The bike bag, flight, hire car, family, space connundrum

Not been on for a while. In the unlikely event that anybody noticed, sorry. Hope that in my absence you've all become toned, hard-bodied performers rather than people who lurk in here, dreaming up futile extensions to the pirate kit brand empire image.

I'm off to France for Alpe d'Huez tri next week. Just picked up a bike bag for my first foray overseas and horrified at how big it is. The plan is to fly to Geneva with wife, kids and bike, pick up a hire car, drive to Bourg. But it looks like I'd have more chance of packing family, bike and hire car in the bag than fitting family and bike in a car.

I had a look through old threads and can't find anything that covers this. But I can't imagine I'm the first to be flumoxed in this way. So what do you tend to do, folks, please? Do you just strap the big bugger to the roof? Send the kids by courier?

Any suggestions, please? Otherwise, I reckon I may be facing a DNS. Thanks!


  • leave the kids at home............or hire a car with roof bars and rack..or hire a car with bike rack on teh back

  • In the unlikely event that you're travelling with another family then I can confirm that two adults and two bike boxes will go into a VW Golf, while two adults, 3 children and all the other luggage will fit in another.

    Failing that, hire a very big car (Volvo estate should do the trick), get one with roof bars or take a tip from this site:

    which suggests that you let the missus drive the kids from geneva, while you get the airport coach transfer to grenoble and bus from there to Bourg.

    Or, get in touch with the folks at Nirvana or Sportstours, who both do organised trips to that event and see if they can transfer your bike for you.  Odds are, one of them is meeting people off your flight anyway.

    Good luck, it's one on my bucket list so the more 'great trip' stories I can show the missus the better.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    what bike bag is it??  most of them tend to be fairly standard sizes and are pretty generic unless you have one of the fancy new ones with inflatable bladders internally (and very expensive).  but undoubtedly they do take up a lot of car space!!  you should have thought of that before booking the flights....  image

    just do a bigger car hire or as seren suggests


  • Hire a bike for the tri maybe ?

    Or get a bigger car ?

    Unpack the bike at Geneva and leave the bag in left luggage there (check they have one)

    My preferred solution is to leave the family at home - but I think this might not work for you.....
  • Put the kids and wife on the roof rack, loads of room then for the bike bag in car and it dosen't ask questions like"are we there yet?"


  • slimshadyslimshady ✭✭✭

    One of the reasons why I am driving to Embrun.  Sticking the bike on a bike rack on the back and with a roof box I just about fit the 2 kids and missus in the car.  image


  • You could stick the bike bag on the back set and stick the kids in the boot maybe?

    Want about getting a taxi/train to the airport just for you and the bike (assuming your better half drives) would that work out cheaper?

  • Thanks all for some helpful ideas. I think I'll upgrade to a big old estate and hope it fits in the boot. Failing that, I guess I'll be following your advice Dave/Cougie, and bidding au revoir to the family at Geneva and travelling solo from there to Bourg. Just spoke to Brendan at Nirvana though, and he mentioned up to E400 for a one-way transfer with a bike bag/box image.

    All this stress has quite put me off my training for the last 3 months. KNEW I should have gone back to Tenby image. Or become real serious about Marshalling image.

  • I can pack my bike ontop of the luggage in teh back of my safira no problem so you should be ok with an estate


  • Put the wife, kids and luggage in the car, and ride the bike to Alpe d'Huez!




  • I think Coach Bassos said that my Wiggle bike bag was so big, it looked like you just put it on teh runway with wings sticking out of it. They can be quite a size.

  • Hire a Berlingo (or similar) - the bike box stands up in those. Also get a taxi to the airport (explaining to them that you have a big box!)



  • Are you picking up a hire car on the French side of GVA airport?

    It'll be cheaper, 'preloved' aka dented and they'll care less about any damage done. It may be cheap enough to hire 2 cars.

    You'll need to buy a Vignette for using Swiss motorways (~30-40€) or just drive on the French roads all the way to Alpe D'Huez.

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