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On the Road with your Bicycles
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. 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:
1. Consider your travel lifestyle when you purchase a bike. Also, consider where you go the most: off-road (gravel), road, mountain and even on sand. Be mindful of the weight of your bicycle, you may have to haul it up stairs. Know how to maintain and make minor repairs: the chain, rust-proofing, changing a tire.
2. Protect your vehicle. Get the bike rack that's best for your car that you can afford. The bike racks that attach to car trunks can be complicated and may damage your paint if you're not careful. 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.
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.
4. Logistics: Consider your lodging and if you can bring your bikes inside or if they will stay on your vehicle the entire trip. This means you're 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 height clearance for a garage or find a parking lot). 5. Stop at the visitors center and get information for bike routes and trails. Also, there are apps that will give directions by bicycle. 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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