This November (2010) I’ll do my first full Ironman event in Panama City, Florida. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. That means it’s more than a short drive with my bike on top of the car, so the question is what’s the best way to get my bike to Panama City, and to the venue?
I know there are shipping services, and I know there are airlines that ship bikes as checked luggage, but I’ve never used any of them and would appreciate any recommendations, horror stories, etc. I can use in making some decisions.
One issue I already know I’m going to run into is that I’ll probably arrive several days before the event, and will therefore want access to my bike prior to the event to get in a last ride or two, so having my bike shipped directly to the venue isn’t an option (I guess that also means I’ll need to rent a vehicle I can fit the bike into, since I assume most rental vehicles don’t come with bike racks on top).