What about my baby… I mean BIKE??
Traveling to races can be so much fun! You get the chance to compete against athletes from all over, test yourself on a new and often challenging course, meet up with social media friends and cheer each other on and maybe even spend a little time sightseeing afterwards. The main downside “how do I get my bike there safely?”
The options as I see it:
- Drive to said race with your bike in the back seat
- Ship it in a bike box (requires taking it apart, buying a bike box, paying for and checking it with the airline and then putting it all back together when you arrive x2)
- Rent a bike at the race venue
- Use a bike transport service i.e. TriBikeTransport (FYI- they added 10 Rev3 Races for 2014!)
I’ve done two of the four options and thanks to Rev3 will be trying TriBikeTransport for REV3 Cedar Point Triathlon in September. For Rev3 Portland Triathlon (my favorite 70.3 ever!) I drove there- actually my dad drove us there. Living in San Francisco meant it was a long 12 hours in the car. While the road trip was an unforgettable bonding adventure with my dad, I would have much rather made the 2 hour flight and arrived fresh and without the stiffness that comes from sitting in a car for that long. The problem was- I didn’t want to ship my bike. I can hardly change a flat, there was no way I felt capable of disassembling my bike, packing it up and then putting it all back together again. Not to mention that I paid a pretty penny to have a pro custom fitting so every detail was perfectly sized for optimal performance and comfort. Could I ever get everything back in place; probably not. So this year- while I’d love another father-daughter road trip, I’m going to be using TriBikeTransport to get my ‘ride’ out to Ohio.
If you’re not familiar with the company- They have an online reservation system that allows you to secure a space for your bike to any destination race on their event calendar. You’ll drop off your fully-assembled bike at one of their partner shops, roughly one week in advance of your race. They carefully load your fully-assembled bike on a truck and drive it to your race. Once you arrive to the race venue, you’ll find TBT’s tent set up within walking distance of the transition area. They put your pedals back on, give it a once-over nuts and bolts check and send you on your way. Following the race – either immediately after your finish or the next day – simply wheel your bike back to the TBT tent. They pack your bike safely and securely and return it to your local shop, where you’ll pick it up at your convenience.
I’ve had at least a dozen friends use and love Tribike Transport – all saying how easy, convenient and safe it’s been. They can focus on the race, spend time with friends and family instead of assembling their bike, save money that would have been spent on airline/bike box fees and felt the customer service support team was extremely helpful. I can’t wait to hand off my ‘baby’ to the TBT guys and meet them in Sandusky.
Stay tuned for the rest of my blog series on ‘Traveling To Races’ where I’ll cover tips on booking flights and hotel, staying healthy and boosting your immune system, creating a ‘don’t-forget-a-thing’ packing list and how to bring along healthy foods so you’ll feel and race your best.