People always ask, “Are you excited?” about an upcoming trip. It’s second only to a smart aleck comment about cycling across water. They’re always surprised when I’m not (excited, although true about not cycling across water too!)

Leaving is the hard part. I’m leaving my wife and dogs behind. There are always things that still need doing. I have lots of equipment to replace or track down. I find packing a chore.

For this trip I haven’t had to worry about the bicycle box; I’ve had two boxes in the garage from the last box adventure. Small boxes. Packing took forever. In addition to turning the handlebars and removing the pedals, I had to: remove the water bottle cages, disassemble the front headset, remove the seat, remove the front rack, and pull off the front fender.

On the bright side, the pedals came off easily…

Rob, my traveling companion for the first part of this trip, had a separate flight. We had planned on how to meet up in Milan, with a few contingencies along the way. What if one of our bicycles doesn’t make it? Heck what if one of us doesn’t make it?

Milan Airport is 60 km outside of Milan, and Rob wouldn’t arrive until 6:30 pm. For tonight (technically tomorrow night) I reserved a hostel at the halfway point. We’d get there by train from the airport, and the hostel is only a few minutes away on foot. If we’re missing a bike, travel to the hostel (and for that matter back to the airport) would be easy.

Rob’s first flight took off well before mine. He messaged that while his 65 lb. bicycle in box was $80, if it had been 50 lbs. it would have been free. Mine weighed in at 52 lbs. Repacking ensued.

Arriving at the airport, the JetBlue representative, after some searching (and ignoring my printout from their website) said it would be $100. Explanation followed. 30 minutes and two phone calls on his part later? $140.

And they never weighed my box.