Why Cyclists Shouldn’t Check Luggage

On my way home from PressCamp last week, I mistakenly offered to gate check my roll-on suitcase to ease overcrowding of the overhead storage bins. I was already on the plane, so I figured I was safe…silly me. Nevermind the hellish delays and flight swaps in Atlanta (suffice to say I had to literally bum rush the overcrowded secondary flight just to get home…at 3am!), the real trouble is in the woefully inadequate reimbursement limit set by Delta (and others). Here’s what was in my suitcase, none of which I’m ever likely to see again:

  • 4 pair of cycling shorts: (2 Gore Bike Wear, 1 Specialized, 1 Sugoi – each valued $90 to $130)
  • 3 cycling jerseys (2 Gore Bike Wear, 1 Sugoi – each valued $90 to $110)
  • Club Ride knickers ($110) and jersey shirt ($75)
  • The Stick massage roller ($45)
  • 9 pair cycling socks (3 Swiftwick , 3 Defeet, 3 other – valued $10 – $15 each)
  • 2 pair compression socks (1 DeFeet, 1 Hincapie – each valued at $50 – $60)
  • Zoic riding shorts with padded liner ($80)
  • Panaracer road bike tires ($90)
  • Camelbak Octane LR hydration pack ($120)
  • 3 pair Under Armor underwear ($20 each)
  • Camelbak podium bottle ($9)
  • Shimano XTR mountain bike pedals ($190 – prototypes, irreplaceable!)
  • 6 random T-shirts ($??)
  • 3 technical baselayers (1 Underarmor, 1 Defeet Wool, 1 Craft Apparel – each valued $50 to $90)
  • Eddie Bauer V-Neck sweater ($60)
  • Outlier Supermarine Cotton cycling cap ($75)
  • Roller Suitcase (80)
  • 2 pair Tifosi Sunglasses (each $40 to $50)
  • Miscellaneous: Parlee beanie cap, hydration tablets, black leather belt with my Breck Epic finishers buckle (irreplaceable!), Clif bars.

ESTIMATED TOTAL RETAIL VALUE OF LOST LUGGAGE: $2,134

My advice: Don’t ever check your cycling gear, it’s just too expensive.

Comments

Bod - 06/30/11 - 9:50am

I think the soiling on the clothing would reduce the value somewhat….
Seriously though, sorry to hear about your loss, let’s hope you recover it especially those pedals!

hopefully helpful - 06/30/11 - 9:55am

If you booked with a credit card they will sometimes insurance on checked baggage in addition to the airline coverage. A few years back i flew to san fran and they lost my bag full of gear and I had booke with Amex and they covered an additional 1250 if i recall correctly. Hopefully this helps best of luck in the recovery process

Tuck - 06/30/11 - 10:06am

Think how much more it’d suck for someone who paid the retail prices on that list.

Brandon - 06/30/11 - 10:37am

I found myself thinking “BFD” as I read through your list….until I got to the Eddie Bauer sweater!

Seriously though, it COULD show, keep your fingers crossed. Because it SUCKS that stuff is gone.

spokejunky - 06/30/11 - 11:10am

Wow, suckage. I hope it all finds its way home. I think you highly undervalued the V-Neck sweater though. Priceless.

Chris - 06/30/11 - 12:49pm

And another terrorist has been foiled!

Mat - 06/30/11 - 2:37pm

I just checked with Continental and United (who I fly with the most) and Continental has a $3300 reimbursement, and United has a $2500 reimbursement

uglyyeti - 06/30/11 - 4:38pm

I’ve had bags disappear and show up on my doorstep a week later – they’ll find their way home sometimes. Freaks me out too because the baggage people will drop them on my porch on their way home from work (middle of the night to me), ring the doorbell and take off. It’s really great that they go out of their way to do that, but it scares the crap out of me. Sometimes they don’t ring and I go out the door in the morning and my bag is just sitting there.

Jeff - 06/30/11 - 6:02pm

If you have renters or homeowners insurance, that should be covered under personal property minus your deductible.

Tyler (Editor) - 06/30/11 - 6:28pm

Awesome tips, everyone, thanks! I’ll have to check with our credit card co.

Tim Brummer - 06/30/11 - 7:01pm

Flying back from PBP (Paris) to LA a while back on AOM (French) airlines, my bike downstairs wasn’t offloaded, and got a free trip to Tahiti and back. My bike showed up a week later, I wish it could have been me instead taking that free trip to Tahiti!

Phil - 06/30/11 - 9:22pm

That sux but don’t give up yet it may stil find you but as others said check your home and visa insurance

Joe - 07/01/11 - 2:13am

It’s probably for the best the that the v-neck sweater is gone

Chip - 07/01/11 - 11:54am

Had a gate check bag get picked up by another traveler earlier this year. Go it back 2 day later. My take aways from that experience. Always put the gate tag on it and tear the stub. That way you have a matching numbers that can track the bag (if the tag stays on, mine did not). Make sure to have a good name tag on the bag even if you carry it on. I did not (luckily they used a prescription in my bad to identify me). Do not use a black bag. Get something total obnoxious that no one would want to pick up. I have the ubiquitous black bag and it blends in way to well. Some airlines are better than others, but be prepared for a hassle. (Receipts etc for clothing and many have exclusions for electronics). Hope you get your stuff back.

Tyler (Editor) - 07/01/11 - 9:42pm

We’ve been thinking of producing some Bikerumor apparel… looks like V-neck sweaters are the hot item this fall. Any preorders?

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