March 11, 2023
Like many travelers, we have to consider very carefully the things we decide to carry with us. Bicycles are one of those difficult to decide on things. While they can be useful, they are a lot of weight, can present transport challenges, and aren’t always easy to use everywhere you go.
For us, though, bikes have been a great choice, and have allowed us to explore new areas and save on parking and navigation headaches. When camped near or in national and state parks, we can explore and get around with ease, even enjoying bike trails that some have to offer. For big cities that are near and that we want to explore, we can load the bikes up, find public parking in a central location, and then navigate with the bikes. When staying at a theme park resort, we used it as a quick way to get to the transportation stations so we didn’t have to rent a club car or wait for the transportation within the campground. We also opted for a 2-in-1 dog stroller/bike trailer so we can take the pups along whenever possible.
If you decide that bikes are a good fit for your traveling lifestyle, be sure to do your research. Many RVs do not have a proper hitch installed, so you may need to invest in one, unless you have storage inside your RV or the back of your truck. Also, check the ratings for hitches. We had a catastrophic failure on a hitch that was rated for enough weight overall, but the adult bikes were too heavy for the individual rating and broke a strap, leaving our bike flopped and about to fall off in traffic, if not for the kindness of a stranger.
Decide what type of bikes you want to use. Electric bikes can be a great option, but also expensive. Do your research on these, especially with children, since the laws for them as an operator can be grey. Also research the areas you will be in to see what kind of bikes are allowed and if they are a bike friendly location, or if you are safer leaving them parked and choosing another option.
Finally, be sure to invest in safety gear. Helmet laws exist in many areas, and are just plain smart. Adding lights to the front and back of your bike is inexpensive and can add visibility. Side mirrors will help if you want to watch for traffic behind you. A bike chain will allow you to keep your bike secured when you leave it somewhere. Do you need a basket, water bottle holder, saddle bags? These are options to think about as well. At one point, we did invest in a bike cover, and it was great, but we found it to be cumbersome. It was too loose to cover while transporting and it was easier to park it under the cab of our 5th wheel to protect it from inclement weather.
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