Even if you’re not planning a grand bike adventure, taking your bike along on your next trip just might be exactly what you need to stay sane on your vacation. Whether you’re headed out for business of for pleasure, bringing your bike along can be worth the extra expense and hassle.
It’s fun to go places where we sit around, relax and indulge in rich meals and lazy days. But sometimes those moments are even sweeter when balanced out with some active time on the bike. Riding a bike can be one of the best ways to explore new place, too. From the vantage point of your saddle you’re afforded quieter moments, broader views and occasionally special interactions with people you may not otherwise meet.
Car Racks for Your Bike
If you’re driving, it’s easy to bring your bike along. A roof rack is going to be your best option, but for short distances a “trunk rack” with strap mounts will work. These are inexpensive racks that are easily purchased at bike shops and most big box stores that have outdoor gear. A trunk rack can mount to a variety of car styles, but it will loosen up over time. If you’re ‘using this style, be sure to cinch down the straps every time you stop to ensure it stays secure over the long haul.
A better option, and well worth the investment, is a more durable rack from a reputable company like Thule, Yakima or a similar brand. There are racks for your roof in various easy-to-use styles, or a hitch-mount rack that attaches to a standard car hitch. If you have difficulty lifting overhead or have an extra high roof, the hitch mount can be a great way to go.
Your very best option is to chat with rack experts who can take into consideration how you intend to use the rack, what your budget is and what style of vehicle you have. In Portland, Re-Rack and Rack Attack are both great options for talking this through with real people.
Flying With Your Bike
Taking your bike on an airplane isn’t impossible, but it’s also not all that easy. The first step is to inquire with your specific airline as each of them has a different pricing structure and may have different guidelines.
You’ll want to ensure your bike is boxed extremely well, and this involves removing the handlebars, pedals and sometimes other parts. It’s a hassle, there’s no doubt about that. If you’re mechanically inclined an you regularly work on your bike, you might disagree, but the common rider will probably want to leave this step up to the experts.
So you’ve got to box your bike and ensure it’s safe. A bike case works best for this, though a bike shop can also provide a used bike box for this purpose. If you don’t think you’re going to be doing this all that often, the bike case winds up being pretty expensive.
This process starts to add up: The boxing and unboxing of a bike (by your or a mechanic for a fee), obtaining a free box or buying a case, the airline fee, the transporting of your bike to the airport…. Yes, there is a better way. There are services out there that will transport your bike for you. They’re dialed in for this specific purpose and your bike is handled with extreme care. The hassle factor is nil and it’s often worth the expense. Bike Flights is one of the most reputable services out there.
Renting a Bike
If you don’t plan to ride an extensive distance, you might be happy enough on a rental bike. Call around to bike shops where you’re headed and inquire about the types of bikes for rent. You might also be able to hop on bike share rental bike for a daily or hourly fee.
Spinlister is a sharing economy platform that helps people rent out their bikes. By searching through their system, you can locate a variety of bike styles where you’re traveling – with everything from cargo bikes to race frames. In addition to being a handy way to rent a bike, it can also be a fun way to test out a different style of bike that you might be interested in.
What to Consider
Taking your bike along on vacation isn’t an easy process, but it does get easier each time you do it. Some aspects to take into consideration include:
- Where will you be? Is there good riding there?
- Have you scoped out some routes? Are you fairly certain you’ll actually ride?
- What is your itinerary on the trip? Will you realistically have time to ride?
- Are there other people on your trip to take into consideration? Will they mind if you ride and they don’t?
- If you’re going to be traveling to an urban location, would it be easier to use bike share and is that an option?
- Are there any local clubs you can join up with for a day?
- Are there any cool rides happening while you’re there?
- Will you be near woods with killer trails for some gravel grinding or mt. bike action?
- What do your days look like? Will you be sitting around a lot, craving some pedal time?
What Does Your Trip Look Like
Maybe you’re going to walk or ride the city all day, then chill on the couch and hit up a relaxing activity like All Slots Canadian casino, hoping you’ll get lucky, maybe win a little vacation cash. Or maybe you’ll hit the town for evening entertainment. Being able to sneak out on your bike gives you a freedom to explore the city on your own terms. Navigating transit, rental cars and Uber can be a hassle. Sure, selecting routes to ride can also be a challenge, but perhaps one more in line with your interests. Free up some time so you can relax with a movie, video games, reading a good book or All Slots casino instead.
Relax and Ride
Whether you’re headed to the beach, All Slots casino, a city exploration or a woodsy getaway, bringing your bike along on your next vacation can be a fantastic way to combine downtime with one of your favorite activities. Through it’s not the easiest process in the world, it’s often well worth the hassle and expense.