Not like any trip I’ve taken before – Part 2: Boxing up a bike to check on the plane

This is a three part series on the logistics of embarking on a cross country bike ride, from a city that you don’t live in.

Part 1: Packing for a 70-day bike ride.

Part 2: Boxing up a bike to check on the plane.

Part 3: The logistics of a bike at the airport.


I have to get both myself and my bike down to Baltimore, and I determined that flying with my bike made the most sense for me. It was about twice the cost of shipping, but still reasonable (bike fee on Southwest is $75), but that meant that I could be training right up until the day I left, whereas if I shipped I would have had to do that last week.

I saved the box that my bike came in because I knew that I would have to get it to Baltimore somehow, so packing really wasn’t that big of a deal.

Step 1: Remove front wheel.


Step 2: Put wheel in box.


Step 3: Remove handlebars and seat.

Step 4: Put bike frame in box.


Step 5: Tape box closed.


Ideally, I would have also removed the pedals from my bike, but I didn’t have the correct size allen key or a pedal tool, so I just left them on. This created a slight bulge in the side of the box, but not so bad that I was worried about the box integrity. If I had been doing this more than 8 hours before I was supposed to leave, I definitely would have gone out and bought the correct size allen key though!


    1. From my understanding, REI ships bikes, and boxes them up for us. In previous years they have given us a group rate because we bring them a lot of bikes to shop home! So as of now that’s my plan.

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