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Traveling Quesion???

Old 03-01-12, 09:40 AM
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Traveling Quesion???

I am going to Italy in October to tour for two weeks and my arrival destination is different than my departure. Does anyone have any suggestions for transporting my bike over there? Being that I cannot bring my travel case with me on the whole bike ride.

NEED HELP!

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-12, 11:37 AM
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A couple of ideas...

Buy a collapsible EVOC bike travel bag. Once you get to your first destination city in Italy, collapse it put it in a box and ship it to your hotel at your departure city to hold it for you for a few weeks. Put the bike back in the bag, book it at the airport and fly back home. This is, to my knowledge, the best collapsible bike bag currently in the market as it will give you lots of protection through airports. Those handlers can be brutal.

Alternatively, you can put the bike in a cheap box, throw it away when you get there. Find a bike shop at the departure city that will give you a new box to fly back home. People do it but you do run some risks about getting your bike with damages.


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Old 03-01-12, 11:47 AM
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I have a hard case for my bike (which has S&S couplers) that I take with me when I fly to the start of a bike tour. On many occasions, I have shipped the bike box to my destination, either to a hotel, or someone I've contacted through warmshowers.org or couchsurfing.org who has agreed to hold the case until I arrive.

Within the US, the charge for large, hard-side suitcase weighing in the 10 pound range is about $40, if I recall correctly. I've always used UPS or FedEx and never had a problem.
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Old 03-01-12, 03:13 PM
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I pack in a cardboard box , toss it on arrival and get another at departure.
KLM is good at that , out of AMS, especially,
but a couple boxes from the shops and packing tape will do.
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Old 03-01-12, 03:16 PM
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I use the cardboard box method.
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Old 03-01-12, 05:37 PM
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What are your departing and arrival cities? You might just be able to pick up a box at a bike shop.
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Old 03-01-12, 05:47 PM
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Arriving in Milan and departing from Naples
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Old 03-01-12, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronpass
Arriving in Milan and departing from Naples

If it were the other way around I could help you. There is a bike shop in Malpensa which is not far at all from the airport. You might want to consider contacting someone from Warmshowers in Naples to see is they can help with a box. Warmshowers is not real big in Italy but Naples is big enough so there might be a few members there. Also Milan Couchsurfing has a bicycle subgroup so maybe Naples has one too, it would be worth a look.


If you are whooped from your flight (and you probably will be) you might want to stay in Malpensa at the Tre Leoni. Malpensa is not your typical Italian town, kind of modern and has limited choices for restaurants but there is a shopping center to supply just about everything you might forget or need to provision. There is also a nice castle to explore. There is also the Hotel Cervo which is good, a little closer to the airport but even less choices for restaurants and no shopping center.

What is your plan for getting out of the MXP area? There is a bike trail that goes south all the way to Pavia. It passes near the airport and the mentioned Malpensa. If you are interested I good send you either the Garmin tracks or Google Earth tracks. I might even have a map around here somewhere.
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Old 03-01-12, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for all the great info!

I am going to be taking a train from Milan to Genova, then will be cycling from there on. The route I have planned is a little under 600mi and I have about 13 days.
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Old 03-01-12, 06:40 PM
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Here is my tentative route if anyone is interested in seeing:

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Pi...mra=ls&t=m&z=7
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Old 03-01-12, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronpass
Here is my tentative route if anyone is interested in seeing:

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Pi...mra=ls&t=m&z=7
Glad to see that you're doing the Cinque Terre region. From there, the leg from La Spezia-Aulla-Lucca is really exquisite compared to La Spezia-Pisa. I read somewhere a few years ago that that section is one one of the top biking destinations for Tuscans. The only issue is that it's hilly and may delay your trip by an extra day or two or so, if you have time-constraints.

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Old 03-01-12, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronpass
Thanks for all the great info!

I am going to be taking a train from Milan to Genova, then will be cycling from there on. The route I have planned is a little under 600mi and I have about 13 days.
You might want to consider that bike trail. It is only about 60 easy miles to Pavia. Good way to knock out the cobwebs. There is a really great castle there too plus I can recommend a wonderful Coachsurfing host. There is a train from Pavia direct to Genova. The time and trouble you save from going into the city might be worth it.



Genova is a major pain to bicycle lots of cobble streets, narrow streets and tons of traffic. You might consider taking a train just outside of town. I highly recommend the Hotel Bellvue in Genoa . It is directly across the train station up on the hill.

There is a Coachsurfing host somewhere in the Cinque Terre area. Sorry I can't remember exactly what town. If you are interested I could look up my notes. Anyway he looks to have a beautiful villa right on the shore. If it is not rented then the whole place is yours for free.

The Hotel Diana it LaSpezia is fairly cheap but clean, breakfast really stinks.

There is a bike path a good bit of the way from LaSpezia to Viareggio. Stop in the tourist information in town and they should be able to help you. Don't use the one in the train station, it is too busy.

There is a hostel just north of Viareggio. Again not exactly sure what town but I am pretty sure it is an HI hostel so you should be able to find it.

You should consider popping into Lucca. It is not too far out of your way and worth seeing. It is a walled city and there is a bike path on top of the wall. If you plan on staying in Pisa Lucca might be cheaper.

Be careful of S1 from Viaraggio. It may not look it but it is very busy. Lots of prostitutes along the road too. There is a back road but I did not take it because I was really unsure how far it went and did not want to get caught in a dead end.

You are supposed to put bike on a special bike car on the train but sometimes the car is locked. In that case just but your bike in the space between two cars.

Also be aware that about the only trains you can put your bike on is Regionale' (Regional).

Here is a webpage with tourist information offices. Most times the people are wonderful but sometimes just a waste of time.

https://www.enit.it/?Lang=UK
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Old 03-01-12, 07:27 PM
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You will be passing through a lot of small towns. Not everyone knows or will admit to knowing how to speak English. If you know a few words and make an attempt you will be surprised how it gets others over their shyness and they will try their English.

Puņ dirmi dove (location) and Sicrva una mappa per favore? Can you tell me where is -------? and Write a map please are probably the two most important phrases, And the answer is almost always "sempre diritto" . "Always straight".
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Old 03-01-12, 07:31 PM
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I have not biked the Cinque Terre area except up from La Spezia to just outside the first town. Chris is right, the hills are very steep but no worse than say the PCH. Also be aware that there may be a tunnel or two that prohibit bicycles though I understand many have passed through them anyway.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:33 PM
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Here at the end of the transam, people box up their bikes , often..
so it occurs to me more,
good to find out when the cardboard is picket up,
so you don't arrive after the pile is gone, and a new bike is not getting un-boxed.
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Old 03-04-12, 08:39 AM
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I do the cardboard box thing, too. If the tour is a loop I store it at my hotel til I return; for a point-to-point I pick up a new one at a bike shop and give them a pretty good tip.

B
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Old 03-04-12, 07:01 PM
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I've done four transatlantic roundtrips with the "naked bike" method, and it's worked out just fine every time. Just take the pedals off, turn the handlebars sideways, and roll the bike up to the check in counter. I will probably bring a big clear plastic bag this time in case British Airways gets sticky about the "protective bag" rule, but otherwise I don't expect any problems. If the baggage handlers can see what they're handling, they tend to treat the bike more carefully.

I would be careful about employing this method if you have any tight connections between flights, and I would get to the airport early so the baggage handlers have plenty of time to deal with your bike. It's when the baggage handlers are rushed that they start handling things roughly. I would also check your airline's website and find out what their rules are. If the rules say you must have a box, then obviously you must have a box.
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Old 03-08-12, 08:27 PM
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I have used a Tardis bag from Ground Effect for a number of trips. On point to point trips, I just carry it with me. Folds up pretty small and doesn't weigh that much. Then you always have it with you if you decide to jump on a train too. Easy to carry through train stations/airports too. I love this thing.
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Old 03-11-12, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TOLOCOMan
I have used a Tardis bag from Ground Effect for a number of trips. On point to point trips, I just carry it with me. Folds up pretty small and doesn't weigh that much. Then you always have it with you if you decide to jump on a train too. Easy to carry through train stations/airports too. I love this thing.
Did you find a Canadian retailer for the Tardis?

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Old 03-12-12, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by brentirvine
Did you find a Canadian retailer for the Tardis?

B
Nope, I ordered it straight from New Zealand. It all went very smoothly, and at the time, a NZ dollar wasn't very high, so it wasn't too expensive.

If you want Canadian, this https://www.arkel.ca/ca_e/all-categor...carry-bag.html is the closest I've seen in Canada, but it doesn't seem as good to me. Bigger package, and doesn't look nearly as tough. It is about a pound lighter than the Tardis though.

I love the Tardis and highly recommend it.

Last edited by TOLOCOMan; 03-12-12 at 10:13 PM.
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