Photo by: fatbmx.com
Over the last ten years, cycling has grown to be an extremely popular way of getting from A to B. This doesn’t just include stats regarding elite cyclists, as statistics demonstrate that bike sales have increased because people are now choosing to commute via their bikes and some even choose to take their bikes on holiday with them. It seems as though the London Olympics helped UK residents fall in love with cycling once more, which might be why currently 43 percent of Great Britainâ€™s population either own or have access to a bike. The Olympics might also be the reason why there was a dramatic increase in cycling holidays during the summer months of 2012.
Because of this newfound interest in cycling, airports are now becoming friendlier towards cyclists in terms of parking and storage. One example is Gatwick Airport. Although predominantly recognized for its award-winning short stay car park, as pointed out by Parking4Less, Gatwick is the only airport in London that has a National Cycle Path providing access to its terminals which means itâ€™s an easy access point for cyclists. The North and South Terminals also have excellent parking options for cyclists that are available for affordable rates.
Photo by: cyclinglocations.com
But an airportâ€™s bike friendliness is also measured by the airport and carrier regulations of bicycles. Some airlines make you jump through hoops just so you so can enjoy a cycling holiday. To make sure that youâ€™re up to speed with all the rules and regulations, here are a few tips to follow before your departure date.
1. Buy a sturdy box for your bike
Since most airlines prefer cardboard or hard-shell cases, best to stick to those options. Soft cases work just fine, as long as they have the proper padding.
2. Study the mechanics of taking your bike apart and putting it back together
CyclingLocations.com has a video tutorial that you can use as a guide. Of course, youâ€™ll have take the right gear with you so you can take apart and reassemble your bike.
3. Know the additional charges for your bike.
Traveling with your bike isnâ€™t cheap. Unless your bike box somehow fits the dimensions required by your airline, youâ€™ll most likely have to pay up a considerable amount. Some carriers waive fees if you travel business or first class.
4. Choose the right transportation to the airport.
Some cab companies might charge you extra for your sizeable luggage. There are a few shuttle services from hotels, but just to be safe, book your transportation in advance to avoid hefty charges. This includes airport transport from the airports youâ€™re flying to and from.
5. Check bike storage facilities at your accommodation
Or better yet, choose a hotel with secured bicycle parking.
6. Get bike insurance.
This is a given. The last thing you want is to have you bike stolen and you donâ€™t have the sufficient insurance plan to cover your loss. Bikes are generally expensive and it would be extremely expensive to cover the loss of your bike in one go.
Check out Bicycling.com for more economical solutions to flying with your bike.