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Bicycle Friendly Airports

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Bicycle Friendly Airports

Old 03-09-14, 11:00 PM
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wipekitty
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Bicycle Friendly Airports

Have you ever used your bike to get to an airport and catch a plane? I'd be interested to hear if your local airport has bicycle facilities - and if not, how and where you were able to securely park your bicycle.

I have to travel for work a few times a year, and often, it requires taking a plane (which I hate). I'm strongly considering riding to the local airport, as it is less than seven miles from my house, and would be faster and easier than taking a bus. I think it's a friendly enough small town that they'll work something out if I just call and ask, but I'm curious to know what others have done!
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Old 03-09-14, 11:51 PM
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When I go to an airport with a bicycle, the bicycle comes with me on the plane. Since that is starting to get a bit expensive, and a bit of a hassle, we're seriously considering getting folding bikes for our future travels.

I can tell you that one airport which is not particularly bicycle friendly is Heathrow. It's doable, but it is a bit of a challenge.
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Old 03-09-14, 11:54 PM
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Christchurch, NZ has a bicycle dis/assembly area complete with workstand.
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Old 03-10-14, 12:01 AM
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The airports at Cairns and Launceston were pretty good for cycling into/out of, and I think Hobart would be quite reasonable as well in terms of access.

But a lot of these airports don't like people leaving stuff in and around the airport. It makes them nervous.
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Old 03-10-14, 01:48 AM
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I've taken my bikes on an airplane a couple of times, both in the '70s.

Just recently, Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport installed bike racks, so parking while you travel is potentially doable. But I haven't attempted to bring a bike on board with me.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:44 AM
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RNO is pretty good. There is a bike rack right by the taxi/shuttle bus area. I used to work there, so my bike spent a lot of time on that rack and I never had any problems. There was almost always at least one other bike there. I've left my bike there for up to a week at a time.

The best part is the location. It's only 3-4 miles from downtown and there are multiple bike-friendly routes to get you there. Terminal Way has a bike lane. Plumb Ln has a bike lane. It doesn't matter where you're going (N, S, E, W), there's a good way to get there from the airport.
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Old 03-11-14, 03:09 PM
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If I owned an airport...

I would put in a couple of those little free-standing bike lockers in the long term lot. They provide secure, weatherproof parking for bikes. I think four or five lockers will fit in one car parking spot, so the airport should be able to make pretty good money, as long as people will use the lockers.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:50 PM
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Reagan International connects to the rest of DC by way of the Mt Vernon Trail. No idea what the parking situation for bikes is there, but I always used to ride by it and thought it was cool that I could get there by bike if I wanted. The subway also has a stop there.

Edit: Now that I think about it, the next airport over, Baltimore, has a loop that goes all the way around it and connects to the terminal. There's an extension that goes all the way to Annapolis, but isn't really part of a very extensive network.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:02 PM
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The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport doesn't have any places to park a bicycle. It only has one sidewalk that only goes partially toward the entrance. Crossing three lanes of traffic to get to an overpass without a sidewalk is really treacherous.

The Helena Montana airport is easy to reach with a bicycle because there is so little traffic headed to it. Even so I don't now where a bicycle could park. I've never seen any racks. Every time I go there I lock my bicycle to a chain link fence post near the car parking lot.
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Old 03-11-14, 09:02 PM
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More a Touring type situation ..

AMS Shiphol in NL is fine in and out . Dublin Ireland is seemingly small like Eugene's in Oregon
Aberdeen in Scotland is likely OK, though I was Boxed up ahead of time LV there..

Ive Un boxed and rode home over the San Bruno Hills out of SFO.

Newark Nj , thumbs down .. Gatwick . train to Victoria Stn in London
if you leave your bike in the box you may use left luggage at the station .

but not out of the box.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-12-14 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 03-11-14, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
Christchurch, NZ has a bicycle dis/assembly area complete with workstand.
I'm pretty sure PDX also has this.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:03 AM
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In the good old days of air travel (early 70's) I rode my bicycle to the Philadelphia Airport, and the only tool I needed to get the bike considered as baggage was an adjustable wrench to reverse mount the pedals and turn the handlebar sideways. The baggage handlers took it without any box needed. No charge either way. Upon arrival at O'hare the bike was wheeled to me in the baggage area, where I reversed the pedals, turned the handlebars and tightened with the adjustable wrench. I proceeded to ride into Chicago for week long visit which included riding to the Schwinn factory for a factory tour and to Wrigley Field for a game against the Phillies. The airport procedure for the return to Philadelphia from Chicago was just as smooth.
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Old 03-12-14, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
In the good old days of air travel (early 70's) I rode my bicycle to the Philadelphia Airport, and the only tool I needed to get the bike considered as baggage was an adjustable wrench to reverse mount the pedals and turn the handlebar sideways. The baggage handlers took it without any box needed. No charge either way. Upon arrival at O'hare the bike was wheeled to me in the baggage area, where I reversed the pedals, turned the handlebars and tightened with the adjustable wrench. I proceeded to ride into Chicago for week long visit which included riding to the Schwinn factory for a factory tour and to Wrigley Field for a game against the Phillies. The airport procedure for the return to Philadelphia from Chicago was just as smooth.
That sounds like fun. I know we need security at airports, but I don't understand why they have taken all the fun out of flying. Bikes are not bombs. Neither is shampoo, for that matter. If they ever build high speed rail here, I would never go to another damn airport.
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Old 03-12-14, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I know we need security at airports, but I don't understand why they have taken all the fun out of flying. Bikes are not bombs. Neither is shampoo, for that matter.
Really?? You don't understand??


Originally Posted by Roody View Post
If they ever build high speed rail here, I would never go to another damn airport.
Kind of hard to get to interesting places like France, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, etc. on high speed rail.

Last edited by Machka; 03-12-14 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 03-12-14, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I think it's a friendly enough small town that they'll work something out if I just call and ask, but I'm curious to know what others have done!
Have you called and asked yet? I'm curious to know what they said.


Back in 2003, I contacted Heathrow to ask about storing a hardshell bicycle box there ... and there was absolutely no way they were going to let me do that. But if your airport is smaller and they've gotten to know you, they might be willing to arrange something.
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Old 03-12-14, 07:36 AM
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Just my opinion, but Sky Harbor in Phoenix doesn't look bike friendly at all. Once you get "inside" there are few or no sidewalks, fast traffic and lots of merging diverging lanes. I've haven't seen a bicycle in there. I got the feeling that security would stop someone who tried to ride a bicycle.

I can remember in the late 60s as a kid I would ride my bicycle ~10 mi to the airport. You could go on top of the old terminal building to watch the planes. For 25 cents (too expensive for me) you could look thru a telescope.
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Old 03-12-14, 09:47 AM
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The small airport at the edge of the city here has several good bike racks out front.

One time when I flew out of there I really wanted to ride my bike to the airport. We live just a few miles from the airport. I was only taking a small backpack as carry-on luggage. My bf and I tried to find a way for him to transport my bike back home with his bike but the methods we tried were not reliable enough for him to use at that time. (We looked at all the threads here on BF on how to transport a bike with a bike).

I could probably walk to and from the airport easily enough. I don't fly too often though.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
I can remember in the late 60s as a kid I would ride my bicycle ~10 mi to the airport. You could go on top of the old terminal building to watch the planes. For 25 cents (too expensive for me) you could look thru a telescope.
I also have memories of my early teen years (pre 16YO) in the early 60's cycling about ~10 mi to the Philadelphia Airport perimeter fence access road at the end of the runway and watching the planes take off and land. The landings were particularity exciting since they cleared the fence at a very low altitude; I seem to remember at about 20 feet or so. Also fun was that the airport was built in what was a swamp and occasionally I would see humongous snapping turtles crossing the road.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:54 PM
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To the Op, ask the airport if there are employees that ride to work
and if you can lock up on their bike rack. On a related note; the
airports in my area(JFK, Newark/Liberty) aren't accessible by biking.
But this past summer I checked in my folding bike in a box when I flew
from NY to Los Angeles. Landed at LAX and threw out the cardboard
box. Rode from the airport 40 miles to our hotel in Anaheim. The San
Diego airport looks even more bike friendly, although I haven't bike
from there(yet).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNuu...6zPoymgKaIoDLA
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Old 03-12-14, 06:32 PM
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KDEN has a signed bike route that runs into the airport... along the highspeed roadways I believe that you can bike into KMSP, I know you can take the light rail into it, there was an issue a few years back with "security" cutting a bike (not the lock) to get a bike off something that it was locked to. My local airport is accessible by bike, but it isn't exactly near much of anything and to the best of my knowledge there isn't anywhere really secure to lock up either. Most of the airports I have been through are designed for access by POV via high speed roadways.

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Old 03-12-14, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Have you called and asked yet? I'm curious to know what they said.


Back in 2003, I contacted Heathrow to ask about storing a hardshell bicycle box there ... and there was absolutely no way they were going to let me do that. But if your airport is smaller and they've gotten to know you, they might be willing to arrange something.
I haven't called yet. I'm not flying until April 3, so I'm thinking about taking an exploratory ride over there in the next week or so to look for bike racks. I saw an indoor bike rack at Chicago Midway once, and was inspired.
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Old 03-13-14, 12:03 AM
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A couple of years back, I checked the commuting scenario with our local airport. I'd ride the bike to the airport, leave the bike and riding gear there and collect everything on return. Short version is, it's doable (they have bike racks with CCTV, luggage service would store my stuff for a charge, showers are available at the airport prior to the flight) but there's no knowing how well it would actually work until I try it out.

Another option would be to take everything with me to the destination and use the bike there as well. A good excuse to buy a Brompton, finally! In that scenario I would want either really laid back schedules at the destination (usually not the case with business trips), or a destination I'm already fairly familiar with.

Touring is another story entirely, IMO. Props for the airports with dis/assembly halls with stands, never heard of those before!

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Old 03-14-14, 05:35 PM
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There are bike lanes through the San Francisco airport (SFO) from the north and south. Bikes are also allowed on BART trains, which stop at the airport. The airport has long term (up to 14 days) bicycle parking and bicycle assembly stations. More info on the SFO web site: Bike to SFO | www.flysfo.com
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Old 03-21-14, 05:53 PM
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Although I didn't find it on my exploratory trip, the La Crosse airport claims to have a bicycle rack, and they said that I could use it to lock up while I take my trip. Given the low-crime nature of this area, I'm not too concerned - I'll probably ride a cruddier bike, lock up with a cable lock and U-lock, and just bring my helmet on the plane.

Good thing, because my backup plan was to take the bus - until I discovered that the last bus leaves the island where the airport is at 5:45 PM. I could try to get work to pay for a cab, too - but if I can avoid paying for ground transportation at all, I'll feel justified spending more on food!
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Old 03-21-14, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
More a Touring type situation ..

AMS Shiphol in NL is fine in and out . Dublin Ireland is seemingly small like Eugene's in Oregon
Aberdeen in Scotland is likely OK, though I was Boxed up ahead of time LV there..

Ive Un boxed and rode home over the San Bruno Hills out of SFO.

Newark Nj , thumbs down .. Gatwick . train to Victoria Stn in London
if you leave your bike in the box you may use left luggage at the station .

but not out of the box.
Would never ride my bike to Newark, not only because the route is mostly high-speed highways and STROADS aka incredibly dangerous (and likely illegal, as I think bikes are not allowed on Route 1-9) but I'd be worried for my bike's security.

I did not ride my bike to Dublin Airport but paid attention to the bike lane signage and road markings while being driven there. I was pleasantly surprised by even that progress (again, considering the terrible treacherousness of my local).
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