Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts

March 19, 2018

Flying with a Bike

There are some important things to remember when travelling by air with your bike.

  • The first thing you need to know is the policy of the airline you are travelling with in relation to the carriage of your bike and in particular to the weight maximum allowed per passenger. Their sporting goods carriage policy can usually be found on the airlines website.  Not all airlines have the same weight restrictions so check that the airline you are thinking of using has a reasonable maximum for each passenger before booking.
  • Airlines usually require bikes to be carried in a bike box while some airlines are not so strict and will allow bikes to be wrapped in plastic. This is good option when on the return journey as it may be difficult to source a bike box from a bike shop. While my wrapping does not look that good it has served its purpose well with the advantage that it less likely to be thrown as is the case with a bike box in my experience.
  •  It is very important to weight your bike and all your panniers and to know your exact combined weight before you get to the airport to ensure that you do not exceed the airline overall weight limit. If you exceed the weight restriction the charges on the excess will be very high. Of course if you take to much gear you will also have to carry all of your gear on your bike which is another strong incentive to take the minimum in gear on your bike tour.
  • You need to include all of your bike gear such as pumps and tools and cooking gear in the panniers and not in your carry on luggage. If they are in the carry on luggage they will almost certainly be confiscated by airport security. And of course you cannot carry cooking gas bottles or similar on aircraft at all. You need to research the availability of these items at the destination where you start your cycle tour.

Bike wrapped in plastic with panniers bag

December 09, 2014


Cycle Touring - Transportation within New Zealand

Internal Transport for Bikes in New Zealand

When cycle touring around New Zealand there may be times where you want to use public transport to carry your bike between cities.
The options available include flying,bus, train and boat.
Because bikes are not that easy to transport there are special conditions that you need to be aware of when you include your bike with your luggage.

Christchurch International Airport

Air Travel

Bikes in general can be carried on planes at no additional cost provided you do not exceed your ticket weight restriction. This means that you have to have a good idea of how much your pannier bags and bike weigh.

The main domestic carriers are Air New Zealand and Jetstar.

Both airlines offer cheaper fares but you have to book well in advance of your travel to take advantage of these.

Air New Zealand require that your bike is contained in a bike bag or a bike box and their requirements are:

Jetstars bike Policy

As can be seen from the airline policies bikes need to be disassembled in order to be carried by Air New Zealand and Jetstar.
There are bike assembly spaces at Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown airports that are not that easy to find. It is a good idea to carry some duct tape to use when you are packing your bike.

The main thing is to ensure that you have plenty of time before your flight departs to get a bike box and to then pack your bike. This can be very important when you are boarding a flight going out of New Zealand. Air New Zealand can sell you a bike box.

Bus Travel

I recently travelled from Opotiki to Auckland by Inter City bus which was a enjoyable although a slow experience. The main consideration is the possibility that you will not be able to carry your bike on the bus because of lack of space even though you have booked a ticket. If you travel at peak times you will run the risk of not being able to load your bike because of lack of space and  some services do not carry bikes.  When you make your booking you are required to inform the bus company that you have a bike to transport and all bikes must have the pedals removed and   chain covered. I got around this by tapping a carton over the chain and bubble wrap around the pedals. The Naked Bus Company also offer cheap fares and the following is the link to their policy covering bikes.

Boat Travel

The boat trip between the North and South Islands is a popular way to move between the islands and is scenic as well as convenient as you do not have to disassemble your bike.

Train Travel

I have travelled from Wellington to Auckland by train which was an all day trip with the most interesting part being the ride through the volcanic plateau which includes the Raurimu spiral passing by Mt Ruapehu, Tongario and Ngauruhoe. It is a convenient way to travel as there was plenty of storage space but the ticket costs have gone up and it is now not the cheapest way to travel but is worth considering rather than flying.