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shipping a bike to the start of a tour -- need advice

Old 04-08-16, 09:39 AM
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erbfarm
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shipping a bike to the start of a tour -- need advice

I'm about to start a tour up the CA coast. I'm starting in San Francisco and need to ship my bike there. I talked to a bike shop there and they'll only accept the bike if I pay them $100 to assemble it. I think this is really excessive since I can put my bike together myself. I just need to have a place that will accept my bike and keep it for a day at the most until I get there. Any advice? Thanks!!!
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Old 04-08-16, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
I'm about to start a tour up the CA coast. I'm starting in San Francisco and need to ship my bike there. I talked to a bike shop there and they'll only accept the bike if I pay them $100 to assemble it. I think this is really excessive since I can put my bike together myself. I just need to have a place that will accept my bike and keep it for a day at the most until I get there. Any advice? Thanks!!!
It's bit presumptuous of you to expect a shop to be responsible for your bike, and leave a box for them to throw away for nothing. Maybe you could get it delivered to a hotel you intend on staying at?
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Old 04-08-16, 10:13 AM
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Maybe you can find a Warmshowers member that will hold it for you.
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Old 04-08-16, 10:26 AM
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If you are located in a community with an Amtrak luggage station, maybe ship it on Amtrak to Emoryville and pick it up there. They can dispose of your box for you while you assemble it there.
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Old 04-08-16, 11:07 AM
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I had a boxed frame delivered to the local UPS Customer Center as "hold for pickup". ( I didn't want the driver to leave it on my front porch & not even ring the bell.)

Here's the UPS info:
At no additional charge, UPS can hold your package up to five days.
UPS will deliver your package to the UPS Customer Center you choose and then call the recipient when the package is ready.
Or a UPS Store. (You can sign up for My Choice for free).
Hold at The UPS Store
If you are a UPS My Choice® Member, The UPS Store can hold your package for up to five business days or seven calendar days at no additional charge. To pick up your package at The UPS Store, bring a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, or military ID.

Alternative Holding Arrangements
If The UPS Store is not nearby, your package can be held by one of our retail partners, like Staples, or at a UPS Access Point location. It can also be left with a neighbor or rerouted to another address. All of these arrangements can be made with UPS My Choice.
( I don't think I'd leave a shipped bike at a "retail partner".)

Last edited by rm -rf; 04-08-16 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 04-08-16, 11:16 AM
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You know the recommended direction is north to south on the Oregon Coast, yeah?
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Old 04-08-16, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I had a boxed frame delivered to the local UPS Customer Center as "hold for pickup". ( I didn't want the driver to leave it on my front porch & not even ring the bell.)

Here's the UPS info:
At no additional charge, UPS can hold your package up to five days.
UPS will deliver your package to the UPS Customer Center you choose and then call the recipient when the package is ready.
Or a UPS Store. (You can sign up for My Choice for free).
Hold at The UPS Store
If you are a UPS My Choice® Member, The UPS Store can hold your package for up to five business days or seven calendar days at no additional charge. To pick up your package at The UPS Store, bring a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, or military ID.

Alternative Holding Arrangements
If The UPS Store is not nearby, your package can be held by one of our retail partners, like Staples, or at a UPS Access Point location. It can also be left with a neighbor or rerouted to another address. All of these arrangements can be made with UPS My Choice.
( I don't think I'd leave a shipped bike at a "retail partner".)
That's a good idea.
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Old 04-08-16, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
That's a good idea.
I agree! Thanks for that tip on UPS My Choice! I use that service all the time! So that's a great idea for both ends of the tour especially on the return since I can pick the delivery date and have it sent right to my house. I also thought about shipping to REI in SF as a possibility since I read on a previous thread that their rates are very reasonable and I"m also an REI member so hope they would be open to doing this. I guess I expected this process to kind of be an easy no brainer kind of thing, but maybe b/c I live in Portland and there are so many friendly accommodating bike shops here. Thanks for the great suggestions!
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Old 04-08-16, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I had a boxed frame delivered to the local UPS Customer Center as "hold for pickup". ( I didn't want the driver to leave it on my front porch & not even ring the bell.)
That's what I was thinking. They have those UPS and/or FedEx mail shops, and I kind of thought you could have stuff shipped there.

Also, what's that bike shipping business? I wonder if they facilitate finding a location to ship the bike to.
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Old 04-08-16, 11:30 AM
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How are you getting to SF?

Originally Posted by tedder View Post
You know the recommended direction is north to south on the Oregon Coast, yeah?
This recommendation should be a major consideration. Check out the prevailing winds for the time of year you want to ride it. https://weatherspark.com/averages/29...-United-States
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Old 04-08-16, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
I agree! Thanks for that tip on UPS My Choice! I use that service all the time! So that's a great idea for both ends of the tour especially on the return since I can pick the delivery date and have it sent right to my house. I also thought about shipping to REI in SF as a possibility since I read on a previous thread that their rates are very reasonable and I"m also an REI member so hope they would be open to doing this. I guess I expected this process to kind of be an easy no brainer kind of thing, but maybe b/c I live in Portland and there are so many friendly accommodating bike shops here. Thanks for the great suggestions!
I looked into REI shipping once, and I found it to be no better, and maybe worse, than what you're encountering when trying to ship to a bike shop. They wanted to pack the bike for me, for a price; ship the bike, for a price; and reassemble it at the other location, for a price. There are situations where I could see that service as being very useful, but for the most part it sounded like it would result in paying a fair amount for a lot of wrenching that I can, and would actually prefer, to do myself.
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Old 04-08-16, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
I looked into REI shipping once, and I found it to be no better, and maybe worse, than what you're encountering when trying to ship to a bike shop.
In 2014 I shipped my bike to the Missoula REI. I arranged the shipping myself through bikeflights.com. REI assembled and tuned the bike for $40, held my CrateWorks box and duffel bag for free and offered to let me use one of their repair stands to put on my racks, which I like to do myself. At the end of the trip, REI packed the bike for $40. Again, I arranged the shipping through bikeflights.com and had the bike picked up from the store. I will be using them again this June. Judging from the number of used, non-disposable bike boxes they had around, it appears they get a fair number of bikes shipped to them. I saw a good four or five besides mine when I picked up the bike.
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Old 04-08-16, 12:23 PM
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I've had UPS and FedEx hold things for pickup at their locations without any problem.
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Old 04-08-16, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by erbfarm View Post
I also thought about shipping to REI in SF as a possibility since I read on a previous thread that their rates are very reasonable and I"m also an REI member so hope they would be open to doing this.
See my post above about my pleasant REI experience. Note that you have to call the particular shop to see if they offer what you are looking for. One handy thing about using them is that if you can pick up any last minute items you might need when you pick up your bike. I usually cook on my tours. When I fly somewhere I cannot bring fuel with me, and a stove with fuel and ash residue could be confiscated according to the TSA. I shipped an empty fuel bottle and my stove in the bike box and picked up fuel right there at REI.

If you are unfamiliar with bikeflights.com, which calls Portland home, it's a discount outlet for bike shipment through FedEx. Check out their web site. You can get a rate quote with your origin and destination zip codes, bike box size and total weight. The rate calculator even has a drop down menu with the sizes and weights of many popular brands of reusable bike boxes. Mine is on that list so getting a quote is really easy. There is also an option for purchasing additional insurance.
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Old 04-08-16, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
In 2014 I shipped my bike to the Missoula REI. I arranged the shipping myself through bikeflights.com. REI assembled and tuned the bike for $40, held my CrateWorks box and duffel bag for free and offered to let me use one of their repair stands to put on my racks, which I like to do myself. At the end of the trip, REI packed the bike for $40. Again, I arranged the shipping through bikeflights.com and had the bike picked up from the store. I will be using them again this June. Judging from the number of used, non-disposable bike boxes they had around, it appears they get a fair number of bikes shipped to them. I saw a good four or five besides mine when I picked up the bike.
That sounds more reasonable than what I was quoted. But then I think the problem was that I was looking at using them for shipping, not just as a receiving location for another shipping service. So I was looking at packing fees + shipping fees + assembly fees. And then the same thing on the way home.
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Old 04-08-16, 12:49 PM
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Are you flying?

Talk to your airline. It may be about the same cost for an oversized piece of luggage vs shipping the bike. And then you know exactly where it is, and it is ready for you when you arrive at the airport.
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Old 04-08-16, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Talk to your airline. It may be about the same cost for an oversized piece of luggage vs shipping the bike. And then you know exactly where it is, and it is ready for you when you arrive at the airport.
Flying from Portland to San Fran cheaper that shipping? Doubt that. Portland REI to San Fran REI using bikeflights.com assuming my large case and 60 lbs. total weight is $23 one way for two-day delivery. And you can track the shipment through FedEx. Last year I shipped Philly to Rapid City, SD for $47 for four-day shipping with $1,400 in insurance with a 10% discount for repeat business but a $5 surcharge for pick up at a LBS. Had I taken it to a FedEx location, I would have saved that $5. After I purchased the shipping and printed the labels I did a face palm when the LBS reminded me that there was a FedEx/Kinko's right around the corner from the shop. My airline wanted $150 or $175. Cannot remember which. Even Southwest, had it been an option, would have been $75.

Just priced Philly to Missoula for my tour in June. $47 for four-day shipping. (No additional insurance priced.) I can have the bike packed, shipped and re-assembled for about what my airline charges to fly with the bike. Not only that, I am flying first class. That entitles me to two free checked bags. However, the last time I did that with a bike, U.S. Air refused to credit the regular cost of a checked bag ($100) against it's $200 fee for flying internationally with a bike.
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Old 04-08-16, 02:21 PM
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Apparently it varies by the airline, as well as the fare one pays. Possibly even the season, or special discounts.

Bike Travel | Bicycling

So, rates could vary from FREE to $20 to $50 to $200.

Can you get your bike compacted down to 62 inches? Perhaps splitting it to two bags?

An option suggested in some of the articles is DO NOT SUPPORT AIRLINES THAT CHARGE EXORBITANT BIKE HANDLING FEES. Some smaller airports may have a limited selection of airlines. But, for larger more common routes, choose bike friendly airlines.
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Old 04-08-16, 02:28 PM
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Thanks for the info! This trip is kind of ad hoc and only happening b/c my friend got a free ticket to SF paid for by her employer (she lives in DC) so we kind of have to start in SF and go north. Or at least we thought we did. Has anybody looking at this thread done the South to North route at the end of April? If it's really bad going that way we could take greyhound up to Arcata and start from there

Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
How are you getting to SF?



This recommendation should be a major consideration. Check out the prevailing winds for the time of year you want to ride it. https://weatherspark.com/averages/29...-United-States
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Old 04-08-16, 02:34 PM
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also, I just called REI in SF. They charge $65 to unpack and assemble your bike. I'm planning on packing up myself here and shipping via bikeflights. My bike isn't that big (48 cm surly straggler) and I'm taking off the fenders so i should have room for the panniers and clothing in the box.
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Old 04-08-16, 09:09 PM
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Riding S to N:

From the useful weatherspark.com averages for Astoria Oregon. (The previous post's link was showing July only--change the URL "/7/" to "/5/" to get May Averages.)

May winds. The chart doesn't match up with the yearly chart--why ("East" seems to be wrong)?

A little N, NE, and the other directions evenly split. Almost no calm days! Of course, any given day could be all one direction.

Yearly:

"The fraction of time spent with the wind blowing from the various directions on a daily basis. Stacked values do not always sum to 100% because the wind direction is undefined when the wind speed is zero. "
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
compare to Arcata CA averages:
Arcata May only link.
Again this May winds chart doesn't seem to match with the yearly chart.


Yearly:

Last edited by rm -rf; 04-08-16 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 04-08-16, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Riding S to N:

From the useful weatherspark.com averages for Astoria Oregon. (The previous post's link was showing July only--change the URL "/7/" to "/5/" to get May Averages.)

May winds. The chart doesn't match up with the yearly chart--why ("East" seems to be wrong)?

A little N, NE, and the other directions evenly split. Almost no calm days! Of course, any given day could be all one direction.

Yearly:

"The fraction of time spent with the wind blowing from the various directions on a daily basis. Stacked values do not always sum to 100% because the wind direction is undefined when the wind speed is zero. "
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
compare to Arcata CA averages:
Arcata May only link.
Again this May winds chart doesn't seem to match with the yearly chart.


Yearly:
The bar graphs are yearly charts for a given year in Arcata. If you look at the information for May it will show the % time for a given wind direction for the year in the bar graph, 14% east.

The area chart below the bar graph, shows the percent days at a given wind direction for May, east winds are experienced approximately 9-12% of the time on any given day.

At least that is how I interpreted it. It is a little confusing, and I'm easily confused
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Old 04-08-16, 11:35 PM
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Do they break down the winds for day vs night? Say 8 AM to 8 PM, vs 8 PM to 8 AM?
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Old 04-09-16, 09:46 AM
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My LBS, an ACA Member shop gets bikes shipped in all summer, just mark the carton 'do not assemble' &
you get a corner of the store to put it together in , and a few loaner tools . ($10.00 box handling fee)

as long Known what makes the summer dry, is the north pacific High, that rotates clockwise
creating the north to south predominant winds .

winter storms and atmospheric lows rotate CCW, our winter storms on the coast blow out of the south-west.

BTW in a drive on the right side of the road country, northbound, to pull over at sea view vista points you have to turn across oncoming traffic .
riding north to south you just pull over on the same side of the road.

POINT NW bus to Astoria leaves from the same Portland Amtrak Station,
or the Greyhound bus station which, as You Know, is very close to the train station in Portlandia.

Box up Your bike in an Amtrak Box you buy At the station in Portland, and take the Train. the front wheel stays on,
and you just turn or remove the bars And unscrew the Pedals .

San Francisco and heading south from there your plan? .. Amtrak stops in Emeryville in the S F east bay.

There you can take Your Bike Out of the carton . put your bike back together ,
then ride to the nearest BART stop get on and ride it under the Bay To SF.
\

I've flown back into SFO from Europe Assembled the bike in the Arrival area of the airport then rode into the City.

My family, Ma&Pa, Lived in Napa , I took a ferry from SF to Vallejo and rode the 12 miles to get there ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-09-16 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 04-09-16, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Apparently it varies by the airline, as well as the fare one pays. Possibly even the season, or special discounts.

Bike Travel | Bicycling
Outdated. Frontier now charges $75 for a bike, and United now charges $150.
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