So, I am going to be traveling to Chicago on business soon and I was thinking about bringing my bike with me. This brings up a box full of issues. What is the best way to transport a bike across the country? Of course, I could just rent a bike once I get to Chicago but I really want my own. You see, I have a very stressful job at a loan service in Chicago and it really is nice to be able to take a ride on my own ride at the end of a day. Kind of a zen thing. So here is what I decided to do.
My first thought was to ship the bike with a standard carrier. I would love to take it on the plane with me but I think that would be difficult. I would have to check it of course and I am not sure I could get it down into the proper dimensions. Plus you have the issue with the bag throwers who will almost certainly do some damage.
As far as shipping goes, the biggest challenge is to properly package the bike. Turns out they make bike boxes but I was real nervous about getting it packed just right. Couldn’t find a good box or supplies locally. With all the accessories and fine tuning that I have done on my bike, I really did not want to chance with it getting damaged in transport. So, I basically decided not to ship it myself.
So where did I turn? Well it turns out that there are a lot of companies out there that specialize in bike transport. Who would of thought it. I contacted one of these bike shipping companies and they were able to send me a well designed box and help me with all of the details. It really took all of the stress out of the shipping situation. The box was not cheap by any means but neither is my bike so I guess that makes sense.
I shipped my bike a day before I traveled to Chicago and it arrived the day after I arrived. I had it shipped directly to the hotel so I could use it ASAP. Upon opening the box, I discovered that everything was in perfect shape and the box worked as designed. It was also in good condition so it will work for the return trip in a few weeks when I travel back home to Fresno.
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to get a bike shipped, give the folks above a chance. They were very helpful. It sure beat trying to find a box locally, which is nearly impossible. It is also far better than renting a bike. Renting would have cost me as much as shipping my bike and would not have given me the same riding experience.