Traveling with unis

One problem I’ve had in the past was how to take unicycles with me on plane
trips, in particular to go to the NUC. Last year I mailed some unicycles to Los
Angeles, but this was expensive and the post office didn’t like me using general
delivery. Since I want to go the Unicon next year in China, I knew I had to
figure something out, and with the NUC in Seattle this year I had a chance to
test a solution. What I ended up doing was getting an XL North Face duffel bag.
The bag is made of something like rubber or plastic coated cloth and is real
big, so big that I was able to fit a 26" Pashley, a 24" XL, and a 20" Semcycle
in it, along with my bag with tools to reassemble the unicycles. I had to remove
seats from posts, posts from forks, and the two larger wheels from forks, but
this wasn’t too much of a problem. Another advantage of the North Face bag is
that it has shoulder straps, so I could wear it like a backpack. I wouldn’t want
to hike in the mountains this way, but it worked fine in the airport. The bag
made it from Cleveland to Seattle and back with no problems. Now I’ll be set to
go to Beijing next year, if the meet still happens.

Beirne


Beirne “Bern” Konarski | Unicycling Home Page: beirne@neo.rr.com |
http://www.unicycling.org “Untouched by Scandal” | Unicycling Society of
America:
| http://www.unicycling.org/usa/


Beirne “Bern” Konarski | Unicycling Home Page: beirne@neo.rr.com |
http://www.unicycling.org “Untouched by Scandal” | Unicycling Society of
America:
| http://www.unicycling.org/usa/

Re: Traveling with unis

I also use a big bag when I travel with more than one uni. It cuts down the
excess baggage charges and makes them easier to carry.

Wayne.

Re: Traveling with unis

In a message dated 9/8/99 1:32:13 PM, beirne@neo.rr.com wrote:

>What I ended up doing was getting an XL North Face duffel bag. The bag is made
>of something like rubber or plastic coated
cloth
>and is real big, so big that I was able to fit a 26" Pashley, a 24" XL, and
a
>20" Semcycle in it, along with my bag with tools to reassemble the
unicycles.
>
Where can these XL North Face duffel bags be purchased in the U.S.? Is the
rubber that tough or would you suggest wrapping the frames in bubble wrap or
something of the like?

Any suggestions on chain drive/giraffes? I have to disassemble mine completely
& risk checking 3 pieces of luggage since the frame doesn’t fit in a standard
size bag. I’ve looked into some music boxes but none are long enough that I
know of. A friend of mine recently had his frame cracked from the airlines but
I’m not sure what kind of bag he was using. He thought the uni was thrown from
the plane.

Unicycle Lady http://users.aol.com/unilady/

Re: Traveling with unis

>I found that I could fit a disassembled 24" uni into a garment >bag, and even
managed to fold the bag in half.
>I brought this onto planes as a carry-on with no hassles. I was expecting funny
>looks from the x-ray machine crew, but they didn’t even blink. After my return
>trip though, the wheel desperately needed >truing.

A naked unicycle should not be subjected to any undue abuse if you can carry it
on with you. But this may not be an option on smaller planes, or if you have
multiple unicycles.

In the past I have used large duffel bags. The hard part is finding one large
enough. I had some that were 24" diameter x 60" long or so. I’ve squeezed two
24" in there, plus a 20" and some other stuff. The unicycles have to be
disassembled. I also had a large duffel bag I bought at an army surplus store,
in which I test-fit my 24" in there with the pedals on and everything. But it
tore on the first flight it went on. So much for the Army.

Today I have a piece of luggage I purchased from the local flea market, low cost
stuff from Korea or somewhere in Asia. It has a flat base with six wheels, and
soft sides with a zipper going over the top. It also has two extension zippers
to make it taller. Fully extended, it’s all most 5’ high or so. This one works
great, has held up to several flights so far, and only cost about $30 so I can
easily replace it when it’s worn out.

The problem with all of these methods is that they leave the unicycles exposed
to the dangers of luggage handling. A hard sided case (like a bicycle box) will
provide much more protection, but at the same time will generate much more
attention when you check it in. I never fly with “unicycles”. It’s always
“performance equipment”, “props”, or what have you. Don’t use the “C” word
(cycle), because many airlines will then try to charge you extra.

They don’t seem to care that it’s not a bicycle, it has the same vulnerability,
and they want to cover their butts. If you sign their waiver, it usually frees
them of any responsibility for causing damage to your stuff. Many airlines will
add insult to injury by charging you extra for this service as well.

I like to wrap my equipment in a big blanket, or sheets of foam to not only
protect them, but also to make it not obvious what’s in the bag. I use a camping
mat cut into sections. This means square pieces of stiff foam about 3/8" thick.

Here’s another handy hint. Put the tire (wheel) in a garbage bag before trying
to stuff it in your luggage. It will slide around much easier, and not get
dirt in there!

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

Re: Traveling with unis

>Any suggestions on chain drive/giraffes? I have to >disassemble mine completely
& risk checking 3 pieces of >luggage since the frame doesn’t fit in
>a standard size bag. I’ve looked into some music boxes but none are long enough
>that I know of.

My big old duffel bag could fit my Schwinn Giraffe frame, which was exactly 4’
long. But I had to worry about it in there, being subjected to getting bent
under huge piles of other peoples’ luggage.

If you have to fly with a giraffe and not too much other stuff, try carrying
just the frame on board. When I disassemble mine, it’s just the A-frame with
crank arms and a sprocket in the middle. Should be quite a conversation starter!

>A friend of mine recently had his frame cracked from the airlines but I’m
>not sure what kind of bag he was using. He thought the uni was thrown from
>the plane.

Most damage occurs in the handling of the bags between the terminal and the
plane. Your luggage may end up at the bottom of a big pile, and could possibly
fall off one of the loading ramps as it goes in/out of the plane. Watch those
baggage guys. They definitely do throw bags around…

John Foss

Re: Traveling with unis

>Watch those baggage guys. They definitely do throw bags around…
>
>John Foss

Yeah, I know that story well.

I have protective road cases that I transport my juggling gear in when I fly. On
a recent trip my road case was broken. I was told that my luggage should have
been in a protective case. I went of the deep end at the stupid comment of
having a road case for my road case. Needless to say, they fixed it.

I still prefer to fly with a naked unicycle.

Wayne van Wijk… wvanwijk@gil.com.au


O==( >–|-o

…who just fell off his unicycle.


Re: Traveling with unis

Hi

This North Face bag sounds great. I’ve used some of their climbing equipment
(tents, etc) before and the quality is superb.

I have a Pashley Muni. My sister, who is handy with a sewing machine, is putting
together a Muni travel-bag for me. This is primarily for use on planes. The
whole thing is designed enable the disassembled Muni to fit into a bag no larger
than the wheel. It’s a bit of a faff taking the muni to bits but it should make
flights easier.

Incidently, I have taken the Muni all over London on public transport; trains,
busses, the Underground and even a taxi. I’m pleased to say I have had no hassle
what so ever, unlike our two wheeled cousins who seem to get it in the neck
wherever they go.

How do others transport their uni’s on public transport?

Matt Goodyear London

PS Have any other Uk Muni people based in the South East tried the Lee Valley
Towpath yet? I can recommend the stretch from Broxbourne to Tottenham
Hale. Twelve miles of level path which passes through some very pleasant
countryside. Best of all it is easily accessible by public transport from
central London. However, pick a quiet day because it’s narrow in parts and
one slip in the wrong direction will put you in the canal! There are train
stations at either end of this twelve mile stretch which can easily be
extended or shortened depending on your needs/abilities.

----- Original Message ----- From: <beirne@neo.rr.com> To:
<unicycling@winternet.com> Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 1999 7:25 PM Subject:
Traveling with unis

>
> One problem I’ve had in the past was how to take unicycles with me on
plane
> trips, in particular to go to the NUC. Last year I mailed some unicycles
to
> Los Angeles, but this was expensive and the post office didn’t like me
using
> general delivery. Since I want to go the Unicon next year in China, I
knew I
> had to figure something out, and with the NUC in Seattle this year I had a
> chance to test a solution. What I ended up doing was getting an XL North
Face
> duffel bag. The bag is made of something like rubber or plastic coated
cloth
> and is real big, so big that I was able to fit a 26" Pashley, a 24" XL,
and a
> 20" Semcycle in it, along with my bag with tools to reassemble the
unicycles.
> I had to remove seats from posts, posts from forks, and the two larger
wheels
> from forks, but this wasn’t too much of a problem. Another advantage of
the
> North Face bag is that it has shoulder straps, so I could wear it like a
> backpack. I wouldn’t want to hike in the mountains this way, but it
worked
> fine in the airport. The bag made it from Cleveland to Seattle and back
with
> no problems. Now I’ll be set to go to Beijing next year, if the meet
still
> happens.
>
> Beirne
>
> –
> Beirne “Bern” Konarski | Unicycling Home Page: beirne@neo.rr.com |
> http://www.unicycling.org “Untouched by Scandal” | Unicycling Society of
> America:
> | http://www.unicycling.org/usa/
>
>
>
> –
> Beirne “Bern” Konarski | Unicycling Home Page: beirne@neo.rr.com |
> http://www.unicycling.org “Untouched by Scandal” | Unicycling Society of
> America:
> | http://www.unicycling.org/usa/
>
>

Re: Traveling with unis

I found that I could fit a disassembled 24" uni into a garment bag, and even
managed to fold the bag in half. I brought this onto planes as a carry-on with
no hassles. I was expecting funny looks from the x-ray machine crew, but they
didn’t even blink.

After my return trip though, the wheel desperately needed truing.

Re: Traveling with unis

Matthew Goodyear (matt_goodyear16@hotmail.com) wrote:
: Incidently, I have taken the Muni all over London on public transport; trains,
: busses, the Underground and even a taxi. I’m pleased to say I have had no
: hassle what so ever, unlike our two wheeled cousins who seem to get it in the
: neck wherever they go.

: How do others transport their uni’s on public transport?

My coker took its first and last plane trip two days before it was nicked, it
traveled OK with no protection and the tire softened. I took the pedals off it
tho. The biggest probelem was getting it on the coach to the airport, the driver
was a bit sniffy about it and made me wait till last before he would load it, a
bit rich as I’d been sold a ticket already and several people had multiple large
cases while I had only the coker and hand luggague. Going to Eurocycle Paul and
I took four unis by plane ( and the same coach - no trouble with driver) and
then denmarks rail system with no trouble . Again the unis were unwrapped so
baggage handlers can see what they are dealing with.

On busses and trains I normally take a uni that will fit in a baggage store area
which rules out the coker, though as I’ve managed to get a trick bike in a bus
baggage rack maybe the coker would fit on some busses. As a uni fits in the same
space as a suitcase i don’t have to buy a rail ticket for it on UK intercity
trains. In denmark we were told at the station that cycles over a certain size
needed tickets, unfortunatly the Munis were over that size, so we bought tickets
tho i think we could have got away with out.

taxis…our biggest problem with taxis here is that most refuse to drive down
our road…because its so darn narrow. We have to off load at the end of the
road and walk.

sarah

Re: Traveling with unis

> In a message dated 9/8/99 1:32:13 PM, beirne@neo.rr.com wrote:
>
> >What I ended up doing was getting an XL North Face duffel bag. The bag is
> >made of something like rubber or plastic coated
> cloth
> >and is real big, so big that I was able to fit a 26" Pashley, a 24" XL, and
> a
> >20" Semcycle in it, along with my bag with tools to reassemble the
> unicycles.
> >
> Where can these XL North Face duffel bags be purchased in the U.S.?

I bought it at a store called the Travel Shoppe in a mall near Akron, Ohio. It
may be available at other such stores around the country. Also, if you go to
http://www.thenorthface.com they refer you to online retailers of their
products. Perhaps they sell them.

> Is the rubber that tough or would you suggest wrapping the frames in bubble
> wrap or something of the like?

I didn’t wrap the frames. The only thing I did to protect the bag was to put my
seatposts in separate heavy plastic gym bag that also holds my tools. I then put
the gym bag in the North Face bag.

Beirne


Beirne “Bern” Konarski | Unicycling Home Page: beirne@neo.rr.com |
http://www.unicycling.org “Untouched by Scandal” | Unicycling Society of
America:
| http://www.unicycling.org/usa/