Monday, 28 April 2008

Monday 14th April

A (mercifully) rare day seeing to important things like shipping the 575 home.

Emotional Baggage
Having reluctantly decided that the 575 may be a bit of a weight around my neck in Oz and especially SE Asia it was time to try and find out how to get my ride home. As it turns out most airlines no longer count bikes as sporting luggage, and worse still have reduced the overall weight limit you can check in from the mid-30kgs down to 20kgs, I've had bigger steaks than that! Oh hello, I can feel a rant coming on! Gone are the days when Franky Zappa could transport Aconcagua around the world in his rucksack (Ant, Paddy and myself actually calculated how much this would cost and it turned out to be more than the GDP of several of the G8 nations combined - another busy day in the office)! After checking and re-checking and trying to sweet talk the Emirates staff on the other end of the phone ('Colin' sadly wasn't having any of it), it turns out that my check-in baggage allowance is indeed 20kg on just about every flight (Emirates/Quantas and so on). This means that if my bike weighs 13kg boxed then my backpack can only weigh 7kgs before I start getting clobbered at $16NZ a kilo, and that's just to Oz never mind the extra to get back to England. I don't mind traveling light but I draw the line at throwing good underpants away. Now here's the really irritating thing: scuba gear and golf clubs are classed as 'sporting' items and can go free. This is clearly racial and indeed just plain bang out of order, I mean, how many fat cyclists do you know? Not that many, so whilst us Slim Jims pay gazillions of $'s to transport the most eco-friendly and efficient form of transport in the known universe, fat b*****d golfers can go for free. The law is an ass. Airlines take note: This aggression will not stand! Tax fat people at check-in I say, how about $50US for every kg over! Infact tax people if they DON'T check in a bike. Free flights for those riding single speeds and recumbants! Rise up cyclists of the world and unite. It's a bag of. Someone start a petition, let's jump on the back of the carbon footprint brigade everybody else has!

Are You Lonesome Tonight?
For future reference the best thing to do if you are over the weight limit is to check in 'unaccompanied baggage', it works out a lot cheaper and gets to your onward destination ahead of you all being well. In the end the Shandyman elected to use a shipping company to send the 575 home, it works out as $455NZ (180GBP's) and they pick up and deliver door to door, so that was a bit of a result all things considered, a weight of my mind, let's hope it gets there in one piece.

Final night in NZ and we headed out to see some Folk/Jazz at a Mexican place. It was quite funny as the French lead guitarist was a bit of a comedian and he kept rollocking the rest of the band for not being as good as he was.

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