Monday, May 23, 2016

Summer Vacation: Packing A Bicycle for Your Destination

Bikes on Boats and other vacation destinations.
May is Bike Month and Bike to Work Week. While this month has focused much on commuter cyclists, summer is on the way and perhaps time to consider ways to take your wheels on vacation. In fact with a little advanced planning, you may be able to use bicycle power to see the sights at your get-away destination. Cycling is also a great way to stay fit and exercise while on vacation so you can accomplish two objectives in one: transportation and aerobic fitness. Here are a few tips and tricks taken from my many vacation travels by land and by sea:

Paddle-boarding with a Hobie Mirage sailboat in the background.

Bikes on Boats
The June Edition of Sail Magazine has a very good article entitled Bikes on Boats by Brian Flanagan. While I applaud Brian for tackling this sometimes tricky subject with aplomb, I can add a few more useful suggestions. First of all Brian shows how to break down a full sized bicycle. My experience is that when you are on vacation, anything that even smacks of tedious work is going to tank. When I sailed to Nantucket during my tour of New England a few years back, I noticed that the local ferry was large enough to accommodate full sized bicycles (beach cruisers even) as many people had them aboard. 

Check to see if your vacay destination has bike rentals available.

Once we arrived on Nantucket Island, there was a bicycle rental depot available. My point? Check ahead to see what your vacation spot has to offer. You may be able to rent rather than pack a bicycle for your trip.

Folding bike on the Hudson at Chelsea Piers, NYC.

Folding Bicycles Make Great Vacation Rides
Another alternative to a full sized bicycle is a "foldy" or folding bicycle. I covered bringing my own folding bicycle vs renting a CitiBike to tour NYC which you may read HERE. A folding bicycle such as the 27 lb Greenzone lightweight aluminum alloy model shown above at Chelsea Piers, NYC is perfect for boarding smaller crafts and sailboats. My folding bike came with a zippered carry bag, compact enough to stow below or in the ship's cockpit locker. 

Boarding for a sail with a Brompton English folding bike. 

So to travel with either a folding bicycle or full sized model, be sure to pack it in a soft shell carry bag such as the one shown below. A soft or cloth bike bag takes up much less space and is more easily packed in small storage spaces such as those found on board sailboats and other water-craft. 

Greenzone Folding Bike has a built in bag rack.

You can also store a bicycle chain, wet wipes and a helmet with the bicycle, keeping everything together in one place. To see more Green Zone Folding Bicycle models, visit online.

An example of a soft shelled bicycle bag.
Scooting the Issue
Another cool idea is to bring along a folding kick scooter. These are even smaller, hence easier to pack and carry. I've even taken them on the Greenway along Hudson River Park. The best are the Razor Scooters which fold down very flat and work well on paved roadways as well as sidewalks. Once again they are space-friendly alternatives to full sized bicycles and offer a fun way to get around your ports of call. I've even gone shopping with an adult kick scooter, placing my tote bag on the handlebars. Since there is no storage, plan your day's travel with a backpack. Visit NYCe Wheels, NYC online for a full selection of folding bicycles and scooters.

Razor A5 Adult Kick Scooter

Xooter Adult Kick Scooter has larger wheels.

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