I purchased a brand new Bike Friday New World Tourist folding bicycle just two shorts weeks ago… and since that time I’ve unpacked the bike, packed it up again, flew with it to Aruba, put the bike together for the second time, spent seven days riding the bicycle around the island, got 1 flat tire, packed up the bike again tonight… and tomorrow I’ll be flying home, where I will once again put the bike together so that I can ride it around town. Whew!
It sounds like a lot of work, but you know what? It was actually pretty easy!
Compared to what I used to have to do with my full-size touring bike when I traveled by plane, traveling with my Bike Friday has really been a breeze. And best of all, I really like the bike! (But more on that later).
Since I first mentioned that I was getting a Bike Friday, dozens of people from around the world have written to me, asking me how easy it is to pack up the bike inside of its suitcase. So today I’m going to attempt to answer that question.
The night before I flew to Aruba I sat down to pack up the bike for the very first time. I moved slowly, reading the directions as I went along, and found that the take-apart time was pretty darn short (about 15-20 minutes). But once I had all the various parts removed and the bike folded down, I had to get the bike and its trailer inside of the suitcase… and that’s where I had some trouble.
For the next hour I delicately arranged the parts, moved pieces around, reread the instructions, and then somehow managed to squeeze the bike inside of its case. I couldn’t believe that it took me 20 minutes to take the bike apart and an entire hour to arrange the bike inside of its suitcase. I thought it was going to be a lot easier.
But then tonight I packed up the bike again. I’m still in my hotel room in Aruba and I’m going to be taking a taxi or hitching a ride to the airport tomorrow, so I figured I would pack up the bike now and save myself the stress of trying to pack up the bike at the airport.
Once again, it took me about 20 minutes to take the bike apart, get the water bottle cages off, deflate the tires, etc. But when I tried to put the bike and trailer inside the suitcase this time, it went in on the very first try! What had taken me an hour and a half the first time had just taken me 30 minutes on my second attempt!
I’ve produced a time-lapse video that shows me packing my bike for the very first time inside my condo in Park City, Utah. Click the play button below to watch the video now.