Packing For The Plane. Getting Your Gear To The Start

Many bicycle adventures start with a trip by plane, train, or automobile. In order to start your bicycle tour, you’ve got to get to the place where your tour will begin. And unless you are starting and ending from your home, getting there and coming back can be a great challenge.

I’ve recently departed on my 9th bicycle tour and I’d like to use this trip to show how I packed up my bike and the rest of my belongings and managed to get everything to an apartment building on the other side of the world where I will begin my next bicycle touring adventure.

To find out exactly how I did it, watch the video below:

I made this video before I left home. But as I write this, I’m in Switzerland and I was able to successfully get all of my stuff to my apartment in Luzern without having to use a taxi or ask for assistance. I carried all 80+ pounds by myself and made it to my starting location without any real problems.

LAX Airport Baggage Screening And Check-In

Waiting For The Train In The Zurich Airport Train Station

This Is At The Train Station In Luzern. I Carried Everything From Here To My Apartment.
It Was Snowing… And That Bike Box Sure Was Heavy! But I Made It!

11 thoughts on “Packing For The Plane. Getting Your Gear To The Start

  1. Mike says:

    Great to see you on the Tour, Good travels to you!

    Is the apartment in Luzern kind of like a base camp for the 5 month winter tour or is it going to be used more as a cheap short term stay hotel while you travel far and wide across the Europe.


  2. Joe Ward says:

    Were you able to use your bike in any way to get the 80 pounds of stuff to the apartment, or was it all on your back?

  3. Darren Alff says:

    Mike, the apartment in Luzern is going to be my base camp for the next two months. Then I will ride to Austria where I have rented another apartment that will serve as my second base camp for the month of March. I’ll talk about this more in a future video/article.

    Joe, I could have just put my bike together at the airport and then put everything on the bike and done it all that way, but I chose not to – mainly because I hate packing up the bike at the airport with all the people around. I had a relatively short distance to cover to get to my apartment, so I opted to simply tough it out and carry everything. Now that I’m at the apartment, I can put the bike together in peace, making sure I do it right. I’m a bit sore today from carrying everything, but it worked out pretty well.

  4. Darren Alff says:

    Rick and Jack, I’ll be answering your question about why in the world I decided to come here in the middle of winter in my next post. I’ll be adding it to the site on Saturday. So check back soon for that! But it basically has to do with the fact that this is where I wanted to go and this is the only time I could do it. So I’m sucking it up and dealing with the cold.

    And Jack, yes, I have my Bike Friday with me. You’ll see it in some upcoming photos/videos very soon.

  5. john says:

    If you pack your bike friday in a box vs the suitcase, won’t the airlines know it is a bike and charge you for it? thanks, john

  6. Bicycle Touring Pro says:

    John, the trick is to never tell the airline that you have a bicycle. If they ask what is in the box, tell them it is “bicycle parts” but never say “a bicycle”. It’s a small difference, but it usually works. By the time the bike gets to the metal detector, you will have walked off already and they usually won’t charge you for the bike at that point in time.

    As long as the box is the same size (or smaller) as a suitcase, the airline has to treat your luggage as though it were a suitcase. It doesn’t matter what is inside as long as the dimensions of the box fit inside their baggage requirements.

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