On Your Mark.... - Two Old Guys Take On A Continent - CycleBlaze

May 1, 2023

On Your Mark....

And Almost Set…

Bike boxed up.  49.4 pounds. Just under the overweight threshold for American Airlines. About 20 pounds of that is the box from BikeFlights. I paid $129 for it for a one-time use. I have two folks on CraigsList in Washington DC who have agreed to buy it from me for $30. Here's hoping at least one of them comes through. At least I'll get a few beers out of it.

Duffel bag with three of four panniers plus bike seat/seatpost, tent, water bottles, helmet, bike shoes and a few other odds and ends.  47.4 pounds. Also in the duffel is a flattened pre-addressed box to ship the duffel, shoes and a change of clothes to a bike shop in Portland for the end of the ride. It will be mailed day after tomorrow from Arlington.

My carryon bag is one of the front panniers. My personal item is the handlebar bag (my murse, if you will). I had to be careful that items didn't get packed in the wrong bags. Can't take more than minimal liquids in the carryon.  Can't take anything that might be used as a weapon in the carryon (I used a broad interpretation of weapon: multitools, cables, clickstand).  Can't have power banks or disposable lighters in your checked bags.

Bike box and duffel are loaded up in the RAV4 for the trip to Dallas this afternoon.  Overnight in a hotel near DFW, and off to D.C in the morning.

The bike box looks huge from here, but it's under the size limit. Remember when airlines in the U.S. charged something like $150 to take a bike on a plane?
Heart 0 Comment 2
Kelly IniguezWe are also flying American. Their allowed size seems very generous. I did note that they also allow plastic wrapped bikes, according to their info page. We are leaving from Eagle, CO, which has a small airport. My husband was in town for work, so stopped by the American counter. You've got to love it when you can just walk up and ask a question without waiting in line! We were slightly interested in the plastic wrap option. We have heard positive things about sending bikes that way. It seems to be more accepted in Europe than stateside. The counter person he spoke with said that bikes needed to be in boxes. Jacinto didn't push the wrapped idea, but it was nice to hear an answer.
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6 months ago
John ChimahuskyTo Kelly IniguezI had to drag my bike box to a door for oversized bags. The guy who opened it asked, “What’s in the box?” even though it says BikeFlights in foot tall letters on both sides. Should I be worried? 🧐🤔😬🙏
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6 months ago

You might wonder why I've asked my wife to drive with me to Dallas to catch a flight to Washington from there, when there are flights from here in Oklahoma City. Two reasons.

Reason number one: I wanted a nonstop flight. There is one nonstop to DC from OKC on American Airlines each day.  There are multiple nonstops from DFW, so itinerary planning was more flexible.  Some years ago I took my bike on a plane from Oklahoma City to Chicago to Detroit, where Ed would pick me up.  After I arrived in Chicago, they cancelled the connecting flight to Detroit.  I ended up flying to Cleveland, about equidistant from Ed's home but in the opposite direction. My bike and gear did not make it. I had a layover day at Ed's before we were to drive to the start of XOBA, but my stuff still did not show up.  At the end of the day, Ed drove off to the start by himself (I don't blame him). My baggage was delivered to his house at 2:00 a.m the following morning. My sister-in-law and niece drove me to the end of the first day of XOBA, and I was able to ride the next 6 days, but this incident left a bad taste in my mouth for bicycle-as-baggage with connecting flights.  Hence the craving for a non-stop flight.

Reason number two:  The only American Airlines nonstop flight from OKC to DCA is on a smaller plane.  I didn't want to get to the airport only to find out that they couldn't accommodate my bike in the baggage compartment. All of the American flights from DFW to DCA are on Airbus 320 or 321, a much larger aircraft.  Much less likely that plane size would be an issue.

Not paranoia, just careful planning.

OK, I'm off. Time to hit the road.

Ed’s Story

Well John is on the road but I am still at home. 

I picked up my rental car this afternoon, a nice new Chrysler Pacifica with only 4100 miles on it. The Enterprise manager actually called me earlier to let me know they had it.

Cars at home; EZPASS is updated so I can use it on the turnpike; and I’ve set up Apple Car Play for routing.

I successfully loaded everything into the car, and didn’t even have to remove the seat or lower the handlebars.

Loaded and tied down
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I am planning on leaving Tuesday morning at 7 AM and anticipate arrival in Washington DC before 3 PM, accounting for breaks and lunch. John will get picked up at Washington Reagan after I check into the hotel and unload.

Then, let the fun begin.

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Comment on this entry Comment 5
Ben VuEnjoy. May the force be with you!
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6 months ago
Jane ChimahuskyLet the adventure begin! Beering across America! I mean biking…. Or do I?
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6 months ago
John ChimahuskyTo Jane ChimahuskyBeering….biking….just a spell check difference.
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6 months ago
George HallJohn - a fellow Okie - I'll definitely be following along now! Buddy (from Tulsa)
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6 months ago
Rebecca ChimahuskyTo Jane ChimahuskyToo true!!
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6 months ago