Have bike box, will travel…..

It’s been a while since either of us posted anything on here, sadly for me it’s not due to an intense training plan or racing schedule, but in fact down to it being the lead in to the school summer holidays and fatigue. Excuses over and done, time to talk about something bike related.

One of the bonuses of being a poorly paid Teaching Assistant is the summer holiday. I have looked forward to this for months and I don’t actually get paid for it either. In the darkest depths of the “The Big Freeze” we endured here in the UK at the start of the year all my wife and I could think about were warmer climes and clear blue skies.

I spend most of my web browsing time reading articles and images from  Michael Robertson’s http://www.velodramatic.com and Rapha’s Continental adventures http://www.rapha.cc/rapha-continental. These let me peek through a window into an alternative cycling reality that is both what and where I wish I was riding everyday. Fortunately for me this summer both the fantasy and reality will come together.

Having visited California in 2008 with my wife, we travelled around the state over three weeks, during which time I entered every bike shop we passed (17 I think), woke up at 5am every morning to watch Le Tour in the first week of the holiday, but sadly never turned a pedal while we were there. This time it is different, I’m taking a bike with me.

After much research and many hours learning about the various bags and boxes that are on the market to carry your trusted steed overseas with there was only one option in my mind, a hard flight case.

Many people use heavily padded and cardboard packed soft bags or Wiggle’s bargain DHB hard case for the bargain price of £150, but both of these methods and products appeared to have equally as many cons as pros and many horror stories. The one case that honestly looked, and was reviewed as being, up to managing 4 flights and 3000+ miles of in car transport without damage to case or bike is from http://www.bikeboxalan.com. Safe transportation for either of my bikes with an easy unpack and re-pack time were the criteria for my search.

I called Alan on Thursday last week, he was very helpful and informed me of the various options and liveries available and asked about the types and sizes of bikes I would be using in the case to ensure everything would be fine. I placed my order there and then.

Yesterday’s trip to Rotherham saw me return with what I believe at first impression is a fantastic product (in a former life I worked as an Engineering Design Estimator; in my opinion I know a thing or two about manufacturing, design and testing). The attention to detail and the amount of features are fantastic, surface mounted bosses to ensure the case does not slip off a baggage conveyor, the internal velcro fixing straps not only for your bike but track pump or helmet… The list could go on.

This is merely an intro, I’ll be abusing this case until the end of August and will update with photos and thoughts as I use it. Until then have a look at my slideshow, Alan’s website and the video of his box (containing his Colnago) being kicked out of the back of his Range Rover  at 30 mph.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

http://www.bikeboxalan.com Prices start at £397, hire is also available direct from Alan or from here: www.Bikeboxonline.co.uk

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~ by spanielsson on July 27, 2010.

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