For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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I am looking to a self indulgent reward for turning 50 still a couple of years away.
The type of tour I am looking to do is at least a month, possibly in France/Spain.
I'm not sure about how to go either as fully supported or semi independant trip.
However the question still arises about taking my bike bike or hiring one over there. I currently ride a medium sized Giant frame and would prefer a road bike if the tour is supported.
What is your advice on hiring/purchasing/transportin bikes for a trip like this?
Carrying a bike box/case through the airport is a bit of a hassle. But if you don't have to move to different bases, then it's well acceptable for having a bike you are used to on such a long trip. Yet again, if you are not particular with what bike you ride, then renting will definitely solve a fair bit of work.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
Iâ€™m heading over to Canada this June
And while Iâ€™ve done other oversea trip taking my bike I still went though this same thought (as they are making it harder and more costly to fly with a bike)
Take one of my bikes
The problems with renting are many, the two biggest (for me) been
Fit (To get a bike that fits just right is hard enough at home and it often take me weeks to get a bike that Iâ€™ve just bought â€˜just rightâ€™)(Seat (Iâ€™d be taking my Brooks)
Costs (Looking on line it works out at 20 min a day for anything youâ€™d want to ride).
So a month is like $600 up
Well some of the same thingâ€¦ fit (you need time to dial it in)
Cost (you donâ€™t get much of a bike for $600)
So secondhand seem the way but your in a strange land and donâ€™t know where the best places are and you still have to get it right if you want to do the miles in comfort
I did the thinking and Iâ€™m taking one of my bikes with me
Take your own bike. I know others that have hired and next year when they go touring in France they will be taking their own bikes across.
Our tandem packs into 2 airline size cases (62lineal inches max) so no travel problems or excess charges for us.
Just measure the bike that you have dialed in and swap the measurements across. Doesn't take long at all.
>Just measure the bike that you have dialed in and swap the measurements across. Doesn't take long at all.<
Thatâ€™s what I thought too
But not always the caseâ€¦ twice Iâ€™ve been caught out
Few years back my new son in law said â€œDonâ€™t worry I have a bike here thatâ€™ll fit youâ€
So I hit Belfast ready to do a tour but the bike wasnâ€™t quite right ( I have a bad back so have to ride more upright) and I thought itâ€™d be easy to buy some 2 inch higher bars (ether a steam or bar with a rise). But no where in Belfast at any of the bike shops could I get what I wanted (have to get it sent over from UK) So I ended up riding with much pain
And many years ago one of my daughters was teaching in China and I went for a visit
Thinking Iâ€™d buy a bike there
The only bike I could buy in the back blocks was a very crappy MTB (sure it was only $20) but it was geared way to high for the mountains I wanted to tour in. I tried to find lower gearing (and while there were bikes all around me) I had no luck
I ended up swaping it with an old guy in the street (he thought all his Xmas had come at once that I wanted to swap a new bike for his rusty very old SS) But at lest it fitted me but I walked up a lot of hills
I say take your own bike even if it cost more
If you wanted to tour on the higher mountains, probably you can use your bike. However you can bring to much baggage that you needed in the mountain. Like tent, extra clothes, food, water and etc. And I think you get tired in traveling. Hopefully baggage limits wont change too much by the time you travel.
I probably plan to be a bit of a woose and go on a supported ride whether this is self guided or fully inclusive, so long as someone takes the heavy stuff to the next stop for me.
Lazy I know, but I want to enjoy the ride
im going to france in july and will be taking my own bike...
my question is this:
once im done cycling as i plan to meet up with friends elsewhere im planning to send the bike back to Australia...is this something i can organise at the airport?? what would be the best/easiest way to go about this??
pretty much all large airports have storage for luggage, so if you have a bike in a bike bag you should be able to keep it there until your flight back to Aus. For example, in Frankfurt they charge about 7 euros per day. Check the website of your airport.
I took my bike to Europe and back no problems back in 2003. I flew with Singapore Airlines from Perth > Singapore > Frankfurt and Lufthansa to Budapest. The bike arrived in perfect condition but the box had minor damage. I purchased a bicycle box from QANTAS ar Perth Airport for $15. When packing the bike I removed the front wheel and put a bracket in its place to prevent the forks being crushed. (can get these plastic brackets free from any bikeshop as they come with all new unassembled bikes)
I removed the handlebars and taped them to the top bar on the frame, lowered the seat fully and removed the rear derauiller. Do not leave anything loose in the box as if it ruptures it is gone. Either tape them to the bike or put them in a strong bag and cable tie that bag to your frame inside the box. Also removed the pedals and let some air out of the tyres at the airlines request.
I put the panniers through as seperate luggage...I brought a large thin bag that rolls up very small and put the panniers in that however that bag was ripped badly in transit. I did not lose anything however as all loose things were tied together.
I flew from Perth International Airport so from the dropoff to the counter is only 100m on a trolley and the same in Budapest. Both these airports are reasonably quiet so it was easy. Might be a little tougher at busier airports.
All my gear weighed 42kg's. Luckily the lady who checked me in was really cool and put it through ar 35kgs and didnt charge extra as it was sporting equipment. I got stung on the way back...got charges 50 EURO excess luggage. Not sure if the airlines are more stringent now with excess luggage due to higher fuel costs. Either way it will still be cheaper than hiring a bike and the benefit is you know your bike which is good when undertaking a large tour. When coming home you can get a box from any bikeshop.
Keep in mind, just this year all carriers are updating their policy on travel with bikes.
I wish I noticed before I bought our tickets for this year. Austrian seems to want to charge 500USD per leg for a bike.
I have taken my carbon fibre bike over and back 3 times and had no trouble in the past. I just make sure the box is just under 20kg total, check it in as my single bag but through the oversize luggage system and only carry hang luggage for me.
As far as I can tell, that's not going to work this year.
As as as taking a bike, I have *really* enjoyed having my own bike over in Europe. I have a low end roady at our place over there but I'd *much* rather ride my bike from here.
I've no experience of travelling from Australia with a bike, but from experience in Europe and Central America, I'd say it's worth the hassle of taking your own bike unless you're away for only a few days. Cewrtainly it's getting more hassle, an airlines try to lump extra charges - always look up Airlines policy on the web and print out as often their own staff do not know their policies.
About storing bicycle boxes. Try to find an accomodation close to the airport, and ask if it's possible to leave it with them. That will be much cheaper.
If you arrive at the Brussels Airport (Belgium) e.g., you can stay with one of the hosts of 'Vrienden op de Fiets' in nearby Brussels, Zaventem and Diegem. The same for Schiphol Airport (Netherlands), with even much more hosting families in Hoofddorp, Alsmeer, Amstelveen and of course Amsterdam.
But keep in mind that Dutch people live in smaller places when compared to the Belgians with their castle-ish houses.
http://www.bikely.com/listpaths/by/fietslogies = 59 cycle tracks along the towpaths of rivers and canals and old railway tracks in Belgium, and the border regions of France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg with Belgium.
I have taken my bike to Europe twice over the last 2 years using a Scicon AeroComfort soft bag, and there has been no hassle at all, with no excess baggage charged on any leg. Being on wheels, it was easy to carry onto trains, and putin the back of hire cars as well.
I would take my own bike again!
Malaysian Airlines travelling to Paris, through to Montpelier, and return to Melborune and then another trip to Rome return to Melbourne. Both trips there were no extra baggage charges at all, even though I was well over the weight limit,
Paid an extra 30 Euro in travelling form the Dolomites on a small plane to Rome travelling on Alp Air, but again no issues.
Really depends on how much time you will be in airports, that is how many differnet flights. If arrive and put your bike together and then tour around and then arrive back at the airport and fly home, I'd say.. take your own!
I wouldn't want to go on a tour and look at the road, it's much nicer riding more upright with flat handle bars because you actually get to see everything and enjoy the scenery.
I've been on tours with guys looking at the road and at the end of the day when we're talking about what we saw, they are the ones that missed the most.
Pack it well and take your own...
Just my thoughts,
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