2000 Cycling Season, May 3

Fly from Denver to Paris

May 3 2000 was the culmination of all of our planning and preparation efforts. We began our voyage by Flying from Denver to Paris on United Airlines. Of course I used all my frequent flyer miles and traveling experience from the last few years to make sure we traveled on a 777 in business class all the way.

However traveling with a Tandem bicycle, a trailer and all the gear you need for 3 months isn't easy no matter what class your seat is in. Fortunately we planned for these problems a long time ago. Our 1999 Cycling Season actually started by preparing for this part of our journey. In January of 1999, we bought a Co-Motion Co-Pilot tandem. This bike has couplers built into the frame that allows it to break down into 3 sections for packing into suitcase-sized boxes to make it easy to transport via the airlines. If your interested in all the details of the bike check-out my story on the 1999 Cycling Season.

Packing the bike is actually really easy. You simply break it down and put it in the boxes, which usually takes us about an hour. The hard part is figuring out what else to pack in the boxes with the bike. We usually pack our helmets, bike shoes, and a bunch of small soft stuff in the bike cases. This leaves us with two boxes that weigh about 40 pounds each, that have wheels and handles.

Co-Motion Before Disassembly Co-Motion Disassembled Co-Motion in Box

The biggest challenge was actually packing up our BOB trailer. To carry it on the airport we bought a giant duffle bag, which after removing the tire holds the trailer and some gear. The only problem is that it's about 4 feet long and with all the extra gear in it weighs 40 pounds.

Packed Gear

So how do you pack for a 3-month cycling trip? In a word minimalisticly! Everything that we bring, we will end up hauling around Europe for 3 months. So we packed very lightly - by normal standards. I do know of folks who only carry 3 socks, to conserve space and weight. One sock gets cleaned every day - isn't that enough!!!

Fortunately the trip to Paris went very well, and we arrived in without any problems. We even found a taxi driver that spoke English very well to help us reach the hotel. The next challenge is to absorb as much of the Parisian culture as possible in 7 days before we actually begin cycling.

Departing From Denver

Just in case you're curious, the following is our gear check list. Everything that we're carrying for 3 months is on the list!

Europe 2000 Packing Checklist



Other Gear






First Aid Kit