Bike Packing 101
I have now participated in three RAGBRAI’s. That is three times I have had to pack my bike up in a box and hope she is not damaged in the process. I have learned a lot over the last three years. I no longer trust the animals at TSA to touch my baby. I am convinced that they open the box, hit everything with a hammer and close it back up. Instead I ship my bike. Sure FedEx abuse their packages, but at least they will not be touching my baby with their grimy hands. If a bike is packed well, it should survive the journey. This year I used one of the RAGBRAI recommended services. I have also had success with http://www.shipbikes.com/.
Packing is something you cannot do in a hurry. I found out the hard way that if you are a rush, things will not end well. Weight is also important. I always weigh my bike box. Instead of trying to describe the process, I thought it would be easier to show you.
Well that is the process. As mentioned earlier, every year I pack my bike, I learn something. The next time I would like to improve the following:
- More pipe insulation to protect the frame. Anything that can move in the box can damage your bike! Everything must be secured!
- Research a better bike box. There is nothing wrong with the one I have. If you pay thousands of dollars for your ride, you should not be afraid to spend $300 for a box to protect it.
- Zip ties! You can never have enough!
- Pack the tools you need to assemble and disassemble the bike in the bike box.