Traveling by “Bikes”
When traveling by bicycle, it usually means that someone takes just one bike on the trip. I had a very exceptional situation happen to me a little while back, involving three bikes. I was going to attend the Fort Lauderdale boat show to introduce the lineup of our folding bicycles to the boating community. If you don’t already know, this boat show is the biggest one in the entire United States. So, it was a big deal and in my best interest to go. I scheduled a flight and made hotel arrangements, sending my bikes to the convention center ahead of time, so that I could unpack them when I arrived.
Everything appeared to be great. However, I realized that it was not going to be that simple. The day prior to the show, I was informed that my folding bikes had gone to a wrong address and that they were returning to our Philadelphia address.
It so happened that I had a trade booth, promotional materials, and Florida models to show off my bike, but I had no bikes. I considered cancelling my trip, but rather than do that, I was determined to try something different.
I was so pleased that I had brought three of my bikes with me on the flight. In a normal situation, the airline would charge me to carry my bikes. In fact, the usual rate is $80. I had packed two of the bikes in my Downtube soft suitcase and checked them in without any problems. At the last minute, I had made a decision to bring my mini folding bike as a carry-on piece of luggage. I had no issues when I went through security checkpoint and even when I boarded the plane. I made a gamble, even not knowing if the bike could fit in the overhead luggage bin. Fortunately for me, it did fit, but the door of the overhead bin couldn’t close. What would I do? I didn’t own my own plane, so I had to go to plan B.
The stewardess stepped in and recommended that the bike may fit in the wheelchair compartment. I was puzzled until she explained that every plane had a wheelchair compartment for passengers who were disabled. She told me that the bike would fit with no problems and it certainly did. So, I arrived in Fort Lauderdale with three of my folding bikes and had to pay no extra charges to do so.
It worked out well for me at the boat show. On my return back to Philadelphia, I pushed my luck and got all of my bikes on the same flight without any surcharges. In the past, I had gone on many rides on one bike, but never traveled with three bikes before.