Things happen at airports that probably shouldn’t happen. However they do, silly stuff that really ought not to occur and often results in very expensive repair bills. But with so many people involved in servicing inbound and outbound aircraft. Then coupled with the pressure to have aeroplanes remain on the ground for as short a time as possible. As the saying goes, ‘sh*t happens’. Thats why you need a good strong secure bike box
No doubt the film crews responsible for those fly-on-the-wall documentaries about airports and airlines have miles of footage. Some that should never be seen by the travelling public, but from personal recollection. I can think of only a couple of representative examples.
Bike Box Hire
I believe that the process of loading catering trollies onto an aircraft is basically the same as ever it was. But during my brief period of being associated with air travel, the catering trucks drew up at right angles to the fuselage raised the rear of the truck in line with the aircraft door, before proceeding to roll everything onboard. It is/was a system repeated several hundred times per day without incident. However every now and again, the driver’s tolerances slipped just a tad. in the case of which I speak (write?). The driver did the same as he’d done for months or even years before: stopped the truck and raised the back of the truck in line with the door.
Unfortunately, he’d failed to align the truck cab directly under the doorway and as the rear of the truck rose higher. It caught the underside of the aircraft door and ripped it from the fuselage.
Prior to the current practice of boarding aircraft via adjustable corridors leading directly to the doorway. It was common for passengers to reach the plane by stairways positioned at the front and rear. This is still the case for smaller aircraft, such as that which plies its twice-daily route to and from islay. Since this largely compromises access for the disabled, boarding them in the past involved wheeling the chair into the verisimilitude of a fibreglass hut. With one wall missing and raising it to the rear doorway by means of a large forklift truck. hardly the most dignified means of boarding an aircraft, but needs must.
Once again, it’s a procedure that, at the time, had been safely carried out on many an occasion without any undue proble. But during one such personally witnessed occasion, that forklift was a smidgeon too close to the aeroplane and as the forks rose towards the cabin. They ripped into the aluminium of the hull, cutting two substantial slots in its metal fabric.
oops number two.
Bagage Handlers Negligence
Both these situations were, with a little care and attention, completely avoidable. However it’s this kind of incident that causes both departure and arrival delays at airports all over the world.Which neatly and coincidentally brings us to the world of the baggage handler. An iconic individual who sits uncomfortably in the classification usually reserved for debt collectors, tax officials and traffic wardens. Though many of the negative attributes applied to this profession may be apocryphal or even downright erroneous. Sadly quite a few areas true as the contention that star wars is a documentary (I’m right, you’re wrong).
My summertime job positioned me within a matter of metres of one of Prestwick airport’s aircraft stances on the apron. From where it was not only easy to see the goings-on with regard to aircraft preparation. But every now and then to converse with fellow students who’d managed to land a job with ground crew for the summer. During one of those occasions, an erstwhile colleague of mine, when taking luggage from the hold. (In the days before everything was placed in large fuselage shaped containers.) He started to place the cases on the back of a flatbed truck that was, in fact, not there. Quite a number of luggage items fell to the concrete apron before he realised the iniquity of his situation.
as I said above, sometimes sh*t happens.
The problem, as many of us with expensive carbon fibre see it. It is that there’s an ever-present danger of situations such as those described above, happening to our most favoured toy in the whole wide world. I have seen many a touring cyclist spread out on the airport concourse with spanners and Allen keys. Re-assembling a bicycle which has arrived from further afield encased in one of those cardboard boxes used for bike shop delivery. I doubt that I’m revealing any closely guarded secrets. If I inform you that one of those falling from an aircraft onto the tarmac is unlikely to keep everything in pristine condition.
After spending far more money on a state of the art road bike than him/her indoors will ever know. It makes prudent sense to protect that investment each and every time we travel some distance from home. Scotland’s airline Loganair insists on any transported cycles being boxed, bagged or cased. The CityLink bus services from the mainland ferry port to Glasgow city centre require a similar method of packaging. This is presumably to obviate themselves from any litigious action should a poorly packaged bicycle arrive at its destination in several unintended pieces.
Despite almost every portion of Velocipedinal life having exhibited technological advancement over the course of the last decade. The humble bike box, according to the makers of Shokbox, has remained somewhat static. Though a carbon bicycle frame is designed to resist the forces inherent in even highly active pedalling. It’s forte is not fending off the ministrations of the average baggage handler, whether wearing an airports authority overall or that of virgin trains.
Shokbox The Bike Box
Shokbox have thus developed their contemporary and sturdy bicycle transportation device according to their own demanding criteria. To be multi-disciplined for road, triathlon or Mtb, remove the usual complex packing process. Also track the shokbox using GPS and a smartphone app and also be functionally superior to those currently on the market.
As cyclists travel more often and further afield, to manufacture in the UK what is rapidly becoming every bit as important a bicycle component as a frame or wheelset unsurprisingly costs a penny or two, the solution to which is often realised by a concomitant kickstarter campaign. the originators of the Shokbox are no exception and early funders can look forward to receiving a choice of coloured shokbox for as little as £249. (offer not longer valid) Lifetime Guarantee Bike Box
If you found my recollections of airport life just a tad unsettling, this might be the very boarding pass for which you were searching. you know the drill.
shokbox Kickstarter campaign
Killer Euro Cycling Destinations
How to Protect Your Belongings from Baggage Handlers