Day 149 & 150: Boxing the Bikes

Fortunately for us, Catherine had the day off work yesterday. After she got the kids off to school she drove us into town to a nearby bike shop. They had a couple bike boxes they were happy to give us and we stuffed them into the back of Catherine’s SUV. Before heading home we walked around downtown Salinas a bit and had a very tasty lunch at a place called First Awakenings.

For those who don’t know, bikes are usually shipped to stores partially disassembled in a big box. Bike stores merely have to install a few parts like the front wheel, handlebars, pedals, and seat before the bike is ready to ride. Then they are left with a big box they are usually willing to give away. I had to perform a similar disassembly on our bikes to fit them in these boxes before we could ship them to my mom’s house in Las Vegas. Our current plan is to ship the bikes ahead and then take them on the plane with us from Las Vegas to New Zealand.

As I began to take apart my bike, I wasn’t sure just how much disassembly would be required. After some trial and error I finally came up with the solution to the puzzle. The biggest hassle was having to remove the front rack and front fender in order to turn the fork backwards. That finally allowed all the pieces to fit in the box. It took a while to get mine packed, but packing Caroline’s bike was pretty easy after that. I just hope the boxes and bikes hold up ok during shipping. Today Catherine let us use her car to drive the bikes to the local FedEx store. We used a service called shipbikes.com to pay for the shipping, which cost about half as much as going directly through FedEx! I highly recommend that service to anyone looking to ship a bike. Once the bikes were dropped off we could relax a bit. It will be much easier to fly home to Denver and then to Vegas without the bikes in tow. My first idea had been to take the train to make it easier to bring the bikes along to Denver. What a slow trip that would have been!

Tonight Mike showed off his skill in the kitchen by making us a yummy dinner. Then I spent some time struggling to get our one checked bag under the airline limit of 50 pounds. We bought a huge duffle bag from Wal-Mart to carry most of our gear, but we’ll still be carrying on the plane two small bags each to keep the checked bag from being too heavy. I can’t believe how heavy all our stuff is! After that struggle with the luggage I relaxed with some reading. I had picked up the first Harry Potter book yesterday and I think I’ll read through the entire series again since I haven’t read most of them in years. That should help kill time in airports and on planes in the coming weeks.

Here’s a series of photos showing the bike boxing process:

Beginning of process to get this bike to fit in this box.

Beginning of process to get this bike to fit in this box.

Step 1: remove seat, pedals and handlebars.

Step 1: remove seat, pedals and handlebars.

Step 2: remove front rack and fender, add some frame padding.

Step 2: remove front rack and fender, add some frame padding.

Step 3: take off the front wheel, rotate the fork backwards.

Step 3: take off the front wheel, rotate the fork backwards.

Step 4: all the parts ready to be taped together and put into the box.

Step 4: all the parts ready to be taped together and put into the box.

Success!  Now to ship using shipbikes.com and FedEx.

Success! Now to ship using shipbikes.com and FedEx.

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