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Handling boxed bicycle shipments yourself on your own is significantly more difficult and risky than letting our mechanic or your local bike shop handle them for you and we strongly discourage you from doing so.

This is particularly true before the start of the event because any problems that arise can also jeopardize your bike being fully assembled and ready for you to ride on the first day of the event.

We can not support shipping through anyone else other other than our mechanic, such as any bike shop in any stopping town. If you choose to ship your bike through any other location you will need to take care of everything on your own, including picking it up and dropping it off.

  • Click Here for more information about shipping your bike through our mechanic.

Scheduling and Timing
You will need to make sure that your travel schedule properly accounts for everything you will need to do and everywhere you will need to go in order to everything done during the possible time frames. If you are not able to get everything done in time you may be stuck.

You will need to properly account for such considerations as:

  • Travel times and methods between locations in town
  • The business hours of a bike shop
  • Discarding and/or acquiring a cardboard bicycle box
  • Dropping off and/or picking up your reusable shipping container
  • The time it takes to get your bike unboxed and reassembled before the start of the event and/or disassembled and boxed after the end of the event
  • The business hours of the shipping hub location (UPS, FedEx, etc.)
  • Click Here for additional travel schedule and timing considerations.

Shipping Locations
If you use a bike shop as your shipping location you should assume that your boxed bike will be assembled unless otherwise indicated. You should mark 'DO NOT ASSEMBLE' on the shipping container and also on a piece of masking tape on your bicycle frame, both wheels, and every other individually packed item so he they do not accidentally reassemble it for you.

If you do not use a bike shop as the shipping location, you will need to arrange to have your boxed bicycle shipped into or out of another location and there may be a fee to do so. There are several facilities in each stopping town that you could use as a shipping location other than a bike shop. We will not support any shipping location other than our mechanic and none of our main lodging locations can be used as a shipping location, even if you will be staying there.

The supported hotel would make the most sense if you are staying there because you would only have to transport your boxed bicycle between the front desk or office and your room, although they might not let you do it if you are not actually staying there. Another possibility is using a United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express (FedEx) retail shipping hub, particularly a UPS Store or FedEx Office (Kinko's) location, many of which are open 24 hours.

We recommend establishing and contacting a potential location well ahead of time to confirm that they expect and can in fact handle your shipment plans, particularly if they are not used to dealing with boxed bicycles, rather than having yours show up unexpectedly. Note that it is much easier for locations to accept an incoming boxed bicycle than it is to ship one out.

Transporting Your Boxed Bicycle In Town
It can be extremely cumbersome to lug your boxed bicycle and all your baggage with you all at the same time yourself, especially if you are using local public transportation or if you are also carrying a lot of large baggage. You can very easily leave something behind or get lost, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the stopping town or if you are travelling to an unsupported location not included on our in town cue sheets or maps.

  • Click Here for more information about in town transportation.

You will need to transport your boxed bicycle and all your baggage with you all at the same time yourself between the various locations in town as necessary, such as:

  • The ride starting and/or ending locations
  • The transportation staging point
  • The supported hotel
  • The main lodging site
  • A bike shop
  • Local and long distance transportation stations and stops
  • A shipping hub (UPS, FedEx, etc.)

Bicycle Shipping Containers
If you ship your bike in a cardboard bicycle box, we will not transport the box during our events. Accordingly, you may need to prearrange where to discard it before the start of the event and some locations may not allow you to do so because they are so big and bulky or there may be a fee. After the end of the event, you will need to acquire another cardboard bicycle box, most likely from a bike shop, and there may be a fee to do so. If you want to reuse your cardboard bicycle box after the end of the event, you must prearrange a location at which to leave it during the event, such as at a bike shop, the supported hotel, a shipping hub (UPS or FedEx), or with friends and family, and there may be a fee to do so. You will also need to transport the cardboard bicycle box yourself both to the location where you will disassemble and box your bicycle and also to your shipping location.

If you shipped your bike in a reusable shipping container we strongly prefer that you prearrange to leave it somewhere during the event, and there may be a fee to do so. If you are absolutely unable to store it anywhere during the event or must take it with you, we will allow you to transport it on our baggage truck but it will be your one and only allowable piece of baggage and you must keep all your personal items inside it. In addition, it will be handled as part of our normal baggage delivery service and will only be dropped off or picked up directly at the event ending location, main lodging site, or supported hotel as appropriate. We will not pick up or drop off your bicycle and reusable shipping container at any other location, such as a bike shop, and it will be your own responsibility to transport it there yourself.

If you want to save and reuse any shipping supplies you used, you can either prearrange to leave them somewhere or transport them with you during the event as part of your allowed baggage. Otherwise, you must discard them before the start of the event and acquire more after the end of the event.

  • Click Here for more information about bicycle shipping containers.

Boxing and Unboxing Your Bicycle
Particularly for boxing, we strongly recommend letting a bike shop or our mechanic pack it professionally. If they pack it there will be much less risk of damage or additional assembly charges related to improper disassembly. In addition, if you disassemble and box your bike yourself and it is damaged in transit and you have to submit an insurance claim, it is more likely to be denied due to improper packaging.

If you decide to disassemble and box and/or unbox and reassemble your bicycle yourself, you must have all the knowledge, parts, tools, and accessories you need at all times to properly do it. We will not be able to provide any mechanical assistance to you and if a problem comes up, we cannot guarantee that we or any bike shop will have the specific part, tool, accessory, or mechanical ability you will need to fix it, particularly if anything gets lost or broken in transit or during the event itself.

  • Click Here for our information about our mechanical support services.

In addition, you must determine where you can unbox and reassemble and/or disassemble and box your bicycle. We recommend establishing and contacting a potential location well ahead of time to confirm that they expect you and that you can in fact use that location, particularly if they are not used to having someone do it there, rather than having them unexpectedly not allow it or kick you out. Hotels may not allow you to do so in your room due to the possibility of soiling the room with dirt or grease. If you want to do it in a public location (such as a park, parking lot, airport, bus or train station or stop, or shipping hub) be aware that passers by may gawk and interrupt you and you may have to worry about your personal items getting lost or stolen.

Disassembling and Boxing Your Bicycle
It is extremely important to make sure your bicycle is properly packaged and protected so that nothing is damaged in transit. As you pack your bike you should carefully protect it by placing padding all over it, particulary the frame, wheels, forks, derailleurs since these are the parts most commonly damaged during shipping. Styrofoam pipe insulation and zip ties are inexpensive, easily available, and work great. You can also use some larger extra soft personal items as padding such as sleeping bags, soft clothing, and shoes which also frees up room in your other baggage! You can also ask your local bike shop for the special packing items that come with every newly manufactured bike that usually get thrown away when a bike is uncrated, such as plastic fork blocks, plastic spacers, and cardboard padding. If you use a cardboard box as your shipping container, you should put extra paddng and reinforcement to the areas where parts of your bike might poke through, particularly at the end of the forks, the brake levers, and the sides of the hubs. these areas with extra cardboard. Just be careful about overloading your shipping container or exceeding your shipping carrier's size or weight limitations.

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
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