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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Bicycle Transportation Means

Transportation of Non-Upright BicyclesPreparation for TransportationVehicle Loading


While transporting people and their baggage is relatively easy because the transportation infrastructure already exists to do so, none of the trains and busses we rely on to transport participants as part of our transportation services also have the capacity to transport large amounts of fully assembled, unboxed bicycles. As a result, we will always transport your bicycle ourselves as part of our transportation services.

The only exception will be if an Amtrak train serving our stopping towns allows fully assembled bicycles to be transported on board, up to the maximum number of bicycles allowed. In this case you will carry your bicycle and baggage with you directly aboard the train. If more participants travel than the maximum number of bicycles allowed however, we will transport all bicycles ourselves instead of onboard the train.

  • Click Here for more information about carrying bicycles aboard Amtrak trains.

Each individual will be allowed one bicycle for transportation with registration for each transportation service and you will indicate what type of bicycle you will be riding when you register.

Transportation of Non-Upright Bicycles
There may be an additional charge to transport non-upright bikes such as recumbents and tandems because these types of bikes take up more room in our vehicles than standard upright bicycles. In addition, they also generally cannot be transported outside on the roof rack of our trailer and must be transported inside a support vehicle, and also may require special handling and care.

There will not be an additional charge to transport a tandem bicycle if both people riding it also both register for the same transportation service. This is because we would have to transport two bicycles (one for each participant) anyways.

We cannot accomodate trikes (any bicycle with three or more wheels) on any of our transportation services because we cannot guarantee that we will be able to easily and quickly transport them in any support vehicle at any time and they also cannot be carried aboard any train.

Preparation for Transportation
All bicycles can be transported fully assembled and unboxed - you will not not need to remove your pedals or loosen your headset and turn your handlebars or disassemble it in any other way. The only exception to this is that we may require you to remove your front wheel and/or any racks if they do not fold up or take up an unreasonable amount of space.

Before your bicycle can be loaded, you must have at least your name and your cell phone number on a piece of masking attached tape directly your bike frame and your front wheel. If we need to remove your front wheel to transport your bike it's amazing how alike bike wheels look, especially in the dark, and identical wheels have gotten mixed up before. We will not have extra masking tape or markers available.

In addition, we require that you remove all loose items from your bike that could easily fall off or get lost, damaged or mixed up in transit and store those items in your baggage. These items include such things as water bottles, frame pumps, saddlebags, panniers, cycle computers, and anything else which might fall off or takes up more significantly more room that a normal bike frame. You should have the bare minimum number of items on your bike in transit to minimize the possibility that something could get damaged or lost. If your bike is transported outside a vehicle, these items could easily get lost or damaged in the wind or if your bike is transported inside a vehicle they could get easily damaged from another bicycle or heavy item placed on top of them or confused with someone else's identical item.You should also prepare your bike for being transported outside in the wind, such as making sure you have no loose handlebar tape. Aerobars are not required to be removed, but it is strongly recommended. We will not transport any bikes that have not had all loose items removed that could easily fall off or get damaged in transit.

You should not plan on relying on us if you know or will reasonably expect to need any parts, tools, or mechanical work done at all in order to prepare your bike to be transported or ridden again. We cannot guarantee that we will have the part, tool, or mechanical ability you need, especially anything uncommon, or the time to do it.

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

We can also transport your boxed bicycle if you would like but it will be your own responsibility to unbox it and reassemble after we reach our destination. However, it may be better to ship it directly to or from the stopping town you will be arriving at or departing from instead.

  • Click Here for more information about shipping your bicycle to and from our events.

Vehicle Loading
If there are multiple arrival locations, such as a main lodging site and supported hotel, you will put your bicycle in separate piles going to each location because we need to load all items going to each location together so they are easier to unload when we arrive.

  • Click Here for more information about item staging for multiple arrival locations.

You will help our staff member load your bicycle and once loaded he will then check it off our master bicycle loading list. That way every participant will be assured that their bicycle has been loaded and has not been left behind and that we don't have any stowaway bicycles.

When available, bicycles will be transported on outside racks as much as possible to leave as much room as possible inside vehicles to transport baggage and gear. This is because baggage and gear must be transported inside vehicles and to prevent it from getting wet, particularly if it is raining.

Upright bicycles will be loaded on roof racks first because they fit on the roof rack structure the best and are generally the most lightweight to lift. Bicycles with aerobars will be also loaded on roof racks as much as possible to prevent damage from heavy items being placed on top of the aerobars inside a vehicle. This also allows us more room inside our vehicle to transport bicycles that do not fit the roof rack structure well or are very heavy or not upright such as recumbent or tandem bicycles.

We will leave spaces on the outside racks available to quickly load bicycles if we need to stop at multiple transportation staging points in one town, such as if we stop at the supported hotel after the parking garage.

Once the outside racks are full, any remaining bicycles will be loaded inside a vehicle and protected during shipment from scratches and other damage by putting moving blankets between them which we will provide. Bicycles will also be tied down snugly to prevent movement in transit.

If you want your bike to be protected with more than a moving blanket, we recommend taping cheap pipe insulation or other packing material onto all frame tubes and your fork which you can buy at any hardware store. If you choose to do this you will need to store these materials in your personal baggage yourself - we can't store your packing materials loose on our vehicles during the event itself.

Once loaded, you will not have access to your bicycle until we arrive at the destination.

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