5 Tips for Traveling with Your Bike

Specialized Bicycles on a Car Rack for Traveling

Want a sure-fire way to increase the fun factor on your next roadtrip? Bring your bike! With your bike in tow you can easily check out new riding spots enroute to break up a day of driving. And, once you’ve reached your destination, you’ll be able to park your car and explore by bike! This 5-part guide will walk you everything you need to know to travel successfully with your bike.

1. Determine how to transport your bike.


If you want to bring your bike with you on your next adventure, you’ll need a way to transport it. If you happen to have a vehicle with space to do this, you’re set. Most people, however, will need to purchase a rack that attaches to their vehicle to carry their bike.

To find the right rack for you and your bike you’ll need to know:

1. What kind of vehicle you’ll be driving on your trip
It’s good to know the make, model, and year as some rack vendors reference this when determining which rack will fit your vehicle.

2. How many bikes you’ll be carrying
There are racks that can hold anywhere from 1 to 5 bikes. 

3. How you want to carry your bikes
Racks come in three basic styles: trunk rackshitch racks, and roof racks. Some of the factors that impact how you can carry your bike include the kind of vehicle you have, how many bikes you plan to transport, how much your bike weights, and your capacity to lift your bike onto and off of the rack.

Check out our blog “How to Pick the Right Car Rack” for an in-depth explanation on how to choose the right rack for your vehicle to transport your bike(s).

2. Pack your cycling essentials.

Biking Essentials including a Bike pump, lock, water bottle and cage, bike locks, bike helmet, and electric bike.

In addition to your bike, bringing a few cycling essentials will help your rides go smoothly.

Things like a good multi-tool, extra tubes, a bike pump, bike lights, your helmet, and a bike lock will ensure you can ride comfortably, safely, and confidently on vacation, just like you do at home. Here’s our list of cycling essentials to get you thinking of all the bike gear you may want along on your trip. It’s better to pack what you may need versus hoping their’s a local bike shop in the area you’re traveling too to help out when issues arise.

3. Keep your bike safe.


Unfortunately, bicycle theft is a reality! Be sure to bring your bike lock along on your journey to secure your bike whenever it’s not in use!

This includes when it is parked on your car rack. Before your trip, see if you can secure your bike with your current lock on your rack. Depending on the type of carrier you are using, you may need a longer cable lock to confidently do the job. But, the best option is to take your bikes inside or lock them to a bike rack using a quality U-Lock if you are staying somewhere overnight.

Review our blog on How to Lock Your Bike to learn about the different kinds of locks available, how to use them properly, ideal places to lock your bike, and other useful tips to keep your bike from being stolen.

4. Keep yourself safe.

Biking on new trails can be exciting and fun! It can also come with unexpected twists and turns. Before you venture out on that new bike route consider these things to keep yourself safe:

  • If you’re biking solo, text a friend or family member to let them know where you’re cycling, how long you’ll be out riding, and that you’ll communicate to them when you’ve finished your ride. If you get in a bind and your cellphone reception is poor or your phone happens to die, you’ll have someone watching out for you.
  • Research the trail you intend to ride beforehand to understand the kind of terrain you’ll be riding, any unique challenges along the path, and to determine if you have the energy, stamina, strength and ability to tackle the route.
  • Bring all your cycling essentials (tools, spare tubes, etc.), plenty of water and snacks, your cellphone, ID, and some extra cash. Again, a new bike trail can be super fun to explore, but you may encounter some surprises along the way as well. Be smart and bring with you any necessary essentials discussed in step 2 so that any issues that arise are no problem.

5. Have fun!

The last step for successfully traveling with your bike is to have FUN!

Follow steps 1 – 4 to set aside any worries you may have about transporting your bike and riding new destinations. And then simply focus on the joy of exploring new places by bike.

Is adventure calling…? Before your trip swing by your favorite ERIK’S shop to pick up any last minute supplies or shop for what you need online. And then pack up, head out, and hit the trails!`