The Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is one of the busiest in the world. Yet flying out with a bicycle is routine and relatively simple. If you can carry all your baggage on your bicycle and you don’t have lithium batteries, it’s a simple matter of pedaling up to the terminal (bikepath all the way), wheeling it into the airport through the huge revolving doors, using the huge elevators, purchasing a box, taking your bike apart and putting it in the box, and wheeling it to the departure check in area.
If, as in our case, you can’t carry all your baggage and you have lithium batteries, life gets a lot more complicated. We puzzled and theorized ad nauseum before coming up with a strategy. Being engineers and strong believers in Murphy Law+ (If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong and at the worst possible time” – in this case the worst time being any time that would conflict with our flight out at 3 pm Tuesday) eventually we did develop a systematic, low-risk but somewhat complicated process …. We call it our B4XAM System… which stands for getting our Baggage, Batteries, Bikes and Butts out of Amsterdam. I may write it up in an article at some point, because it did work with no unexpected fees so I'm convinced it was the most economical way possible - but it was pretty arduous and would be very boring to anyone not involved in the same challenge.
Anyway, long story short, Bags, bikes and butts arrived home in South Haven at 1:30 am on the morning after we left Hoofddorp. (Batteries will come separately as hazardous cargo) Our dear neighbor Cheri had left us dinner and breakfast in a cooler at the back door. That was a pleasant surprise! Inside the house there were other, less pleasant surprises – gas turned off by the utility company due to a leak at the road so no heat, mice, spiders, and mold greeted us. Took us a few days to pick up all the pieces, do all the cleanup, get over our jet lag and get life back on track but now all is good. We are very happy to be back on US soil.