Soon some friends and me are heading for a bike tour to Slovenia. I was a bit late with bying the train tickets to Graz in Austria where we are going to start. When trying to reserve the corresponding slot for my bicycle, I was informed that they all are fully booked for this train! So what now? The train support gave me the hint that I could disassemble my bicycle to reduce its size and carry it by means of a huge transportation bag for bicycles. This way, the bicycle counts as luggage. Instead of bying an expensive bag, I asked my Mum to teach me how to use a sewing machine and I sewed this sleeve. Its size is about 160 cm width by 80 cm height. With a thick belt around the main frame the compacted bicycle can be carried on your shoulder. Now I neither have to reserve a slot for my bike nor by an extra ticket for bicycles. I think this sleeve is a bit larger than what is usually allowed but hopefully I get through anyways.
Update after journey: ‘Did it work practically?’ you maybe ask me. Well, yes and no. It is really a huge and heavy bag to carry around. Travelling is made a lot harder and disassemblying and assembling the bike takes extra time – around 10 minutes. The conductor in one train asked my group: ‘Who is the owner of the bicycle in the potato bag?’ He gently informed me that usually I would need to buy an extra ticket for my bike. Besides this occurance I did not have any problems. My personal opinion is to invest the money for an extra bike ticket and enjoy the train ride, if possible. For cases where no bicycle reservations are left anymore, such a transport bag may be a good solution. However, bikes without fixed mudguards allow you to disassemble the rear wheel and thereby compact the bike even further. Here, the transport bag is a lot smaller and by far more convenient.