Even before the pandemic, millions relied on bicycles to get around town and go to work. Now, however, many riders are looking for new ways to enjoy their two-wheeled modes of transportation. As more people pack up their bikes and tote them along on vacation, popular destinations are creating lanes, trails, and more to cater to their unique interests.
Now that there’s a bike for practically every landscape – and room to ride them – there’s no reason why you can’t take your bike halfway around the world with you. Whether you’re traveling to compete in the Tour de France or simply trying out new cycling paths, there’s a way to bring your bike and make it happen.
1. Get a Dependable Bike Rack
Whether you’re vacationing in a different state or a different country, it’s helpful to have a dependable rack to transport your bike. There are four main types of bike racks, and each one attaches to your car differently. Most sit on the trunk or rear hitch while others mount to the roof or spare tire.
The best models can hold multiple bikes, whether they’re lightweight fixies or heavy beach cruisers with fat tires.
2. Rent the Right Car
While most cars can safely accommodate a bike rack, others cannot. It’s an important consideration to make when picking out a rental vehicle. If the vehicle is too small to accommodate a rack, your bike probably won’t fit in the backseat, either, even if you disassemble it.
Perhaps you can secure it to the roof or put it in the trunk instead? Reserve a dependable truck or go green with the Mustang Mach-E if you want to keep your vacation eco-friendly.
3. Check All Baggage Requirements
If you plan to travel overseas or prefer shorter travel times, you’ll likely have to pack your bicycle and board a flight. Most major airlines, including Delta, United, and American Airlines, require that bags weigh 50 pounds or less. Meanwhile, Spirit doesn’t allow checked bags heavier than 40 pounds.
Shape and size requirements may also limit how you pack your bike and what kind of case you put it in. Check all baggage requirements before buying tickets – for both outbound and inbound flights.
4. Shop Around for Low Baggage Fees
If your bike bag is heavier than an airline allows, you’ll get stuck paying exorbitant fees – or canceling your flight. Book through a budget airline like Spirit and your luggage could cost an extra $108 one way.
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue offer some of the lowest fees for checked and carry-on bags. Shop around for the most affordable options and remember to include seat selection in your estimated fees, too.
5. Wrap Your Ride
Flying can be stressful even at the best of times, and adding a pricey bike to the mix can certainly up the anxiety factor. Anyone could toss or drop your bike and damage it during transit, especially if it has a lightweight aluminum frame.
Put your mind at ease and prevent mishaps by wrapping your bike carefully. Use bubble wrap or styrofoam to protect the frame and remove any small parts that could break during your travels. Then, you can easily unwrap and reassemble it upon arrival.
Life’s About the Journey
If you’re an avid cyclist, you know firsthand that life’s all about the journey, not the destination. You’ve learned this lesson out on the roads and paths that meander through busy cities and breathtaking landscapes. These experiences likely taught you to ride slow, breathe deep, and take in the views.
The same applies to travel. Once you’ve done all you can to prepare for the journey, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. You’ll reach your destination soon enough. Until then, focus on the sweet in-between and allow yourself to get excited about all the fun new places you’re about to explore on two wheels.
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