Dahon Visc D18 - Suitcase travel
For a few years now, the Visc D18 has been my primary folding bike. I use it in many ways.
- I take it with me in the car so that I can get access and fun at the other end of my travel.
- I have flown with it on several trips and been able to explore and be active in wonderful places.
- I use it as a utility vehicle at work, running to lunch, going to the hardware store and sometimes just getting a bit of fresh air and new perspective.
The fact that I can easily pack it and fly different places, while simply checking in a normal suitcase is a real game changer for me. I love to travel but I hate spending too much money on certain things. Oversize baggage is one. In fact my United Credit Card gives me one free checked bag so, by my view, my bike travels free.
Depending upon where I am going I will pack differently.
For a short business trip the bike and anything I don't want to carry in my carry on end up in the suitcase. At my destination I will usually pickup a rental car or perhaps a ride to my hotel.
If I am going on a travel fun trip, which I did recently, I have the ability to convert my suitcase to a bike trailer, and and carry both the bike and the trailer chassis in my suitcase. The result of this is that I don't really need a car at the other end of my flight and I can travel from place to place with my bike, suitcase/trailer and gear. This is incredibly freeing from so many points of view. For one, expenses go down. Places are seen in new ways. One actually feels a lighter burden by not being tied to a car, the gas, worrying about it getting damaged, so many things.
Suitcases and bikes that work with them is a bit like pairing food with wine. They need to work together and they do not always do so automatically. Basically the regulation for how "large" a suitcase can be challenges on a few fronts. Length, width and depth must add up to no more than 62 inches. Wheel size. Frame, Handlebar Transmissions. Ease and difficulty of removing wheels. Keeping things so they can be quickly be put back together. Ability to protect parts from each other, ability to protect the whole package. Ideally the ability to carry more of your gear and having space for it. If you want to "trailerize" your suitcase, then all of the chassis and wheels must fit into the suitcase or be fixed safely to the suitcase. Once the trailer chassis enters in, add to that requisite tools and hardware, then it is important to be aware of the 50 lb weight limit.
And so, what is life without a challenge? Function first, but fashion is also important.