This is a 'sort of' on topic question for any who have shipped bikes for riding to/from Europe fairly recently and sent here to glean info from ou r European colleagues. I'm in the planning stages of retro-randonneuring trip from Amsterdam (Sc hiphol/Hoofddorp) to London. I'm riding a 1974 Gazelle-built Raleigh Gran d Prix (GN400029). I'm wondering what experiences others have had with various methods of sh ipping for riding (as opposed to sales). I have a hardshell carrier (Thul e-like), but how to get it from Amsterdam to London for the return? I cou ld use a regular cardboard bike box, adding pipe foam or bubble wrap in p acking, ditch the box on arrival and then see about repacking in London, provided I can find a bike shop that has boxes to dump. I could use the h ard case and then ship the case from AMS to LHR (or fwd to the hotel - UP S?, DHL?). Fly with it in a bike box, and pre-ship my hard case to be hel d at the London hotel for the return?
Anyway, the current idea is to have the bike, a few spare tubes, & minima list (for re-assembly) tool kit as checked baggage, with the panniers as carry-on. Spending a few days riding through Utrecht, Holland, Zeeland, t hen Flanders, France, and taking a ferry from Dunkurque (or Calais?) to D over. Then, depending on weather and time, may wander into London the lon g way 'round through Cambridge & Oxford (my daughter is my probable ridin g partner and is a Tolkien fan).
Any suggestions or ideas would be welcomed as I pull the plan together an d try to take advantage of some of the travel deals airlines are offering this winter. Given the nature of the question - KOF bike, not-so-KOF topic - replies o ff list to firstname.lastname@example.org, please.
Best regards, Bob Hillery Stratham, New Hampshire, USA (on an indoor trainer today w/ -14C/7F in New Hampshire)