We are getting ready for our annual trip to Duathlon National Championships (Mike’s race). Last year we did this as our honeymoon… this year it’s a nice fall trip! Lots of fun stuff in Tucson, and it was also an interesting learning experience for us on travelling with a bike.
For Any Travel:
- Before a big race, get your bike checked out. If you haven’t had a tune-up, now is the time!
- When you get there, do a short (20 min, 1 hour) bike ride to make sure everything is working OK before race day.
- Bring your key bike tools. We have a multi-tool that is easy to stuff in the transition bag.
- Look up a few local bike shops in advance. And note down their contact information. If you need something, they can help. And find more than what the official bike shop for your race is… they may be busy the day before the race!
Since we fly to Tuscon, we have to pack the bike up for the trip. We try to fly direct whenever possible, and it’s not too hard to travel with the bike if we’re both together.
First off, you have to pack the bike up for a trip.
We’ve used Air Caddy, which is a (very sturdy) cardboard box process. It’s a lot lighter than the hard case we’d borrowed last year, and can be used for multiple trips.
To pack up your bike, you remove the front wheel, and rotate the handlebars:
rear of the bike – you don’t take the rear wheel off
front of the bike – note the rotated handlebars
bike seat is in the plastic bag
In comparison, here’s a photo of something like what we borrowed last year to go to Tuscon:
With a carry case like this (which is a hard plastic shell, so it’s sturdy), you do need to take your bike apart and put it back together.
If you are not comfortable with putting your bike back together, you can have a bike shop do it. Last year for Tuscon we did that. Call & schedule something in advance of your arrival. We paid $50 bucks when we’ve needed this. But it is a good idea to practice (at least taking the bike apart) as this can get costly if you have the bike shop take it apart, put it together, take apart & put together again –> that’s $200.
With the Air Caddy all we had to do was re-adjust the handlebars, put the front wheel back on, and reinsert the seatpost. Not too hard! Saves us some $$$.
We’re looking forward to Tuscon again. Mike’s made some big strides since last year’s race, and it’ll be interesting to see the competition at this year’s nationals. And for me, I love some Tex Mex. And some running at elevation!