I take my bike with me unless there's a service such as Tribike Transport (come for most Ironman events). If there *is* a service, I would highly recommend it, as your bike will show up at race site usually fully assembled or with some minor putting-together that the helpers will do for you. I did that at Ironman Coeur d'Alene. It was the best decisions I've made.<br><br>
If there is no service, I take the bike with me. I'm fairly adept at taking the bike apart, squeezing it in a box, and putting it back together at the destination. I like having the bike "on me." Putting it together is easy, plus it's an excuse for me at the race site to start focusing on the race, as I go over the bike and adjust and tighten. If anything's out of alignment, then you have plenty of time to take the bike to one of the race sponsored bike mechanics.<br><br>
I purchased a Pro Bike Case (that's the name) for a very, very good deal at PerformanceBikes.com, or maybe it was BikeNashbar.com. It's a decent case. Especially for the deal I found.<br><br>
Taking the bike with you on the plane will cost on average $80 each way. Some airlines do it for $50 while others charge as much as $100. Whatever you do, do NOT offer up that you have a bike and you're wondering what to do with it. Because if the attendant is new or not in the know, they will simply take the box and not charge you a dime. I've also made quick friends with the attendants and had them slip it in free of charge.<br><br>
Also, be sure to lock it with a certified airline lock (whatever they're called), because nowadays security will open the box and look around, so be careful about locking it with any old lock, and be careful about tossing loose items in the box. I tape things to the side and the frame. But watch the locks, because if you don't choose the right ones, you will hear your name over intercom for you to come and unlock.<br><br>
If you purchase a box, make sure it has as many wheels as possible.