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  1. #1
    Senior Member ullearn's Avatar
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    Bicycle Shipping Options

    I live in Austin, TX and riding the Transamerica route this year starting in Yorktown, VA and wanted to find out all the options I have to ship my bike to the starting line. I found several older posts on this and most of the content is dated, but please let me know your ideas for the best option.

    - Fly with it
    - Ground Ship it to a LBS or friend
    - Drive with it
    - Train ride with it
    - Anything else?

    ---------------------------------------
    As for costs here are my findings so far in best order:

    Fly + Ground Ship - $165 + 35 = $200
    Fly + Baggage - $165 + 50 = $215
    Train + Bike Fee - $216 + 5 = $221
    One-way Car Rental carrying my bike + Gas - $93 + 150 = $243


    --------------------------------------
    Details per carrier:

    Airfare Austin to Yorktown (via Norfolk or Richmond) - $165
    Care Rental Austin to Yorktown (via Hays) - $93

    American Airlines - $150 unless under 62" total inches and 50lbs then counts as checked luggage fee cost
    https://www.aa.com/i18nForward.do?p=...portsEquipment

    Amtrak Train - $5 your box or purchase for $15 - 69 x 41 x 8.5 inches
    http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1241337895554

    Continental - $100 unless under 62" total inches and 50lbs then counts as checked luggage fee
    http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...ge/sports.aspx

    Delta - $200
    http://www.delta.com/traveling_check...x.jsp#bicycles

    FedEx - $35
    http://www.fedex.com

    Southwest Airlines - $50 unless under 62" total inches and 50lbs then counts as checked luggage
    http://www.southwest.com/travel_cent...equipment.html

    United - $100
    http://www.united.com/page/article/1...0.html#bicycle

    UPS - $40
    http://www.ups.com/

    Outdated iBike - http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm
    Last edited by ullearn; 01-23-11 at 03:24 PM. Reason: figured in gas for car rental

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Ship via Amtrak...then get there however you want.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member GeorgeBaby's Avatar
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    For airline travel, factor in getting from the airport to Yorktown. Southwest doesn't seem to fly to Yorktown. so, you'd have to fly to Raleigh, and transport yourself the other 200 miles

    Your rental price looks low, frankly. I just priced a 2 day 1-way rental from Budget for Austin to Yorktown and it came up with a charge of $299. Other majors were even higher. But you can drop the car in Yorktown itself.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ullearn's Avatar
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    Hertz has $44 a day one way rental to Hays & the Southwest flight is to Norfolk (virgina beach)

  5. #5
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd probably fly on Southwest from Austin to Norfolk/Virginia Beach and either:
    1. Ride right out of the airport. The ride from Norfolk to to Jamestown is pretty nice (use the Scotland-Norfolk Ferry). If I went this route I might ride to the ocean first. I also might skip Yorktown. We rode from Jamestown to Virginia Beach once and there was some urban riding, but overall it was pretty nice. Some info of that ride is at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=65604&v=43
    2. Cross directly to Yorktown by rental car or something. I think it is about 35 miles. It would be difficult to do on a bike unless you caught a ride with someone across the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. I don't think you can ride the bridge tunnel, someone correct me if I am wrong.

  6. #6
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Just curious as to how you got those cheap rates for UPS and Fed Ex. I recently priced getting my bike from Santa Barbara, CA to Sacramento, CA (about 380 miles) and it came in at around $130 on UPS.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I don't think $40 is an accurate quote for ups. They have a bit of an upcharge for packages the size of a bike box.

    $35 was what FedEx was charging in the late 90s for a boxed bike. I doubt it's still that low.

    simplygib, your quote for UPS seems high. Were you shipping or receiving on a Saturday? Using 2-day or Next day? Ground would probably be next day in that case, but should be cheaper.
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  8. #8
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    The way to get low shipping rate with FedEx at least, is to make sure the box the bike is packed in is less than 130" total, calculated by L+2xh+2xw. For example: if the box is 50" long + 30" high + 10" deep, the total would be 130. If you mark the measurement on the box and let them know that you know what you are doing, then you should be able to ship it for much less than $130. More like $45 - $55 just about anywhere in the US. I did this not too long ago with a bike from Colorado to Los Angeles and the guy shipped it to me via UPS for $55. I had asked him to use FedEx, but it all worked out fine. A box that size under about 50 lbs is not too expensive; unless things have changed significantly in the last 3 or 4 months.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    simplygib, your quote for UPS seems high. Were you shipping or receiving on a Saturday? Using 2-day or Next day? Ground would probably be next day in that case, but should be cheaper.
    The quote was for shipping on a Monday via ground. The dimensions I used exceeded the 130" mentioned by Ciufalon so maybe that's the key. I believe I used 60" x 10" x 42" or 164" total, just guessing at the size.

    Edit: I ran another quote using dimensions that would keep it under 130" and it came in at $55 and change. The box can weigh up to 63 pounds without changing the cost.
    Last edited by simplygib; 01-24-11 at 10:26 AM.

  10. #10
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    There is also an airport not too far from Yorktown: Newport News/Williamsburg, which is on the peninsula, so you wouldn't have to cross the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. I don't believe the HRBT offers a shuttle for bikers, and you certainly aren't allowed to ride it (it's an Interstate: I-64).

    Alternatively, you could fly into Norfolk and just pay a taxi to take you across the bridge and drop you on the other side. Or, you could try hitchhiking just before the bridge. A lot of folks with pickup trucks in the area.

    The "Southside" is really quite cut off from the peninsula for bikers. Bad on VDOT for not figuring out some way to make it possible.

  11. #11
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    If you rent a car and drive, don't forget that you need to pay for gas and possibly motels (or campsites - might tough to stealth camp with a rental car). If you can really ship it via UPS or Fedex for around $50, seems like that and flying would give you the best flexibility.

  12. #12
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I don't think $40 is an accurate quote for ups. They have a bit of an upcharge for packages the size of a bike box.

    $35 was what FedEx was charging in the late 90s for a boxed bike. I doubt it's still that low.

    simplygib, your quote for UPS seems high. Were you shipping or receiving on a Saturday? Using 2-day or Next day? Ground would probably be next day in that case, but should be cheaper.
    I think I was charged $60 by UPS from Reno to Baltimore MD this past Summer.

  13. #13
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    I just shipped my bike from CA to NJ, in as small of a box as possible, but with some extra gear inside so the weight was a bit high - total price for UPS ground was $100

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
    The "Southside" is really quite cut off from the peninsula for bikers. Bad on VDOT for not figuring out some way to make it possible.
    This is true for those who insist on visiting Yorktown, but it really isn't bad if you are willing to cross at the Scotland-Norfolk Ferry. It would have the plus of being able to start at the ocean if you wanted to. Personally if I were doing it over that option might win out over starting at Yorktown.

    I always thought Yorktown was an odd starting or ending point for a coast to coast trip since it really isn't on the coast. We finished our TA at Yorktown and I felt like I had missed out by not making it to the ocean. We went back later and rode from Jamestown to the ocean to remedy that.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ullearn's Avatar
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    It sounds like other than the options I listed no other options jump to mind. I am leaning towards flying southwest and just checking the bike so it's with me. Flying to Norfolk and if possible ride right out of the airport to Virginia Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    This is true for those who insist on visiting Yorktown, but it really isn't bad if you are willing to cross at the Scotland-Norfolk Ferry.

    Yorktown was an odd starting or ending point for a coast to coast trip since it really isn't on the coast. We finished our TA at Yorktown and I felt like I had missed out by not making it to the ocean. We went back later and rode from Jamestown to the ocean to remedy that.
    I agree with this as I was questioning why ride 99% of the way and start/end in a bay off the Atlantic. So either I will consider the Ferry option or skip Yorktown all together and hook up down the road with the TA route. Any good route recommendations or options for this?

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Check out this thread from when I was planning my trip to the ocean from Jamestown. The post from the Bosquettes in particular might be useful.

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