Heading off for a sedate two weeks by the sea? Then having your bicycle close at hand can be a real bonus whether that be for a relaxing ride around the local beauty spots, or nipping into town to buy an extra bottle of milk for a late breakfast at the hired villa.
If, on the other hand, you like to take the sport seriously enough to spend your hard earned holiday cash on a package that involves some hard riding, then it is only natural that you will want your own bicycle with you, especially when the going gets tough.
What, you may ask, is the point of going to the trouble of packing up and transporting one or more bikes when the vast majority of holiday resorts offer bicycle hire at reasonable daily or weekly rates.
Serious cyclists will find that specialist operators will offer bike hire as an optional extra, too.
The answer is that, indeed, it probably does make sense if you are only planning the odd casual ride while you are away.
However, if you are negotiating mountain courses or exploring unfamiliar off-road terrain in a foreign country, the reassurance of knowing your machine inside out, and how it will perform in a given situation is only going to prove a much needed confidence booster.
And even if you’re not planning to push the boundaries of cycling, what’s wrong with making the most of your investment?
Theft Or Damage To Your Bicycle
Well, nothing at all, actually. Apart from the fact you’re going to have to invest a little more, whether that be in the form of a carrier for transporting the bike on a car, or in baggage charges levied by the airline of your choice. Check, too, that your existing insurance policy covers theft or damage to your machine while you are on holiday.
In an ideal world, an individual’s carbon footprint could shrink several sizes by simply packing the panniers and leaving home on the two wheels that will transport them to their chosen destination and its surrounding areas. In the real world, especially the reality that involves young children, getting to and from that destination is going to involve one combination of car plus, air, ferry, or train.
There are a number of different racks for carrying a bike on a car. They can be strapped on the roof, for example, or on the rear. Bigger vehicles can even be fitted with an in-car carrier. Whichever system you opt for, ensure that it is suitable for the model of car and fitted correctly to prevent any damage to either the vehicle or the frame of the cycle, or cycles.
Height Considerations Of Your Bicycle When Driving
If you are using a roof-mounted unit to hold your bicycle, take account of the additional height considerations when driving in enclosed spaces or areas that have overhanging signage.
Storage is equally important when placing your beloved bike in the hands of an airport baggage handler. Remember that these ladies and gentlemen are busy people, so they won’t have time to lovingly place the bike in a secure corner of the hold.
The answer is to invest in a padded or hard cover bicycle box, preferably one with rollers that will make it easier to wheel to the hire car or airport bus when you disembark.
Check, too, whether the bike will be included in your baggage allowance. The chances are that it won’t and you will need to pay the excess either before or after your arrival at check-in.
All these procedures may sound like more of a pain in the backside than 12 hours in the saddle, but at least you’ll have the comfort of your own two-wheel bicycle at the other end.