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4 Days to Havasu

4 Days to Havasu

After 50 minutes of pulling, yanking, sliding and lubricating, I finally got my bike packed for the trip.

Usually, TriRiot would come to you on YouTube, but this countdown for the Havasu Triathlon requires a certain level of sophistication that can only be conveyed through the written/typed word.   So, read on and see if you can find the sophistication.

The Shortest Distance

The distance between Rocky Point, North Carolina and Lake Havasu City, Arizona is not a straight line.  This is because a straight line is not the shortest distance between the two cities due to topography, the earth’s  curvature and airline logistics.  To get to my destination I will

  1. Drive to Wilmington

  2. Fly to Philadelphia

  3. Fly to Phoenix

  4. Fly to Ontario

  5. Spend the night at mom’s house

  6. Have breakfast with mom, talk about national politics and get kicked out of mom’s house

  7. Drive to Lake Havasu City

All good, right?  No.

It’s not just me and a Samsonite carry-on.  I have to figure out how to get my bike from point A to point B.  In case you’re having trouble following my random thoughts, point A is Rocky Point, NC and point B is Lake Havasu City, AZ.

What About Bike?

Remember the movie, “What About Bob?” with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus?   Me too. I loved that movie, but we’re talking about a bike not Bob.  How the heck am I going to get my bike to the race?

This is such a common question for cyclists and triathletes who travel.  You’d think that after 12 years of doing this I would have a clear cut answer.  Here is a list of the options I’ve experienced:

  1. TriBike Transport.

  2. PRO: Very convenient. You do almost nothing but dropoff your bike and pick it up at the race site.

  3. CON:  Expensive

  4. CON: Bike dropoff locations are limited


  6. PRO:   Less expensive

  7. PRO: Sort of convenient

  8. PRO: Delivers to specific addresses and has many dropoff locations (they use FedEx)

  9. CON: You are responsible for dismantling and assembling your bike.

  10. CON:  You have to provide a shipping container (box).

  11. Drive yourself to the race and take the bike with you

  12. I think you know the pros and cons of this option.  However, you have to be careful about traveling with “friends” who will remove your bike pedals while stopped at a rest stop and you don’t find out until two days later when you are ready to go on a warm up ride and they try to convince you that the pedals were stolen.

  13. Airline Luggage

  14. PRO: The bike travels with you

  15. PRO: Could be very affordable ( more on this later)

  16. CON: Could be extremely expensive (more on this later)

  17. CON: You are responsible for dismantling and assembling your bike.

It’s All About the Case… No Trouble🎶

For this trip, I’m doing the same thing I did when I went to USAT Nationals in Omaha, NE.  I’m going to use the Rüster Hen House and choose option 4 from above.

Ruster Hen House bike case

The Rüster Hen House can pass for standard airline luggage.

I once used a regular, rectangular bike box and tried to check it on the plane as luggage.  The airline charged me so much that I swore I’d never do that again.    Two years ago, my friend Charlie loaned me his Rüster Hen House bike case and the airline didn’t question it.  I paid the standard baggage fee and life was good. This year, I ordered my own case.  Honestly, even the standard baggage fee sucks, but what can you do?

This option is not for everyone.  The case costs about $360USD.  Because that’s a one time charge, the more you use the case, the lower your per trip costs will be.   Then you have to figure out how you are going to get a bike like this on the left

Bike before disassembly

Ready to go in the case

into a shape like this on the right.

Either you do it yourself or you pay someone to do it for you.  I like this option, because the bike goes with me and there is so much extra room in the bike case that I can pack my clothes in there.

The bike frame fits nicely in its case

I keep saying case (singluar).  It’s actually two cases: one for the frame and one for the wheels.

I do like the convenience of TriBike Transport, but the cons outweigh the pros for this and several other trips.  If it sounds like I’m endorsing one product over another, let me know and I’ll ask for money from whichever company you think I’m pushing the most.

Final Word

So, did you find that heightened level of sophistication that I mentioned at the beginning?

Me neither.

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