A newly launched service will enable cyclists heading abroad to take part in major sportives to do away with taking their bike apart to fit it in a bike box that they then have to lug to the airport.
Velotransfer, a new business set up by keen sportive participant Paul Shields, lets cyclists drop off their bike before the event and have it taken over there for them.
Bikes can be dropped off during a three- or four-day window spanning the weekend before the event to one of several locations in south east England – Crawley, Harlow, High Wycombe, Luton and Wandsworth.
The bike is then checked in and fitted with baggage ID tags and can be tracked by the owner on its journey to the event.
Once over, Velotransfer collect the bike and take it back to the UK where it can be cocllected from the chosen location over a similar three- or four-day window the weekend following the event. The company also provides a kit bag delivery service.
Prices start at £180 return with the main attractions of using the service said to include not having to disassemble the bike and put it back together again, as well as avoiding the stress and worry of taking the bike to the airport and leaving it at the mercy of the baggage handlers.
Velotransfer founder Shields said: “Bike boxes have a place for sure. But, lugging them around airports, praying they arrive off the carousel at the other end and the whole bike disassembly/reassembly process is a complete headache.
“This is a stress busting service allowing riders to concentrate on getting themselves race ready whilst we handle the logistics of getting their bike to the event”.
The first trip will be out to the Paris-Roubaix Challenge in April, followed in Mary by the Mallorca 312 and other events that will be covered in 2020 include the Nove Colle and Stelvio Santini in Italy and – naturally – L’Etape du Tour.
You can find full information and make bookings here.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.