Schlepping this thing around

Many have asked us how we transport this awkwardly-sized bike.  That has been a bit of a journey in and of itself.

We started by taking it apart in the middle, folding it, and lugging it into the back of our truck. This had a few drawbacks. First, it wasted a little time before and after each ride. Second, it seemed to put stain on the cables that route below the frame. Third, it was a pain in the rear.

Then Eric came to visit. Whenever Eric is around everyone’s redneck game improves a bit. Nothing says “high class bike rack” like a few 2x4s. We drove to Lowe’s to buy the wood and couldn’t stop changing the design all along the way. It is a good thing we don’t live closer to each other. Our neighbor’s property value would be impacted.

This design was ok, but it was heavy and awkward – like our bike. When we would park the truck and take our bike out, we would have to leave a long board poking out the back. It didn’t fit with the yuppy biker vibe at the local trailhead. It did seem extra long for some reason. More of the board was outside the truck bed than was inside. It also was about an inch too high which would cause the redneck neck rests to hit the garage door when pulling in. But it worked.

Our latest iteration involved taking parts from two bike racks to create one. This approach leverages the trailer receiver hitch to lower the height of the bike, and by not having it sit on a 2×4 we lowered it even more. It is super easy to pull off and lock in the back of the truck while we ride and it seems to hold the bike in very securely. Unlike the previous two iterations, I can load the bike on my own with this design.

The final question is how do we get this thing on a plane. We think we are going to accomplish this by boxing it up per the airline’s specifications and then paying extra to bring it as checked luggage. I’m actually more perplexed about how to get it through the airline red tape than I am about riding it a thousand miles through unknown roads and countries.

We took the bike apart on Saturday and boxed it up, being careful to only use tools that are in our panniers as that is all we’ll have to put it back together when we land in Amsterdam. Once assembled we’ll recycle the bike boxes, ride for three weeks, then do it all in reverse. The airport in Amsterdam sells bike boxes, which saves us the trouble of spending our last day dumpster diving behind bike shops.

We are packed and ready to go – going big.

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