » 23 Jan 2019, 10:18am

There are lots of options, but they depend on what you are doing, who you are flying with, etc.

I always use a cardboard bike box and my 2 normal options are store in first hotel or dump and get a new one in last town.

You ask about courier to your first hotel. Couriers are generally difficult and or expensive for complete bikes, but you can use a taxi. I often do this, but not in Switzerland, where I imagine it will be expensive.

Your best bet is to use the same (near to airport) hotel for your first and last night. Then ask them to store your bag/box.

If you fold a cardboard bike box, you can just about carry it on a bike, but its pretty unwieldy so don't plan on going far or on busy roads.

Are you camping? If not you could probably carry your padded bag on your bike with you.

Another option is the big poly bag - this depends on whether your airline accepts it. You could fly out with a cardboard bike box and carry a neatly folded poly bag for the return.

As I said, you need to work out what is best for your tour.

nirakaro
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby nirakaro » 23 Jan 2019, 1:33pm

At the end of my ride to Marrakech, it was an interesting challenge to stroll round the souk for a few days, tracking down rope, parcel tape, and second-hand cardboard boxes. :lol:

Antbrewer
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby Antbrewer » 23 Jan 2019, 2:31pm

I flew last September with my bike to Austria. Using the CTC polybag I ended up carrying it on my bike for the two week tour. It was not noticeable in the pannier either by weight or size. That is one very simple solution to your question.

However initially I thought I would leave the bag and the extra padding etc in the Left luggage office in Salzburg airport only to find the cost was quite a lot per day. So I emailed the manager of the office ( found the name and address online) and explained the situation and asked politely if there could be a reduction. She replied very quickly and said yes. I was to bring the email with me and show it at the desk.
In the end I didn't do this as I found I could carry it all but it shows that even the Austrian officials are very human and willing to help.

Just a thought.
Anthony

Jurjan
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby Jurjan » 28 Jan 2019, 12:36pm

Most of the time we will book the same hostel/airbnb/hotel/whatever for the first (few) night(s) and the last night.
Before we book we ask if leaving the (cardboard) bike boxes there is possible.
So far not a single one has declined (fingers crossed).

When we do not do a circular route we take our groundeffect body bags with us for the return trip (we like cardboard ever so slightly better than Cordura for protection against impacts) and use those.

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby matt2matt2002 » 28 Jan 2019, 7:32pm

All my tours abroad have been fly in fly out from same location. Hotels always happy to store my bike and packaging.
I always take extra tape for repackaging box.
After the humidity of Sri Lanka where the tape pealed off as fast as I applied bit, I now take the best quality gorilla tape.
I also take a small scalpel blade just inside the hand hold opening on the box. It makes for a faster assembly/ box opening. The blade is well covered and the hole marked so I can locate it quickly.
Also, photograph your box just before it disappears into the airlines bowels.
Sorry, digressing...
Happy flights
2014 Scottish End2End 1 month
2015 Pamir Highway Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan for 2 months
2016 Sri Lanka for 1 month.
2017 Herbrides Lewis Harris 2 weeks
2018 Ethiopia.5 weeks.
2018 Marrakech 2 weeks.
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Raleigh Steve
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby Raleigh Steve » 28 Jan 2019, 10:08pm

Hi
In case it helps there is left luggage in Geneva airport. It is towards the train station part of the airport building. Easy to find. I only used it for three days, so the cost wasn’t an issue but it might get expensive for a long trip.

Steve

londoncommuter0000
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 29 Jan 2019, 9:21am

ricka wrote:Last year I packed my bike in a padded bag and flew to France with it. The problem was what to do with the empty bag. Luckily I was staying with a friend who collected me and the still packed bike up at the airport in a SUV. I intend to cycle in Switzerland this summer but the problem is what to do with the bag while I'm riding, there don't appear to be left luggage facilities at airports these days. Have any of you got experience of overcoming this problem? Is there a reasonably priced option of sending the bike in advance by carrier to my first night's hotel?


When my wife and I rode down the Danube, the first thing we did before booking our hotel, was to e-mail all of the likely candidates, and ask them if they could keep our bike boxes. One said yes, on condition that we stay the last night in Munich with them. This we did, and so they stored the boxes in their cellar. We used their car park to assemble the bikes at the start, and to dissemble them at the end (in the pouring rain for the latter, of course!).
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anniesboy
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby anniesboy » 31 Jan 2019, 8:36am

For quite some years when going to France,my wife and I,followed the same routine.

Cover the main tubes with pipe lagging held in place with cables ties,cover the chain with a plastic bag.

On leaving the airport find a very secluded spot ideally in a hedge or wooded area.

Leave all tubing etc in a large back ready to collect on return

We were always anxious that it may not be there when we returned but this worked with no problem for about fifteen years

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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby Vorpal » 31 Jan 2019, 9:09am

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/ctc-cycling-uk ... -bike-bag/ packs small enough to carry it with.

That's what I've used the last couple of tours, and transporting bikes by plane.
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simonhill
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby simonhill » 31 Jan 2019, 9:56am

Cripes - £9:99, those poly bags used to be a fiver.

I've used the cheapo version, a free (mattress covering) bag from a bed shop, but much bulkier to carry as they never fold as well as a nice new one. Maybe box on flight out and save neatly folded new bag for return.

londoncommuter0000
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Re: Taking Bikes by air - where to store the packaging ?

Postby londoncommuter0000 » 31 Jan 2019, 10:00am

Vorpal wrote:https://www.wiggle.co.uk/ctc-cycling-uk-plastic-bike-bag/ packs small enough to carry it with.

That's what I've used the last couple of tours, and transporting bikes by plane.


We considered them. Then one day, as we stood at 'outsize baggage' collection at Heathrow waiting for our big backpacks, we saw them bring out a bicycle in a softish, padded bag, and toss it onto the floor at our feet.

We bought 2 x Bike Box(es) Alan.
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