The trip for me started here, in Los Angeles. I decided to fly to New Jersey and meet my brother there. I wanted to help him setup his bicycle and make sure that he had everything that he might need for the trip. Although neither of us has taken a long distance bicycle trip like this before, I had a little more experience than my brother as I regularly rode 50+ miles around town on my bicycle, and knew a thing or two on how to set up and perform basic maintenance on a bike.
However, I first had to get my bike to New Jersey. Fearing that the bike would be damaged during the transfer, I decided to purchase a hard case for the bike. I found a used Team Bike Cargo Case on Craig’s list for $100. I was able to fit my Salsa Vaya along with my two rear panniers, my helmet, cycling shoes, tools, and spare parts for the bike.
A few days later when I showed up at the JetBlue ticket counter in Long Beach Airport, the agent behind the counter right away recognized the bike case (my case does not have the logo on its side for the observant ones among you) and to my surprise told me that I won’t be charged for the bike. However, when he saw my second piece for check in, he said he has to charge me $45 for the extra luggage. Heck, that was still $5 less than what was stated on their website for a bike. The whole process was pretty smooth and took only a few minutes. Once on board, the rest of the flight was pretty mundane, both the bike and I made it to New Jersey unscathed.