Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cycling and Traveling: Things to do


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On the Road with your Bicycles
Copyright Marcia Crayton

(Note: this blog entry is about traveling with your bicycles. Some people go from city to city or state to state by bicycle. I haven't done that. Yet!)

You've probably seen travelers hauling anything and everything to enhance their vacation. What I see most often are bicycles. There's nothing like having your own bicycle, if possible. I've brought mine from Maine to Florida, literally up and down I-95. 

So, if you're new to cycling or if you're new to traveling with your bicycles, here's what you may need to know:

Traveling with your bicycles. Copyright Marcia Crayton

1.  Protect your vehicle. Get the bike rack that's best for your car. Most people who travel with their bikes and take long road trips have SUV's but not always. If your car can handle it, install a hitch. The bike racks that attach to car trunks can be complicated and may damage your paint if you're not careful.

Hitch Bike Rack. Copyright Marcia Crayton

2. Get the best bike rack you can afford and for the amount of bikes you want to take. If it goes into a hitch, you should be able to lock your rack to your car. Consider racks that swing down (to access the trunk area) or swing away (the entire assembly, bikes and all, can swing like a door) so that you can load and unload the car without taking the bikes off.  Make sure you lock your bikes to each other and to the rack.

Sightseeing with your bicycle. Copyright Marcia Crayton

3. Remember that it rains on the road. Your bikes will get wet. Covers are hard to find and hard to attach. They don't always stay on.

Remember to lock your bicycles. Copyright Marcia Crayton

4. Logistics: Consider your lodging and if you can bring your bikes in or if they will stay on your vehicle the entire trip. This means your hauling them everywhere: to eat, shop and sightsee. Investigate parking. Some parking garages are tight. (If you have cargo on top, you have to be able to have clearance or be able to remove the cargo, not always easy or practical).

Map out your trip. Copyright Marcia Crayton

5. Stop at the visitors center and get information for bike routes and trails. Cycling on vacation is sightseeing on wheels.  Don't forget your clothing, helmets, gloves and any bags or gear, backpack beach chairs, saddlebags, etc.

So, mount up, and enjoy!

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