OK, almost forgot about this, and don't know if anyone is actually interested, but for the bike shipping update:
I used BikeFlights to ship from Portland, Maine to Galicia, Spain. Cost was ~$450. I shipped the bike in my CrateWorks box and was able to drop it off at FedEx. I sent it two weeks before the race. About a week later, I was informed through BikeFlights that it had arrived in Spain, and then 24 hours later I got another email saying that it was being held by Spanish customs. This was confirmed by Galiorient, the race organizers for Raid Gallaecia, who were the recipients of the box. What followed was an increasingly stressful week of communications between BikeFlights and Galiorient. While BikeFlights was attentive to my concerns that my bike wouldn't arrive before the race, they seemed pretty helpless to actually force any action out of Spanish customs. Pablo and Victor from RG, however, were able to get someone with some authority on the phone and manage to get the bike out of customs with arrival on the day before the race. They said the spent hours on the phone, which I felt really badly about, considering they were in the final week of prep before directing an ARWS race. Huge, huge thanks to them, and a big warning to anyone shipping bikes internationally that it is a dangerous course of action.
Flying home with the bikes was no picnic, either. I spent hours on the phone with Lufthansa, which claimed that the flight's bike quota was full. Since airlines won't allow you to travel separately from your bags, that would have meant either leaving the bike or skipping my flight. However, when I showed up at the airport with the bike, they checked me in without a problem. It cost me 150 euro to get it home. Long story short, getting bikes to international races is not easy.
ARWS recently posted a video of the Estonian ACE team in China explaining their tricks of how they fly with bikes and I think that's the way to go. Check it out here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j73vp3eTlQM