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How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
CREATED: 09/14/12 by mjraugust REPLIES: 7
mjraugust's ravatar mjraugust    JOINED: 12/15/11    POSTS: 103
How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/14/12 5:14 PM

Nation's was my first Tri and I am already planning on doing several triathlons next year hopefully starting with Rocketman in FL. I have been living happily without a car for 6 years now so I need to decide on a bike solution for the race. These are the options I am aware of, if anyone else has other recomendations I would love to hear them

Tri-Cycle Rentals - $440w/insurance (not confirmed support of the race yet)

Tri-bike Transport - $300+ (not confirmed support of the race yet)

Flying - cheapest way to get there, but I would need to buy a bike case $300-500 plus who knows what airlines charge for bikes and if you can carry on a pedal wrench.

Amtrak - Slower and more expensive than flying but you can get a cardboard bike box for $15 plus a $10 checked baggage fee. I am not sure how I feel about how well a cardboard box will protect my bike.

Renting a car - Probably more expensive than flying or Amtrak but I can buy a bike rack for much cheaper than a bike case.

What do other triathletes use when you travel for out of state races? I would love some guidance or expert advice.

-Mark

merlinkim's ravatar merlinkim    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 295
RE: How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/14/12 7:08 PM

For Rocketman, your best bet is to borrow/rent a case and fly JetBlue, which only charges $50 for bikes (each way). Once in Orlando/Ft. Lauderdale, you'll have to make sure your rental car can fit the case. (Note that Southwest and Frontier also have $50 bike fees right now, unlike United/American/etc.)

If you search the forum, a few club members actively rent out their cases.

Nicole's ravatar Nicole    JOINED: 1/21/12    POSTS: 67
RE: How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/14/12 7:16 PM

I did two out-of-state races this year, and for each I rented a case from Bonzai Sports for $35 (big black Thule case) and paid $50 each way to bring the bike on the plane (on AirTran). There was no hassle getting AirTran to take the bike and I found it fairly easy to take the bike apart the minimal amount that is necessary to use the big Thule case.

deborahfg    JOINED: 6/20/12    POSTS: 4
RE: How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/17/12 4:46 PM

If you do decide to take the train, a cardboard bike box is fine to protect the bike. I used a cardboard box to fly the bike within New Zealand (two flights down and three back) and the bike was completely fine. And when I moved back to the US, I shipped the bike (via ship) in a bike box and there was no damage at all. I don't know that I would fly with the bike in a cardboard box in the US, but I can't imagine that the baggage handling on Amtrak is too rough. And the one bonus of flying with the bike in the cardboard box was that it doubled at my suitcase and I didn't have to carry/check another bag.

fastdogs    JOINED: 3/25/12    POSTS: 10
RE: How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/18/12 12:07 PM

I always FedEx my bike to the hotel that I am staying. Let them know ahead of time a bike box is coming and they will be happy to store it for you a day or two ahead of your arrival. It usually cost around $50-60, depending on where you are heading to.

fastdogs    JOINED: 3/25/12    POSTS: 10
RE: How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/18/12 12:07 PM

I always FedEx my bike to the hotel that I am staying. Let them know ahead of time a bike box is coming and they will be happy to store it for you a day or two ahead of your arrival. It usually cost around $50-60, depending on where you are heading to.

conartist's ravatar conartist    JOINED: 1/31/12    POSTS: 54
RE: How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/18/12 12:24 PM

Florida is totally bikeable. Unless you're one of those types who use the escalators at 24 hour fitness. If you draft on I-95 you'll get there in no time (maybe faster than driving actually). What's an extra 1,000 miles spinning between you and your race?

kst718's ravatar kst718    JOINED: 8/29/11    POSTS: 95
RE: How to get a bike to an out of state race? (Rocketman FL)
POSTED: 9/20/12 1:55 PM

You can also ship a bike through REI, though you need to be racing near one of their stores. It's around $120 r/t. - Katie

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