It all worked out fine in the end, but I had a highly unpleasant half-hour this morning around 9:30am when I went to the TriBike Transport site to check the exact address and time window for Friday's bike drop-off, only to find that the drop-off deadline had been changed to YESTERDAY at 7pm!
Utter panic ensued - I couldn't get through to TriBike, and I started thinking about the various dreadful alternative methods of getting a bicycle to Wisconsin, and how horrible it would be if I had to pursue any of them. Fortunately I soon had a productive chat with a TriBike employee who informed me that the truck wasn't scheduled to pick up bikes from the store until 11am this morning, that she would call the truck's driver and that as long as I could get there by 11:30 it should be fine.
So I threw a few things into the gear bag (no time to pack it properly, just aero helmet and wetsuit and one or two other obvious bits and bobs), grabbed my bicycle and dumped everything in the trunk of a taxi - there was a lot of traffic (I was glad I wasn't riding across town!), but I was in the East Village by 11 sharp and dropped off my stuff with HUGE relief at having dodged a bullet. Acquired a pedal wrench to replace the one I'm not sure where to find and also paid for store mechanic to replace rear tube with broken valve.
Took subway home and found email notification that bike and bag were now safely on route. I will pick them up a week from Friday in Madison: it's a very good service, much better than having to have bike unpacked and rebuilt (capable mechanics do this themselves, but I really prefer to pay a professional to do it properly - especially the reassembly!) and paying airline extortionate fees to slam it around for me. (Not to mention my bike case is in Cayman still.)
(Needless to say, I was having considerable self-reproach at not having checked online over the weekend - they say to check a week or two in advance in case details have changed, but I suppose I didn't imagine it would be more than one day in one direction or another. This sort of lapse is partly just the inevitable consequence of life complexity - I am reasonably on top of life details, I would say, in a general sense, but I am also good at staying focused on getting one thing done at a time. I had to do my 112-mile ride on Sunday, I had to fly home to NYC on Monday and also finish reading and preparing comments on a dissertation for first thing Tuesday morning. It is neither pious nor defensive, I hope, to say that my students' dissertation defenses take priority over Ironman logistics! The rest of yesterday was a wash, with a long nap and a celebratory dinner with dissertation student and colleagues at Le Monde; it was only when I got up this morning that I let my mind shift back to Ironman. A very lucky thing that I saw the change in time to remedy the situation - I have been very pleasantly feeling that the obligations of the new school year have been happily stopping me from obsessing about my race next week, but now I am thoroughly rattled and am going to be a lot more diligent about getting everything I can sorted out in next day or two. Have just made my MASTER LIST of things for different bags. Tomorrow will retrieve tri bike from Sid's Bikes and do some actual exercise - I've had three days off due to travel and fatigue and notional taper, but really I need to do S/B/R over next few days, and hopefully a hot yoga class somewhere in there too.)