There’s a new-ish e-visa system for Canada. You apply online well in advance and then stand around worrying at check-in whilst they tell you there’s a problem and that your visa hasn’t been registered. Except it has, so after waiting a bit longer they give you a boarding card after all!
Then you take your bike, packed up to the airline’s specs,
(Jacob asleep under my carefully packed bike on the way to Gatwick at 5am)
to over-sized baggage, where they tell you they can’t accept it. The reason being something to do with the way you’ve packed it exactly as required. Then a VERY helpful Air Transat chap we recognised from many previous trips comes to our rescue, and magically another nice chap appears and points out that they can in fact take it, and Susie, Jacob and I gladly follow him to a high security area where the Hewitt is swabbed and prodded a bit. Then we leave it, fingers and everything else firmly crossed.
(I was asked specifically NOT to take this photo, and here it is)
Then long and fond goodbyes at the gate (3 months!), a quick frisk (at customs, obvs) and then the offer of a ride on an exercise bike with a difference in Duty Free.