Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bike Shipping Options

About a week and a half from now, I plan on toeing the line at IM Syracuse 70.3 (not that we actually toe up on anything) (also, there's not really a line) (plus, it's highly debatable if it's right to label it with "IM") (or if it's actually in Syracuse). I have done this race in the past and I like it's placement both in my schedule (not many races early in the season) and in proximity to my home (it's within my 2 hour window of opportunity).

Making his appearance for the first time at Syr 70.3 will be the BIL. He has decided to be duped into competing at the half-distance event. It's not very smart if you ask me. There are several reasons for this opinion.
  • It's a tough distance
  • Syracuse is well outside of his 2 hour window
  • He's not bringing the Wife-in-Law
  • None of my gear fits him
On the plus side:
  • I get to hang out with the BIL (the only other triathlete in the family)
  • I get to hang out with the Niece and Nephew (ok, the niece my be an up-and-coming triathlon star)
  • Their presence gives me a reason to shirk several other responsibilities
Last time he visited the great state of NY, he borrowed my road bike for a triathlon. Let's be clear, I personally hate my road bike. The reason: It's not as awesome as my tri-bike. That doesn't mean it's a bad bike. In all reality, it's a pretty good road bike (if you like that kind of thing).

Well, the BIL's not having any of that 'borrowing the Banter's bike' gibberish. He's got his own, fancy new Cervelo and he can't live without it (finally, he's learning something). Since he's flying and not driving to here, there are complications. If any of you have tried to fly with your bike, it's a big hassle. Here's what the airlines suggest, all of which suck:
  • Purchase a hard case. 
    • Disassemble your bike. 
    • Jam it into the case. 
    • Get charged a variable fee (anywhere from $50 to $7000 depending on the ticket agent, personality test, and color of the case) (one way)
    • Have your bike packing job completely ruined by TSA
    • Watch as the person with golf clubs gets to check their stuff for free
  • Purchase a separate ticket for the bike
    • This way, your bike gets it's own seat
    • It's not allowed to sit in the emergency row nor the exit rows
    • The airline often over sells the flights and it could get bumped to a different flight
    • The bike won't like it if it's required to sit next to an oversized person, crying baby, the talkative guy, or worse, a triathlete
    • Unless it gets an aisle seat, it will complain about leg room
  • Ship the bike via post office or other delivery service
    • Still have to pack it in some sort of box that requires disassembly
    • Must have it ready to ship several days in advance= less riding time
    • Even then, they might mistake "Rochester, NY" for Rochester, MN, Rochester, IN or Rochester, MI
    • Upon arrival, you have to trust that the moron you are staying with has any knowledge or tools of bike reassembly
What the BIL didn't know is that he could use K-Mart for all of his shipping needs. They'll ship your bike. They'll ship your clothes. They'll even ship your pants.

No comments:

Post a Comment