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Love Letter to the TSA

Today I fly to New Delhi from Seattle.

Very little makes me feel as powerless as watching my bike slowly disappear into the bowels of checked luggage.

I hope it makes it.  Better if it’s undamaged.  But the airlines take no responsibility and won’t take your bike without a signed waiver that releases them from responsibility … despite paying anywhere from $50 to $175 (that’s courtesy of United and Delta if any of you cyclists are contemplating a trip).

Because your bike is a lifeline for a trip like this, and if it shows up mangled the trip just got more complicated. And you have no control over it until it’s spit out 24 hours later halfway around the world.

Plus, I’m just attached to my bike.  Ol Trusty is a steel frame Bianchi Eros Donna (yes that’s Italian for Love Woman), with a color sadly named Kandy Mango, yet I like to think of as Snappy Orange. But despite these embarrassing branding issues, I love her anyway.

So in an effort to exercise some control over the uncontrollable, I’ve started writing love notes to the TSA and enclosing it with my bike to be discovered when they unpack and unwrap her.

Dear wonderful TSA person,

Thank you for the work you do to keep passengers like me safe.

Just want to reassure you there are no CO2 cartridges packed with my bike. But if you do unpack it, I would greatly appreciate it if you could please carefully pack the bike back to be sure it’s all secure and the wheel hub isn’t against the frame, as that will ruin my bike.  Thank you so much and happy 2011.

We can hope…

Leigh Pate
Leigh Pate is a writer, former political consultant and two time cancer patient and cancer research advocate living in Seattle, WA

3 thoughts on “Love Letter to the TSA

  1. Safe Travels, Leigh, and have a wonderful journey! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  2. Good luck with the bike and may all your long hours of flying be restful and as stress-free as possible. Can't wait to live vicariously through your trip, Leigh!

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