Delta Lowers Fees for Bicycles UPDATED

Good news for travelers, @mzsitka tipped me to an email sent out today to travel managers that fees for bicycles have been lowered to $55 from $150.00 by Delta and their partners AirFrance/KLM. The changes haven’t shown up on their website yet because they take affect later this week.

fees

We always travel with folding or S&S bikes to avoid fees. If you’re shipping a full-size bike in a big case, that’s a significant fee reduction.

Update

See the comment below from Delta. They did not lower their fees and the email was in error.

We’ve covered the ridiculous $150 before and it’s in place as a deterrent. As I’ve discussed before posting this, Delta does not want you to fly bikes on their planes because the cost is too high to repair or replace them. Another good reason to fly with a folding or S&S-coupled bike.

Hero’s Journey Ending

Lance at his Ranch

This morning, Nike dropped Lance and minutes before he resigned from Livestrong, as the fallout from the USADA report continues. On Sunday, I shared this thought on our FacePage and G+

While the bottom falls out of the sport, Armstrong continues to rise with marketing from Nike and Livestrong. The Independent compares an ascended, yellow-banded hero with the destruction around him and the narrative still being sold as real. His marketers have no moral compass to guide them when their customers want to believe and spend their money. Meanwhile the sport and its most fervent fans are reeling. To them, the devil has been unmasked while his feet are washed at the temple and he’s anointed in yellow.

A disgraced hero’s journey is coming to an end. The yellow can’t wash away his sins on the bike.

$20.00 Cardboard Bicycle


The $20.00 cardboard bicycle continues to make news. Unlike most fantasy CAD bike pr0n that light up the design blogs periodically, Reuters reported yesterday that it’s going into production and the inventor says it’s waterproof.

Once the shape has been formed and cut, the cardboard is treated with a secret concoction made of organic materials to give it its waterproof and fireproof qualities. In the final stage, it is coated with lacquer paint for appearance.”

But can you whack it with a pedal wrench? We’re still unwilling to suspend our disbelief at this bike, but curious why it’s got such legs in the press and how does it ride? Vertically stiff and horizontally compliant? If the inventor dropped the $20.00 price and claimed it was a hundred or two, it’d sound a bit less kooky. Brakes, levers, cables, crank?, pedals?, tires, belt drive, even at OEM pricing, have already exceeded the $20.00 price tag.

What Does America Make, Really?

Especially funny returning from Taiwan, when the panel is asked if diabetes counts as the only product America makes.

Taiwan Excellence and Enthusiam

Bike Tunnel

Taipei’s Bike Tunnel

I was just in Taipei on a group trip with other bike industry folks. The visit was sponsored by the Taiwan Government to promote excellence in manufacturing. TAITRA is a trade organization that covers all types of factories and vendors there, including the bike, and they were our host.

New hat

My new hat represents the two, no three, cultures: bike, American, Taiwanese.

We saw examples of manufacturing excellence at Giant and Ming, but the biggest takeaway from this trip to Taiwan is the enthusiasm. Being a maker is what’s cool in the States. “Maker” is a geek-codified word to describe entrepreneurship and those that make and sell products on Etsy, Kickstarter, and in booths at Maker Faires. In every nook and cranny across an entire country, people are selling and hustling something. From a pack of tea to a new ABS system for bikes, Taiwanese are makers, and their National pastime is the bike.

Taiwan is the center of the bike universe with a strong gravitational pull for a bike blogger like myself. In my bike-blogging travels, never seen so many shiny, happy people that wanted their photographs taken. People riding to work in Amsterdam are on task, traveling to and fro and not just enjoying themselves on a new bike path. In the few years I’ve traveled there to Taiwan, I’ve seen the first bike path, then more along the river, and now there’s one that replaces an old rail line.

I don’t know if any magazine rates paths, but Taiwan’s have to rank as the best in the world. They’re well designed, thought out, and include art. They’re not cheezy with Chinglish either, just a pleasure to ride on while enjoying the time without scooters or cars buzzing you. I was so impressed, I shot a thousand photos while there and an hour of video. During this week, I’ll publish those and share more from the trip.

making wheels

Wheels being made, by hand and tensioned by machine

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