When I think back of how we started… oh man, so many stories come to my mind… Like the day I disembarked from the Norwegian Epic cruise liner in Port of Miami after finishing my third six-month-contract with Blue Man Group in three years. It was the end of November 2013, I was getting off the ship and moving to Peru with everything I could carry: four big suitcases with some of my things from Germany and four Cube road bikes I had bought in Mallorca/Spain before we left Europe with the ship and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. I had spent a lot of time and effort packing those four bikes into two big bike boxes, along with safety vests, bike shoes, spare parts and lots of equipment that we would need for our new bike agency in Cusco. With the help of my two friends James and Kyle, I got all my things down to U.S. Immigration at 7:00 am, where I was asked if anything was supposed to stay in the country. I told them I’m flying to Peru the same day, so they let me pass without any problems. After that I loaded everything on one of the airport shuttles that our Philippino friends organize when crew disembarks. The guy’s name was Alex and he was not very pleased with the fact that I took up most of the space in his luggage trailer, which normally can carry bags and suitcases for up to 12 people. On the way to downtown Miami, we started talking and it turned out he was a cyclist, too. I told him I’m moving to Peru with my road bikes, and he was very interested in my story and the German Cube bikes I was bringing. We talked shop about bike components and different brands, and in the end he wished me good luck for my journey and the new chapter of my life in Peru.
After a nice breakfast and an emotional goodbye to my friends from the ship, Alex drove me and some other crew members to the airport. I got the bike boxes and my suitcases off the trailer, a guy with a luggage cart came and helped me roll everything into the building and to the check-in area. There was a lady of the airline talking to the passengers waiting in line, checking their passports and their luggage about weight and measurements. When she saw my bike boxes, she looked at my very surprised and also very skeptical, and her first reaction was: “No, that’s too big.” I told her those are bike boxes, and bikes get transported in boxes like this, also via airplane, so what is the problem? She took her tape measure and asked me how heavy the boxes are. Then she showed me the maximum measurements on her tape, unfortunately both of my boxes exceeded these measurements by about 15 inches! She said that the boxes are too big to even fit through the loading door of a passenger airplane, so they have to be transported as cargo. So here I was, standing at the Miami airport, with four suitcases and the two big bike boxes containing what was supposed to be the first part of our road bike fleet in Cusco/Peru, and now they are telling me they are not going on the plane, with two hours until departure time, on a Saturday… Am I going to loose four road bikes, or my flight to Lima? Do I have to stay in Miami with all my stuff until Monday and arrange the cargo shipping?
Find out how this story turns out in the second part 😉