Thanks so much to the people who have wished us luck over the WWW. The words of support and even those of outright envy have helped us in those “what on earth have we done” moments. There have been quite a number of those during the week or so of packing hell.
On the subject of packing I thought I would just post some thoughts on that most argued about topic – “packing a bike for flight”. There are two schools of thought 1) leave it looking like a bike so that even the most stone hearted handler will not trash it or 2) Wrap, pad and case it and risk a anonymous trashing. Tradition would dictate a cardboard box and plumbing lagging. A trip to eBay however suggested that bike bags could be bought at an almost disposable price. Touring bikes get some of their comfort and rideability by being long of limb by comparison with the twitchy nature of your short wheelbase road bike. So I got the longest bags for a bargain of £38 each.
Finding some kind soul to store them in New Zealand for a circular route should be no problem . For the USA we will FedEx them to friends in Boston for the return trip to Europe from our entry point in Los Angeles. The whole package with lots of rolls of comfy looking foam comes in under our 23 kg limit. So the hope is that we have safe and happy bikes guaranteed for quite a low cost. It all hinges on the mood of the handlers and just one poor mood could still wreck things. I will let you know how it goes.