Posted by: Silver | June 15, 2010

Never trust customer services

Greetings from… southern California!

Yep, I’m still at my Dad’s. Have I mentioned before about my attempt to get to Canada being beset by just about every delay and frustration one could possibly dream up? Well, to be honest, it’s genuinely almost getting to be funny now…

Today’s ‘amusing’ assault on my efforts to achieve my goal was actually two-fold: first, I was informed that, contrary to the information on Air Canada’s web site, and contrary to the information given to me by the customer service representative I spoke to when I booked my flight, Ranger was not going to be getting on the plane with me – because his box wouldn’t fit through the door. Well, you can’t really argue with that one, can you…? Just a shame that the person I spoke to when I checked the baggage regulations didn’t check which aircraft would be conveying me on the journey I was booking, otherwise she would (one hopes) have realised that it, and its doors, were going to be smaller than standard, and advised me accordingly before I had a box custom-made to the ‘correct’ dimensions…

Then, during the time it took the over-worked and under-staffed Air Canada manager to definitely confirm that there was no way Ranger’s box was going to fit, my flight was cancelled anyway due to a mechanical fault… Seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up…

So, home I came, for a re-customisation session on my custom-made box. The only way to shrink Ranger sufficiently was to take his luggage rack off, which was nowhere near as straightforward as it ought to have been and involved yet another emergency dash to my LBS (Local Bike Shop) – thank you yet again to the marvellous Mike!! But once that was done, and I’d taken the shears to the box, the new slimline Ranger was a good 3” shorter than he needs to be, so whatever problems might still be thrown at me, that hopefully won’t be one of them.

So, once again, if anyone out there might be able to learn from my misfortunes, let me sum up this ‘learning experience’: if you want to fly with your trike, specifically ask what aircraft you’re going to be on, and how big its cargo hold doors are. Then ask what all the maximum allowable dimensions are: turns out that (again, contrary to the information on their web site) Air Canada would have been perfectly happy with a box up to 10 ft long, which means I could have boxed Ranger without folding him, which means I wouldn’t have had to take the luggage rack off, which means the whole operation would have been a whole lot easier…

Anyway, I’m re-booked onto the same flight tomorrow, so just watch this space to see if I actually make it this time!



  1. HI Silver,
    I am so glad I’m reading your posts, they are full of useful information.
    I’ve also found valuable advice from older forums on foot and knee pain and have made suggested adjustments to cleat and boom position, and I would be testing them out right now, but it is raining again today on Whidbey Island, and only 48F.
    Good luck in transit to Canada!

    • Hi Janet, I would definitely be interested in learning what advice you found about cleat/boom positions, if you’d be happy to share your discoveries here? I’m still convinced I’m not quite set up right yet! (I’m also getting more and more convinced that my legs aren’t quite the same length…!) I hope the adjustments work well for you anyway!

  2. Hi Silver,
    Regarding foot pain: I am using cleats for the first time. I set the cleat at ball of my feet, like most people suggest.
    I developed a numb right foot (toe area), and a hot spot under the toes after 10 miles. I believe it is due to the foot pulling downward in the shoe, pinching nerves. Gravity doesn’t help the recumbent rider with blood flow to the feet either.
    Solution: move cleat on shoe as close as you can get to the heel, off the ball of the foot. Also, make sure shoes are roomy.
    Regarding knee pain: It depends where the pain is located, but I developed pain front and center, under the kneecap after riding.
    Solution: Because one involves the hips more when going up hills, you need the room to do that, so you should extend the boom farther to avoid crunching the knees.
    I haven’t had a chance to test these adjustments yet, maybe this afternoon! I’ll let you know if they help.\

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