The 41st edition of the biggest cycle race
in the world is just around the corner. Are you ready for it? If you are
participating in this year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour on the 10th of
March, you’re probably feeling a certain amount of stress about getting your
bike to the start line.
You could always ride your bike from Johannesburg to Cape Town, but that would be wasted effort! After all, many low-cost SA airlines now offer a quick and affordable way to get your bike there (and you of course!).
If you are driving to Cape Town, you could transport
your bike on your vehicle, but do you really want to welcome so much additional
stress, strain and exhaustion, before the race even begins?
One of the main reasons why cyclists are opting to fly their bicycles to the many cycle tours around the country is that airlines such as Kulula make it so easy these days. The stress of transporting your precious ride is greatly reduced when you package it correctly, and fly it.
Cycling isn’t only about the Cape Town Cycle Tour!
South Africa is a nation of sport enthusiasts and sporting events, and cycling plays a huge role as one of the fast-growing sports in the country. As host country to world class events such as the Absa Cape Epic where 1 200 riders are represented by more than 40 countries, it stands to reason that local airlines needed to facilitate the cost and ease of transporting bikes around the country.
Road cycling events are just as popular, with organised races taking place around the country throughout the year.
Other big cycle tours you can fly your bike to
Aside from the Cycle Tour in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban both play host to important races on the cycling calendar.
- Amashova (Durban) – The Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic Cycle Race is much awaited each year by avid cyclists. This year, the race will happen on the 20th of October 2019. Cyclists can choose between race distances of 35 km, 65 km, 106 km, and 160 km.
You can book cheap Kulula flights from Johannesburg to Durban for the Amashova for both you and your bike, but it’s best to do so in advance to avoid potential disappointment. The hosts and sponsors of the event, Tsogo Sun, offer great accommodation packages for those participating and attending the event.
- 94.7 Cycle Challenge (Johannesburg) – This cycle challenge takes place on Sunday the 17th of November 2019 from the Riversands Farm Village in Johannesburg. You can browse online for cheap flights on most of the leading SA Airlines from Durban or Cape Town for you and your bike for this one too!
Book your bike on a flight to the Cape Town Cycle Tour
Of course, if the Cape Town Cycle Tour is your next big cycle event, there are considerations to take into account when flying your bike there. When a big cycle race takes place, airlines will have strict guidelines in place for the transportation of bicycles and accessories.
Regardless of which airline you travel with, it is your responsibility to ensure that your bike is correctly packaged for the trip. Kulula Airlines offers some pre-trip guidelines for passengers traveling with bicycles, which we tell you more about below. You can also read their guidelines here.
Basic travel preparation requirements for transporting your bike
Traveling with your bike to Cape Town becomes a great deal easier if you have a big bike bag to pack your bike in. Alternatively, you can package the bike in cardboard, which is best bought from your local bike shop.
If you have flown your bike to a cycle tour before, you will already know that airlines are quite strict with their travel requirements for bicycles. The onus is on you to package it according to their recommendations. Here are a few tips for preparing your bike for the flight to Cape Town, Johannesburg or any other city:
- Ensure that the handlebars are turned parallel to the bicycle frame.
- Take the saddle and the seat post off.
- Deflate the tyres.
- Remove the wheels and pedals.
- Bubble wrap and tape your frame, forks, chain, and derailleurs.
- Remember, don’t package any CO2 canisters in your bike bag or box unless the airline has consented to it.
- It’s best to take your helmet, shoes, and any electronic equipment with you as hand luggage and ask if you can carry your wheels on board with you. If you can’t, you might have to package them into your bike bag or box along with everything else.
Here’s what Kulula is offering its cyclist passengers (and what they expect of you, if you are flying with a bike):
- There is an additional ‘bike handling fee’ of R350 per bike, one way, per flight. You must book and pay for this in advance before your flight date. Payments can be done by credit card.
- Make sure that you take your bike handling fee receipt to the airport check in counter with you. You will need your booking reference number and identification.
- Bikes must be taken to the drop-off point after check-in (you will be advised where this is when you check in).
- You will receive a limited release tag which you must keep with you.
Use your experience to better prepare for your next event
Make mental (or physical) note of how things go with this particular cycle trip, so that you can use your knowledge to ensure a smoother trip when you book Kulula flights from Johannesburg to Durban for the Amashova, for instance.
Things to be aware of when flying your bike with Kulula Airlines
- Only 20 bikes are allowed on each flight, so you must book and confirm in advance.
- No bikes will be accepted on the day of travel if the bike handling fee has not been pre-booked and paid for.
- Passengers must sort out personal insurance for their bike prior to travel.
Book cheap flights with Kulula
So, you’ve put in all the hard work (on the bicycle that is), now you need to ensure that all the admin is done, booked and paid for, so that you can get yourself and your bike to the start line on time. Simply use our quick flight search feature to find the cheapest flights with Kulula and other low-cost carriers. Ride safe