Long term business travel and training

I work in an industry where I’m sent places for 30+ days at a time. Just today I was informed that I’ll be in Raleigh, NC for 30-days. I’ll work 7-6 daily, with weekends off. So I’m stuck with wondering how to not only keep my fitness up but return, hot, ready for the state CX race.

So, how do you handle these things? I can box-up my road bike and ship it with bike flights, maybe put my smart trainer in a box as my 2nd piece of luggage. Raleigh is 2,000 miles away so I prefer not to drive that. I could also abandon the bike and trainer and do spin classes (ugh) thought that won’t give me what I want.

Thoughts, recommendations?

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Hey there!

Shipping your bike and trainer would likely be your best option for optimal training and plan adhesion. This would allow you to work your way through a plan using accurate power readings, and optimize your indoor training to maximize fitness improvement.

If shipping your bike and trainer proves too expensive or inconvenient, we do have some tips on how to stay fit while travelling that you can check out here:



Buy a trainer local and sell local on a facebook group to avoid that hassle. Ship your bike - its worth it above spin class


I’m active duty military, and routinely have to travel away from bike/trainer, etc. I am also a triathlete, so during those times I focus on running, or if there’s a pool available I’ll swim. I like to use spin bikes as a substitute, and there are some out there that have “power meters”, while they’re not accurate, at least I can get a pretty good RPE workout in. Most gyms will let me use their bikes when they’re not actively in class. Otherwise, I’ve gone the route of sitting for an hour or two on a Lifecycle fitness bike and it does the job, especially for “base” training. In other words, I can sit on the bike, get my HR into the 140s and keep it there with a 95rpm cadence and get the gist of the training.

All of that is sub-optimal, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Ultimately, it’s about preserving fitness as best you can when you’re not able to train ideally. I spent around 75 days without access to my bikes or a pool during this year’s base phase. My “A” 70.3 race was roughly 3 months after that period. I established a solid base of running early, supplemented with cycling until the “off period” then used the spin bikes and exercise bikes as mapped out above in addition to a treadmill. While I definitely would’ve been faster in my “A” race under ideal circumstances, I was still able to meet my split goals under those less than ideal circumstances and have a really good race.

Mentally, I had to accept that I was making some sacrifices in training because of my job, and make sure that I was OK with training as well as I could under the circumstances, not worrying about the fact that it wasn’t the optimal training. In other words, do the best you can.

I personally wouldn’t ship a bike and trainer for 30 days, but that’s me.

Edit: missed that you’re returning to your state CX race. Yes, in that case and on that timeline, I’d probably ship a bike and maybe even a trainer. This past year, I had time to build prior to my event.

ship your bike and trainer. Train on your schedule. Ship it back.

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Shipping sounds like a solid option. Get some trainer time during the week and fresh air on the week end. Spin classes, no, not really, but that’s just me. 30 days are quite long.

PowerTap P1S, hex key, tube of grease, pedal spanner and access to a gym.

TR first suggested it on a podcast years ago, I tried it last weekend. A bit strange but the session was fine :slight_smile:

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I travel 45+ weeks out of the year out every Monday back every Thursday. I just got some Garmin Vector 3 (on a Cyber Monday deal for $750). I’m going to carry those and a pedal wrench and see how it goes. I’m not really going to ask, just slap those pedals onto the crappy hotel bikes and connect it to my iPad.

Fingers crossed it goes okay.

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I have in the past done spin classes and I agree they’re sub-optimal, but better than nothing. If I have some specific plan, a lot of times, I’ll just sit in the back of the class and do my own thing. The music and encouragement is still helpful even if I’m not following the class instruction. I’ve never had an instructor that cared.

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+1 for shipping your bike and trainer

Get your employer to pay for it - I have a friend who is on a similar travel schedule as you and he makes it contingent on any longer term contracts that it be part of his travel fees. It’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of a 4 week engagement for them to pay for this.

Alternative to shipping bike and smart trainer is to buy a travel trainer and do intervals on those (relatively simple carry-on item). These are viable, although not as nice as a smart trainer

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I got an ORUCASE and just fly w/ my bike (CAAD12 so not overly pricey). I’d then just look to pickup a trainer locally. flying w/ the bike is mildly a hassle but if you’re going for long term it’d be well worth it.

I travel for work all the time, shipping your bike and trainer is definitely the best option. Evoc bike bag is what you need for your bicycle, the airline will charge you a fee (I have paid from 50 euros to 120 dollars) but this is probably cheaper than BikeFlights. If you have a power meter I would suggest getting a “dumb” trainer as this will be easier to ship than the smart trainer.
I have a pair of garmin vectors and I have tried traveling with them, sometimes I could install it on a gym bike but sometimes this was not possible at all - pedals were welded to gym bike, crankset threads were damaged, pedals wouldn’t come off, different diameters, gym owner/staff doesn’t let you remove the pedals, all bikes are in use and you have to wait… In addition, the position on the gym bike is not always ideal for you to train adequately for 4 weeks.

I really want an Orucase. I’m pretty jealous. I’m a tall guy and Oru told me my 61 cm bike won’t work. How do you like it? I wonder when/if the airlines are ever going to catch on.

Question to all, how do you feel when riding your trainer your hotel room? I’m always worried I’m disturbing the people around me, part of why I’m going to try out the Garmin pedals on the hotel bike.

I love the Orucase so far but I can see how a 61cm bike wouldn’t fit. Most of my work travel is to SF so I don’t travel w/ a trainer as there is access to great outdoor riding w/ long climbs to do workouts on. As for airlines catching on… they definitely have and I’ve had it happen twice where they immediately were like “Thats a bike” the first time I couldn’t do anything about it as I was at the counter. The second time it happened at the curbside checkin so I just went inside and then when they asked what it was I said, “Workout equipment”.

Well I’ve been here a week. I had really short-notice with the official travel documentation so I had to travel without the bike. So I backed a ton of spandex, dirt shoes, a helmet, and a flat pack to rent an MTB a couple days. I found a gym with a Wattbike which is okay, doesn’t have closed-loop power/torque brake but it gets me by. I’ve had shockingly good workouts though, probably because I’m doing nothing other than working 10-hour days, hitting the gym, then going back to the hotel sleeping and not drinking beer. It also helps that the weather is miserable here. Hopefully this will set me on the straight and narrow with diet, get me to drinking beer on days I don’t train or something like that, but that is for another thread.

I have a ton of travel next year, something like 20-weeks. I bought the biggest Patagonia roller duffel they sell and planning on driving a fleet vehicle all over south Texas, west Texas, and all over NM with my CX bike on 30/32 tubeless tires, 46/39 gearing, and taking the Top Fuel as well.

Out of curiosity, do you work in the oilfield?

Nope, I’m a floodplain management type person. When there is a natural disaster big enough, I pack a bag for a little while. It’s usually Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, or Texas but I needed to help about a bit with Florence.

For that amount of time I would ship the bike.

what did you end up doing?

This trip was back in December, did not take the bike, rode a Watt Bike at a gym. Then, my girlfriend bought me an Orucase and I’ve been taking that with my road bike to Albuquerque and El Paso. I dig that case.

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