Posts Tagged ‘Traveling’

© Bettmann/CORBIS

© Bettmann/CORBIS

The New York Times ran an article in the Business section (true, the business section and sports section are one section but the article ran before any stories about the demise of the Yankees) about cyclists who travel for business taking their bikes on the road with them.  Since when is this news?  Doesn’t everyone figure out some way to train when they’re on the road?  I guess even with the smaller sized paper these days there’s still not enough news that’s fit to print.

Overseas, I had a period of three months where I was working in the London office four days a week.  I’d fly out on Monday morning and come home on the last flight Thursday night.  Packed the bike up in the Trico and rode as much as I could.  Without other commitments, I actually got in better training than when at home.  I’d leave the bike in storage room at the hotel over the weekend.  No big deal.  On the heels of London, I did three months of the same thing in Madrid.  Brought my constant companion along and did the same thing.  Back in the states, at any offsite, the bike would come along too.  If I couldn’t bring mine for whatever reason, I’d find some place to rent one.  No fanfare.  No big deal.  Just a necessary part of being a cyclist. 

I’ve never encountered any issues or hassles and there has always been lots of good training to be had.  (Well, there was one time, but it had nothing to do with the bike.  Going from Gatwick to Fumincino, I lost my passport – long story on how which is neither here nor there.  I’m an American, flying from London to Rome with no documentation.  No doubt, I’m on the next plane back to the States.  I get to customs and explain the situation.  Four things save me:  1) I speak only Italian to them, 2) I have copies of my documents, 3) the commander is really angry at Alitalia who offered no support at all so he spends an hour berating the rep at the customer service desk and 4) the company I worked for makes a product famous the world over which some people find quite humorous and my laptop bag is a marketing item for said product.  After an hour of joking with the guys in customs office regarding my bag, the commander comes back into the room and tells me that he’ll let me in, but I have to go straight to the US Embassy the next day and get a new passport.  I promise to – in fact, I had a harder time explaining how I could be in Italy without my passport to the Embassy than I did with the Italian border patrol – as I also promise to bring everyone some items with that product’s name on them.  The next week, just off my usual return flight, I go to the customs office with goodies in hand.  There are handshakes all around, and I am whisked through customs.  From then on, I am treated like royalty, never having to wait in line, and instead being ushered through the door reserved for airline personal.)

Anyway, the point is, of course you take your bike with you when you travel.  Cycling is a lifestyle, and so, you do whatever you need to do to ride.  Rent, pay the exorbitant rate airlines charge these for a bike or buy the folding bike that fits in a suitcase.  Everyone knows this, and everyone I know does this.  When I land my next gig, if there’s traveling involved, you’ll find me with bike in tow, there’s no doubt.

So why, how, is this news?  For the Times no less.  Has cycling become so chic they’ll look for any angle on a story (or non-story?)  What’s next a story about people fixing flats?

That’s today’s view from the back.

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