I guess you could have it shipped to a bike shop who then charges you to assemble the bike. If one were concerned about taking parts off a bike, a second shop would have to be paid to box up the bike on the way out and set it back up on one's return, seems like a lot of paid hands touching one bike for one race--a couple allen wrenches and a pedal wrench is all it takes to knock down a bike and reassemble it in a hotel room. It's really not such a daunting task.
I'm a girl.... that being said I am rather mechanically inclined BUT I want the damn thing to hold together through the whole race and I'd be terrified that if I took it apart and put it back together again I'd end up with out some pedals or something. I just don't trust myself when I'm nervous.
I'd have no problem disassembling and reassembling my bike, but do you have any helpful tricks for getting everything back in the precise spot it came from? I mean, why spend $100 on a fitting if you're going to louse it all up as soon as you travel to a race? Do you just use a marker of some kind?
Matt--you put a bit of tape on the seat post, which you have anyway, then you just put the stem back on the steerer with the same number of spacers under it, that's about it. Reattach the pedals, remember the left one threads on backwards, that's about it. I usually remove the rear derailer and tie a rag or coathanger around the chain so it isn't slapping around in the box. I will stick a packing axle (they come with new bikes, shops have them around) or wood block in the dropouts to prevent damage and pack a bunch of rags around the bike to pad it and give me something to wipe it off when done. Bring allen wrenches, some chain lube and a floor pump to inflate your tires, I usually throw some spare parts and tires in the box and pack my shoes and pedals in my carry on in case the bike gets lost. At the airport, I just ask for a minivan taxi to the hotel.
dh always ships it to the hotel and they hang on to it. He usually gets a person's name (like the concierge) and says he expects that person to be in charge. They usual are, most won't let another hotel employee give it to the person.
I have used Tribike Transport twice for Ironman races and personally wouldnt go any other way. They make it too easy. If they are supporting your event you just drop off your bike fully assembled, minus pedals (along with a small bag with helmet, shoes, wetsuit, what ever) at one of the local bike shops they partner with. At the event they usually have a location right next to transition and you simply go pick it up fully assembled. After the race you just wheel your bike over to where they are located then pick it up from the same bike store when you get back home.
This month Triathlete Mag has a whole article with a step by step and pictures about how to disassemble and pakc your bike for transport. They suggest marking everything with tape so you cn get it back into the exact position.
Just one last note, I'd steer clear of marking your seatpost with a sharpie, a bit of tape is a better bet as you may later wish to change the seat height (e.g. lower in the winter when wearing extra clothes) or use to post on a different bike.