Dilemma’s of travelling to a triathlon with your bike

Any triathlete or avid biker will know travelling to a triathlon on a plane, with your bike can be a PITA. So much so, about half of us are put off it. I did a survey on the “Bike Bible” group on Facebook and here are the results:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thebikebible/

It’s a crying shame that so many people are put off by it. I know from personal experience that doing a triathlon far away from home adds to the richness and fun. It’s also understandable due to the expense and hassle. So it’s my mission to make it easier and cheaper for bikers to travel and participate in bike events.

That’s a lot of gear!

Here are the options:

Option 1 — Hire someone to transport everything for you

The good: hassle free.

The bad: It’s expensive.

How to: here are links to bike services I know are good in the UK and Australia: https://www.nirvanaeurope.com, http://tribiketransfer.com.au/.

Option 2 — Hire a bike when you get there

The good: No worries about bike transport or damaging it or forgetting bike parts in transit.

The bad: You’ve done all your training with a specific setup then you change for race day. Rule 1 of race day: don’t do anything new.

How to: a lot of bike shops hire out bikes so find one in the area.

Option 3 — Sling the bike in the car

The good: You have your precious steed in sight at all times and it probably won’t get damaged.

The bad: It’s going to take ages to get to and from your destination and you will have to take a lot of time off work.

How to: speaks for itself.

Option 4 — Buy a bike travel case and bring it on the plane with you

The good: It’s cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you. You’ll be in close (ish) proximity to your bike. You’ll get to the event ASAP.

The bad: Bike bags and boxes are expensive and bulky. You need storage space and probably will only use it a few times a year. The bike could get damaged in transit, I’m always nervous handing my bike over to baggage handlers.

How to: in this case it’s best to get a bike bag not a bike box as it’s lighter. Also when adding your bike to your itinerary, try to add a generic extra bag and don’t say it’s a bike as often airlines will charge a lot extra.

Flying is expensive. Flystein use flight hacks and promise to beat the best price you can find or your money back https://www.flystein.com/.

Option 5 — Hire a bike travel case and bring it on the plane with you

The good: Same as above. Plus you won’t have the expensive outlay and you won’t have the storage issues.

The bad: The bike could get damaged in transit, I’m always nervous handing my bike over to baggage handlers.

How to: You could scour gumtree or google for an LBS that will do this or head over to http://www.biketaste.com and sign up for cheap and easy hire from locals.

To help you make your decision, here’s a template to help you calculate your costs: http://biketaste.com/tools.html.

I did IM Zurich in 2014 and my friends and I all hired bike bags and flew.

IM Zurich after finishing, I’m the one with the silly socks

Has this helped? Do you have any more options?

Comment below or Let me know on Twitter.

I love bikes,
Chris

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