Packing the Bike Fridays - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

February 28, 2020

Packing the Bike Fridays

Twenty Questions, continued

#17.  So, not Las Vegas.  I’ll bet from San Antonio you’re flying to Flagstaff, Arizona.  Wrong, but even warmer. 

Today’s ride

Today’s ride doesn’t even count.  I walked down to REI to pick up my Bike Friday, which was in the shop for a new front shifter.  There’s not really any point in talking about the 2 mile walk or the ride back, but I did see a couple of things worth remembering.

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Maybe I’ve noticed the Shemanski Fountain in the South Park Blocks before, but it really caught my attention today with the low light shining into its enclosure.
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Rebecca at the Well, the bronze statue in the Shemanski Fountain. The sandstone fountain was placed in 1926, a gift to the city from Joseph Shemanski, Polish immigrant and businessman. The statue was added two years later. The fountain includes two drinking platforms, with the lowest one intended for dogs.
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Along the waterfront it’s still a bit early for the cherry blossom explosion.
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It won’t be long though.
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So you’re probably wondering what the point of this post is.  Right?  Well, read on.

Ever since we got our new Bike Fridays two years ago, packing them into their suitcases has been a frustrating challenge.  Two changes have made it more difficult.  First, the new Samsonite suitcases have less usable interior space because the floors have cutouts for the suitcase wheels.  The bikes won’t fit in quite the same way and you have less maneuvering room.  Also, the handlebars are no longer split.  They’re a single piece now, and wide enough that they barely fit across the end.  Since they have to fit around or over the frame and rear wheel, there is barely enough room to fit them into the case and lay them flat enough to close the lid.

I’ve wrestled with this every time, packing and then repacking them until finally I find the magical alignment that works.  I’m never sure what I’ve done differently when I’m finally successful either.  Frustrating and stressful.

Until today.  After getting back from REI I set to work on the deck to pack them away for their flight to Austin.  Somehow, for the first time ever, both bikes went in easily.  Looking at them now, it’s hard to see why it was ever a problem.  So, as a reference for the future, here’s the best alignment.

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Curve the fork downward, brake mechanism on top. Curve the handlebar under the wheel, tipped downward toward the left end.
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Saddle with the nose toward the back of the case. Stem above it, along the right side (not along the back, which worked well in the older suitcases). The pedals fit snugly along the right near the rear, beneath the stem.
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Rear rack lying atop the stem and crank arm, front wheel on top. Looks like there’s still plenty of room to fit in a pair of cycling shoes, a couple of water bottles, and odds and ends. Easy.
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Jen GrumbyPrescott Regional Airport?
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyBrrr! Colder!
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5 months ago
Jacquie GaudetI took step-by-step pictures of the first couple of times I successfully packed my Co-Motion Pangea in its case with its fenders and both front and back racks. Even with this guidance beside me on my iPad as I work, it never packs the same and sometimes I give up and put the rear rack in my duffle with the panniers.

Good luck on repeating it!
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetNice to hear it’s not just me. It’s pretty baffling to think you’re doing the exact same thing twice in a row with such different outcomes.
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5 months ago