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Help: Bike airport packaging from peru to canada?

Old 05-27-22, 10:07 AM
  #1  
Neil.Travel
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Help: Bike airport packaging from peru to canada?

I'm planning on bike packing Peru in the near future. My plan is to take the Toronto international airport to Cusco, travel across Peru, and finish my trip around Trujillo. From what I can gather, you can purchase a bike box from the Toronto airport for the trip there. Where I'm hitting a wall is the trip back. I'm thinking I'll use the international airport in Chiclayo to return to Toronto, but I can neither find what their policy is on bike packaging, or whether they sell the appropriate packaging.

I already have a bike which I want to use for this trip. I have it customized to my ergonomic preferences, set up for heavy cargo on the front, back, and middle, I'm used to how it handles, etc. I'm aware that I could buy a bike when in Peru, but I would really rather not. I thought of mailing the Bike box from the Cusco airport to the one in Chiclayo, but I don't know exactly how long it will take me to complete my route, (I want to go at my own pace. I might stay in some places longer or not, improvise and go off my planned route, I don't know. I don't want to commit to a strict schedule) and I don't want to get fined for storage fees, if that's a thing.

Any advice and information on how to approach this is welcome. This will be my first time going on this kind of journey.

Edit: I'm not interested in renting a bike either, for the reasons listed above.

Last edited by Neil.Travel; 05-27-22 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 05-27-22, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Neil.Travel View Post
I'm planning on bike packing Peru in the near future. My plan is to take the Toronto international airport to Cusco, travel across Peru, and finish my trip around Trujillo. From what I can gather, you can purchase a bike box from the Toronto airport for the trip there. Where I'm hitting a wall is the trip back. I'm thinking I'll use the international airport in Chiclayo to return to Toronto, but I can neither find what their policy is on bike packaging, or whether they sell the appropriate packaging.

I already have a bike which I want to use for this trip. I have it customized to my ergonomic preferences, set up for heavy cargo on the front, back, and middle, I'm used to how it handles, etc. I'm aware that I could buy a bike when in Peru, but I would really rather not. I thought of mailing the Bike box from the Cusco airport to the one in Chiclayo, but I don't know exactly how long it will take me to complete my route, (I want to go at my own pace. I might stay in some places longer or not, improvise and go off my planned route, I don't know. I don't want to commit to a strict schedule) and I don't want to get fined for storage fees, if that's a thing.

Any advice and information on how to approach this is welcome. This will be my first time going on this kind of journey.

Edit: I'm not interested in renting a bike either, for the reasons listed above.
I have done numerous one-way trips and faced the same challenge. If a box is not readily available most airlines have large clear plastic bags to place your bike in. Remove the pedals and turn the bars, will usually also remove the front wheel and tape to the frame. Never had an issue with damage, probably because the baggage handlers see what is in the bag and treat it better than what looks like another piece of oversized luggage.
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Old 05-27-22, 12:07 PM
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headwind15
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You need to expand your search beyond availability at the airport. Another source, would to find out if there is a bike shop or motorcycle store in Trujillo that you may find a bike box. I recently returned from Sardinia, where I ended up cutting down a motorcycle box to size and duct taped it for strength.
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Old 05-27-22, 05:13 PM
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Iíve never known an airport to have a bike packaging policy. It has always been the airline you are flying.
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Old 05-27-22, 06:22 PM
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For the return trip I'd probably use a renko bag. We've never boxed our bikes. Typically packed in a padded travel bag. Often in transparent plastic (supplied by the airline) or renko.

We always ride in/out of the airport such that a box is out of the question. There is considerable debate wrt to the protection afforded by a box. We've flown internationally many many times. No problem to report.

Last edited by gauvins; 05-28-22 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 05-28-22, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Neil.Travel View Post
I'm planning on bike packing Peru in the near future. My plan is to take the Toronto international airport to Cusco, travel across Peru, and finish my trip around Trujillo. From what I can gather, you can purchase a bike box from the Toronto airport for the trip there. Where I'm hitting a wall is the trip back. I'm thinking I'll use the international airport in Chiclayo to return to Toronto, but I can neither find what their policy is on bike packaging, or whether they sell the appropriate packaging.

I already have a bike which I want to use for this trip. I have it customized to my ergonomic preferences, set up for heavy cargo on the front, back, and middle, I'm used to how it handles, etc. I'm aware that I could buy a bike when in Peru, but I would really rather not. I thought of mailing the Bike box from the Cusco airport to the one in Chiclayo, but I don't know exactly how long it will take me to complete my route, (I want to go at my own pace. I might stay in some places longer or not, improvise and go off my planned route, I don't know. I don't want to commit to a strict schedule) and I don't want to get fined for storage fees, if that's a thing.

Any advice and information on how to approach this is welcome. This will be my first time going on this kind of journey.

Edit: I'm not interested in renting a bike either, for the reasons listed above.
You should never assume that you can buy a bike box at an airport, ever. Frank or Jane may tell you this on the phone, it will be airline specific anyway, but the day you get there, no boxes, then you're screwed.
Plastic bag policy is airline specific also.

Re return flights and boxes, my experience in doing this is that you will want to have 2 or 3 days in the city of return flight to have the time to search out a box. I've done this on various trips, and it's possible, you just have to be resourceful and have the language skills to communicate.
Be aware that you may have to improvise, using other boxes, making two smaller boxes into one, and or finding cardboard and making your own box. You'll have to be good at improvising and have common sense for building something sufficiently strong and taped well enough.
There are also important little packing techniques that can reduce the risk of damage to the bike, and it's your best interests to look into these, but that's up to you.
I once had come to the conclusion that I'd have to use loose cardboard to make a box, but then finally found a bike store that had new bike boxes--but in x city in Peru, don't bet on finding a full size bike box. Peru has been hit hard with COVID, so economy hit, so less rich folks buying new bikes.
Just never assume stuff is the main message here.

This basic concept of improvising, being smart, using common sense and having really good situational awareness is the name of the game anyway for a trip like you want to do.
You don't say what traveling experience you have in other countries etc etc, but for a quick bit of advice--learn some Spanish. Putting time into this is really worthwhile.
Good luck with your project
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Old 05-28-22, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
.....don't bet on finding a full size bike box. Peru has been hit hard with COVID, so economy hit, so less rich folks buying new bikes.....
here in asialand there are collectors that haunt the dumpsters........any glass or plastic or cardboard is collected on a regular basis, valuable recyclables rarely last more'n ten minutes. stores flatten and save their boxes to sell to dudes on 3-wheel trucks that come by on a regular basis to buy the boxes.

if you know the city you'll be leaving from, and assuming no bike stores or they get their bikes delivered in bags now, hit the innertubes and locate large home appliance dealers.......and a stationary store for tape and box cutters.

if you're still thinking about mailing your box from the starting point, either flatten it and mail it to a hotel you've got booked and can arrange for storage or send it to yourself at the main post office in trujillo, poste restante. post office should hold a box for minimum thirty days with no storage fees.....possibly longer if you write a note on it..........in the local language.
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Old 05-29-22, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
if you're still thinking about mailing your box from the starting point, either flatten it and mail it to a hotel you've got booked and can arrange for storage or send it to yourself at the main post office in trujillo, poste restante. post office should hold a box for minimum thirty days with no storage fees.....possibly longer if you write a note on it..........in the local language.
If you are going to mail a box ahead, maybe consider using a soft case. I have used an inexpensive one (Transit brand from Nashbar or Performance, often on sale for $39.99). When empty it folds quite small for shipping. I do add some extra cardboard for protection, but wouldn't include that while mailing that ahead. If cardboard isn't handy some clothing, a foam sleeping pad or whatever can be use to protect the bike a bit extra.

There are other soft cases. Some are heavier duty and sleeker looking. I chose this one because it was cheap and packed small for shipping empty. That suited my needs well. You don't need to get many uses out of it before it is worth the low price especially if you buy it on sale and it seems to perpetually be on sale. It costs less than some purpose built cardboard boxes.
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Old 05-29-22, 12:02 PM
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Chiclayo is a large enough city that you should be able to find a spot in the city that can help you pack the bike. I would start with some of the bicycle shops. Some may do mostly repairs but there will also be some that get incoming bikes or other access to cardboard. A few may also have a web presence where you can try reaching out in advance. The other spot you can sometimes try in advance is tour groups or companies though I've had more success with bike shops.

The other alternative to Chiclayo would be Trujillo which is an even larger city and in my experience I noticed quite a few more western tourists. There is also a "Casa de Ciclista" known for many years that you can likely find on the internet.

I've done similar on previous trips including more recently Paramaribo Suriname and before that Ushuaia, Argentina. The Ushuaia case was a little more unique because company I was with helped in procuring boxes. However, in Paramaribo, I found a local shop. On that trip, I had started in Georgetown Guyana and had carried along packing materials other than the box (e.g. some foam noodles to wrap around tubes, my own tape,...) and then found a local shop that just conveniently had a set of boxes stashed away.
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Old 05-30-22, 08:25 AM
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As others have suggested, I would just try to find a local bike shop in your destination town.

Have them pack up the bike for you for a small fee in a used (cardboard) bike box (preferably adding some padding/foam), and then take a taxi or minibus from the shop to the airport. Ditch the cardboard bike box when you first arrive.

Check your airline for their bike policy. Most airlines accept packed bikes for a fee. This can be expensive or cheap, depending on the airline, so check before booking your ticket.

I think it is as simple as that. Mailing a box or other bike packaging solution seems like way more hassle than just finding a local bike shop.

Last edited by maartendc; 05-30-22 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 05-31-22, 06:08 AM
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Looks like Neil is doing an ask and dash.
re mailing Neil, just be aware that our first world expectations of reliable mail systems isn't what the reality is in other countries, so just be prepared for a plan b and c.
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Old 06-01-22, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Neil.Travel View Post
My plan is to take the Toronto international airport to Cusco,…
I can’t imagine Canada would be pleased with you relocating one of their airports.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-01-22 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 06-01-22, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
I canít imagine Canada would be pleased with relocating one of their airports.
Lots and lots of potential cost savings.
-very low labour costs
-less workers compensation fuss if a worker gets sucked into a jet engine
-mucho less snow removal equipment required
-Timo Hortonos would sell Inca Cola instead of Coca, with a vastly less expensive exclusivity deal
-well established and well built existing infrastructure already in place, so well built it's nigh impossible to slip the new airport signed contract in-between the new terminals stone walls.
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