I headed back to the UK on Tuesday. I’d set Monday aside to get a box to pack my bike in, and to actually get the bike in the box. It was too hot to do much else.
From reading online and asking friends who’d done similar, it’s supposed to be quite easy to get a cardboard box that bikes get delivered in from a local bike shop. I ended up having to ask at 4 or 5 places before I found a shop that had one. Mesterbike were able to help. There was a just delivered bike by the counter, which they unpacked and gave me the box. They also did nice coffee.
I got the box back to my friends’ and proceeded to dismantle the bike so it’d fit in. Realised part way through that I needed a longer set of allen keys to get one of the mudguards off, so it was off to a local hardware shop for that. I then found that one of the bolts on the other mudguard had seized, so the hacksaw from the tent pole issue got used again (luckily I had a spare bolt for reassembly with me in my toolkit).
I got a taxi to the airport, and checked bike and bag in:
Having read several horror stories of bikes being damaged on planes, I was glad to find it unscathed at the other end (though had a bit of trouble finding it, as it was too big for the regular luggage carousel).
Found a quiet corner on the way to the car-park to reassemble it – this was much quicker than disassembly. Then it was onto the train back to Mum’s, where I’ll spend a couple of days before heading back home to Bristol