Equipment and transportation in aeroplanes

Another important thing concerning biking along Lake Baikal is the equipment. Before starting the journey you should be aware of the fact that you alone are responsible for repairing your bike, because besides in Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude you will look for a bike shop unavailingly. That means that tools like a repair kit and an Allan key aren't sufficient for sure.
Another fact worth keeping in the back of your mind is the packing of your bike in aeroplanes. If you want to avoid getting heavy scratches on your bike, you should definitely secure yourself a carton in a bike shop (size approx. 1.30 * 0.95 * 0.25m) in order to pack your bike.
By dismantling wheels, handle bar, seat post, pedals, and possibly mudguards and carrier, the bike is stored easily in the carton. The big advantage of this carton is the fact that even a ruggedly exposure to the piece of luggage cannot bend damageable parts like the gear change, because what would be worse at the beginning of a trip than a damage noticed already at the luggage pickup at the airport.

Due to the fact that generally there is no chance to leave the carton at the airport during the trip for several days/weeks, you only have this possibility of packing during the journey there, unless a hostel on location offers you to store the carton. But during the return journey it is not as important anymore anyway, because back home you can repair the caused damages much more easily. But also if you check in your bike as an entire piece of luggage, depending on the mood of the airport staff it can happen that you have to dismantle a wheel anyway due to official length restrictions (Aeroflot 1.80m and Sibir Airlines 1.60m). It is also recommendable to let the air out of the tyres before checking the bike in, because they could burst due to the vacuum during the flight.


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30 Jan 2006

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