I’d previously had plans to ship a bicycle out to California for a trip visiting friends, but ended up cancelling this part after beginning to pack my bike. A buddy of mine, Tom Lining, was nice enough to let me borrow the CrateWorks Pro XL-C box which he used on a recent trip to Germany for Bike 4 Peaks. This would have worked out rather well, but mid-packing I came to the realization that my trip will likely be much less stressful if I don’t bring a bike.
While it’d be nice to have a bike out in San Francisco and people to ride with, these downsides felt overwhelming and kept me from wanting to bring it.
- Packing the bike: If I do this wrong, it’ll get damaged, either outbound or inbound.
- Unpacking the bike: I’d really prefer to have my full suite of tools for bike assembly. Without this I’ll have to make do with a multitool and whatever I pack.
- Clothes: I’ll also have to fit in bike clothes, shoes, helmet, gloves, glasses, bottles, etc.
- The City: I’m not at all familiar with road riding, much less in an urban area. If I wasn’t certain to have someone to ride with I’d be very apprehensive about going out myself.
- Routes: I don’t know any good cycling routes in the area, and it’d be very complicated to find some if I can’t find people to ride with. Thus, my desire for lengthier (2-4 hour) rides each day would likely not be met.
- Insurance: Should something go wrong, do I really want to have to deal with insurance and prove that I didn’t screw up? And what if I did?
Shipping via BikeFlights.com was quoted at a very reasonable $170-ish (round trip) with $3000 insurance, but that’s still $170 I don’t have to spend. I’d consider this same setup (a CrateWorks box + BikeFlights.com) again in the future should I need to ship a bike. It seems like a good setup, but for this trip… I think I’ll stick to walking / hiking, and maybe renting a bike for a short poke around the city.
Just simply coming to the decision that not bring a bike was for the best made me feel more relaxed. And that’s what vacations are about, right?