Before starting our ten week trip to Spain and Portugal with our new Xootr bikes, we suffered serious anxiety over getting the bikes onto the airplane without paying for oversized luggage or a bike box. Second, only to the airline concern was our worry over whether we would be able to use the bikes while the ship was in port during the cruise. We had read ambiguous comments about the latitude granted bikers on cruise lines. Fortunately, none of the imagined pitfalls came to pass.
Can our Xootr folding bikes help?
We disassembled the bikes and packed them into hard-shell, standard-sized suitcases that we bought for the adventure and they traveled from Denver to Ft. Lauderdale without incident. And they were loaded onto the ship without a question.
Upon the returning cruise to the States, we assembled our bikes and stored them on our cabin balcony the night before stopping at St. Maarten and St. Thomas. At each port, we walked off with the bikes beside us and pedaled around the islands.
While in Spain and Portugal the bikes worked beautifully for us. We combined car travel with biking. We had scheduled 18 Airbnb stops along the way and at each intermediate destination, we would remove the folded bikes from the back seat and explore the city. Only when it was time to move on to the next stop on our itinerary would we stick the bikes back in the car.
For future airline travel, where we need to disassemble the bikes, we will carry a small hard-shell case for the front fork, stem bearings. For our flight to Ft. Lauderdale, we had put them in a ziplock bag and one of the rings got bent. We were able to put the ball bearing back into the ring, and the less-than-perfect-circle did not affect the turning of the handlebars, but the bearings were never the same.
By Pam and Bill Hyde