Taking on an expedition-length adventure race by foot, bike and kayak is one part of the challenge that teams face when they enter one of the Adventure Racing World Series Qualifier events held around the world each year. It is the getting there that can be even more gruelling than covering 600-kilometres, non-stop, on minimal sleep as teams must travel by planes, trains, buses and vehicles with their mountain bikes and gear to attend these week-long events. BikeBox, an award-winning bicycle-transport solution, understands the challenge of travelling with bicycles and is in its element in this environment.
Bikebox in use by ARWS Africa Champions Team Merrell Songlines / © Team Merrell Songlines / Jared Paisley “If you travel by plane with bicycles, you must often transport bikes and boxes in normal-sized cars to the destination. There is also the challenge of storing boxes. Then, if you used a cardboard box that you had to discard at the airport on arrival, it can be difficult to find another one of the right size to get your bike back home,” explains Christine Collins, owner of BikeBox Company and inventor of this pioneering product.
The best products offer solutions and BikeBox does this through clever, considered design elements that are derived from Christine’s extensive travel and racing experience and that of her adventure racer husband John Collins. BikeBox is affordable, reusable and it delivers solutions to every problem encountered on the journey from A to B – and back again.
Made from high-density polypropylene, BikeBox is shockproof and waterproof. At only eight kilograms in weight, enough standard luggage allowance remains to accommodate the weight of the bicycle and cycling accessories. And, most importantly, BikeBox folds into itself to reduce storage space by 80% of its assembled volume. This makes it possible to fit the compact BikeBox into a hire car and store it out-of-the-way in a hotel room, friend’s home or garage.
BikeBox also supplies guards to protect the cassette, crank, rear derailleur, skewers and wheel hubs as well as a Box-in-a-Box for cycling accessories.
In adventure racing, four people from each team travel together with bike boxes and gear, adding to the vehicle transport challenge. During the event, their bicycles are also transported – in bike boxes – by race organisation.
Stephan Muller is the course and logistics director for Expedition Africa, host of the 2023 Adventure Racing World Championship. With more than 100 teams attending this event, Stephan’s job includes the logistical plans to the transport over 400 bike boxes – and more than 200 re-supply crates - between remote transition areas.
Once delivered to the transition, bike boxes may wait more than 24 hours for their team to arrive. Not all transitions have undercover storage space so bike boxes must be able to withstand rain and dew. The rigid, robust and waterproof BikeBox protects the contents under all conditions.
“From the event logistics side, transporting bikes is a big responsibility,” Stephan says.
“We travel on rough roads in the high-pressure race environment with loading and unloading happening daily throughout the event. We take every care to prevent damage to expensive equipment and to get bikes to transitions in good time. When teams use BikeBox, we know that the contents are well protected and safe to transport. The bottom doesn’t ‘fall out’ when we lift them, and the waterproof box will protect the contents if we deliver the boxes to an open field. This is very reassuring for us.”
Stephan explains that the BikeBox design includes strategically placed cut-outs for handholds that makes lifting, moving and packing the boxes simple. “Many of our volunteers are retired people so being able to easily grip and manoeuvre the boxes is important,” he adds.
Sustainability is important to BikeBox in their mission to reduce waste and carbon footprint throughout the processes from product production to its end-of-life. BikeBox can be reused for more than 15 overseas trips and at the end the polypropylene material can be recycled and repelletised to be made into new products.
BikeBox is a key piece of equipment in the adventure racing environment and is proud to be an official supplier to the global Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS). Teams participating in ARWS events are offered a 10% discount on their BikeBox purchases using the discount code: ARWorldSeries.
BikeBox has its home in South Africa, which this year is host to the Adventure Racing World Championship. BikeBox is available in South Africa as well as in Europe and USA. Orders can be placed online through bikeboxcompany.com. Teams arriving in South Africa for the AR World Championship in October are invited to arrive with an old bike box and leave for home with a new BikeBox for themselves and early Christmas presents for friends and family.
Follow BikeBox and their innovations on social media @bikebox.company.
The Adventure Racing World Series brings together premier adventure races from around the word to create a competitive series of Qualifier events that culminate in an annual Adventure Racing World Championship. Events can be followed online through reports, videos, images and live GPS tracking through the ARWS website and social media.
Learn more about the Adventure Racing World Series, its Regional and Qualifier events and the Adventure Racing World Championship on www.arworldseries.com