I learnt a lot on my first overseas trip with my bike.

My plan was to go to France in July and see le Tour, do Paris-Brest-Paris in August and go touring afterwards for up to six months.

I took a range of clothing for summer and winter conditions.

This was the first time I had had to pack my bike into a box and it took a long time to reassemble it and load my luggage at Toulouse airport before I could find somewhere to stay.

On previous trips within Australia I had been able to ride to the airport and hand over my bike after removing panniers and checking them in as a separate item.

No airline I know will let me do that now. They all seem to insist that bikes must be packed into some sort of package with no protrusions.

It can be daunting to figure out how to take you bike with you.

The main considerations are:

  • Safety,
  • Cost and
  • Simplicity.

Some airlines accept a bike as part of normal baggage but others with charge a fee if they know it is a bike you are carrying.

Practice packing your bike into your chosen container well in advance so you know how to do it and what tools you need.

Can you fit your box or case into the vehicle that will take you to and from the airport?

Reassembly facilities – tools, location etc. Some airports provide bike racks and tethered tools for public use.

If you will be cycle touring, how much can you carry when you get there?

On my first trip I found I had more than I could fit on my bike and had to post a bag of clothes ahead for later use. Postage fees were much more than I expected.

This article from TrainerRoad covers what you need to know

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