Garrett (garote) wrote,

Packing Up The Bike

The key to taking apart a bicycle is to have one of these on hand. It's a tiny adjustable wrench, small enough to carry in a toolkit and lock nuts in place, and just big enough to remove the pedals from a bicycle.


And, of course, you need a variety of hex wrenches!


The key to transporting a bicycle once it's in pieces is to use a sturdy box. After sinking a big chunk of money into the recumbent itself, I figured I could justify spending a chunk to get it home safely. I chose the BikeWorks "tandem"-size box.


It's freaking enormous. 70 x 11 x 32 inches. Even so, it was just long enough for me to fit the main boom of the recumbent in diagonally. Around that I packed almost all of my gear - three of the bike bags, the clothing, the sleeping bag, the tools, the spare tire, and some remaining food. The fourth bike bag remained outside, so I could use it as carry-on baggage for the plane ride home.


It took most of a day to break down the bike and install it in the box. The end result was close to 110 pounds, the ceiling for cross-country oversize shipping at the local FedEx depot.

The box is clearly labeled with arrows indicating "this side up", but as far as I can tell, FedEx employees totally ignore these. When it arrived in Oakland six days later it was upside-down in the back of the truck, and the delivery agent dragged it out and lowered it by turning it end-over-end, leaving it upside-down on the sidewalk in front of me. At least he helped me carry it into the house.

Interestingly enough, due to the seasonal discount on my plane ticket, it cost just as much to ship a 110-pound box home in a week as it cost to fly my 180-pound ass home in 12 hours.

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