Most airlines will let you count your bicycle as one of your two pieces of (non-carry-on obviously!) luggage when flying internationally. Some airlines will charge an additional fee of $50-$300. Be warned – a travel agent, the people on the phone for the air line, and the people at the airport, won’t always agree on that policy.
To ship the bike on the plane, you’ll want to protect it in some way. The easiest way to do that is with a bicycle box. The airline will typically charge $10-$15, but the box will be the right size for the bicycle. All you have to do is turn the handlebars sideways, deflate the tires (not important butt he airlines require it), and remove the pedals. You can then treat the box as disposable at each end.
You can also purchase an actual bicycle carrying case. These are very expensive, and you have to figure out what you’re going to do with them once you’re off the plane.
The European train systems are all generally familiar with the concept of transporting bicycles. However, how familiar, and what the process is, varies WILDLY by country.
- Road markings
Some countries move bicycles (and people) primarily by bus. Ireland, for example, is almost 100% bus-oriented, and significantly cheaper than train. And Ireland is small enough that buses are frequently as fast as trains.
Some day I’ll get around to including pictures of various road signs.