Where is the coolest place you’ve taken your Hen House?
In 2015 and 2016 when I did European Doubles (2 Ironmans in 8 days in 2 countries!) that was by far the coolest. Driving with them through a city like Copenhagen and contrasting that a few days later with the French countryside – there’s nothing like it!
How much money have you saved using your Hen House?
On average I travel with my bike for 11 trips a year, times 2 for round trip. I pay ~$60 to check 2 bags (often less depending if I have any status with the airline) and the airline fee for bike boxes is ~$200. I have been using the Hen House for 5 years.
22 * (200 – 60) = $3,080 * 5 = $15,400!!
What is your average time to pack and unpack your Hen House?
Typically I allow myself 45 minutes so I can take my time and relax while I pack. It usually only takes me 20-30 minutes though.
List of stuff you typically pack inside your Hen House along with your bike?
Wetsuit(s), helmet(s), bike shoes, running shoes, swim toy bag, clothes bags, nutrition, bike pump, toiletries bag
Where have you found the compact size of the Hen House to be of additional benefit?
I do 99% of my traveling solo, so that means it’s up to me to lug my suitcase and bike around the airports, parking lots, hotels, city sidewalks, elevators, etc. Some bike cases are simply impossible to maneuver on my own with an additional suitcase. With the Hen House I can stack my wheel bag onto my rolling carry-on luggage, and then wheel all the luggage around easily and efficiently, fitting into narrow spaces fairly easily. It also is a huge cost savings (and stress savings!) not to have to worry about how to fit the bike and luggage into rental cars.
What is the hardest thing about packing a Hen House?
Just getting over the intimidation factor of breaking down my bike those first few times was the hardest thing. Now that I know the process, packing the Hen House just seems like second nature!
What advice would you give to a new Hen House owner?
Do a dry run or two! Practice breaking down your bike and rebuilding it. Experiment with different ways to pack the bags and what can fit where. Once you have your system down, it’s painless, but like anything else it takes practice!
How has your bike mechanical knowledge improved since owning a Hen House?
I don’t claim to be a mechanical expert now, but I can say that owning a Hen House was step 1 to taking accountability for my bike and knowing how it works. I feel a thousand times more confident flying to a race knowing that I can build my bike and have learned about so many of the nuances through that process. I can troubleshoot on my own before having to panic and find a bike shop or mechanic in a foreign country.